Intuitive eating is a lifestyle approach that teaches us how to have a healthy relationship with your food, mind and body. You learn to become the expert of your body– how to distinguish between emotional and physical feelings.
You will learn how to respond to your inner hunger and fullness cues. We are all born with intuitive eating skills that become hidden when our parents, friends, family, teachers or society place pressure and food rules that can cloud our intuitive judgement. The common saying, “Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full” sounds like common sense, but when you have a history of dieting or following strict food rules, it’s difficult. You must learn to trust yourself if you want to return to your Intuitive Eater.
I believe in the Ten Pillars of Intuitive Eating:
Reject the diet mentality.
Getting rid of the mindset of dieting– diets give us false hope that we can lose weight quickly and permanently. Diets are temporary. If you continue to hope that a new diet will come around, it will prevent you from becoming in tune with your internal intuitive eater.
Honor Your Hunger.
Respecting that our bodies need fuel with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Restriction leads to a drive to overeat. You can re-build your trust with food by honoring the biological signal of hunger.
Make Peace with Food.
Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you have food rules of what you can or can’t eat, you may feel deprived. This leads to uncontrollable cravings, and often, bingeing.
Challenge the Food Police.
Get rid of the words “good” or “bad”. Do not declare you were “bad” for eating a chocolate chip cookie. The Food Police in your head shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases and guilt provoking thoughts.
Respect Your Fullness.
Learn to listen to your body for signals that tell you that you are full. Observe signs that show you’re comfortable. Pause in the middle of a meal to contemplate what your current fullness level is.
Discover the Satisfaction Factor.
Eating should be pleasurable, not a hassle. We often overlook the pleasure and satisfaction that come with the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, you will experience pleasure that will help you feel satisfied and content. You will find that it takes much less food to decide you’ve had “enough”.
Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food.
Anxiety, loneliness and boredom are common emotions that we all experience– and they’re often a trigger for eating. It may comfort short term, but food won’t solve the problem. You’ll ultimately have to deal with the emotion eventually.
Respect Your Body.
Respect your genetics. We are all different shapes and sizes and it’s unrealistic to think that we should all look the same. It’s hard to respect your body if you are unrealistic or overly critical of your body shape.
Exercise–Feel the Difference.
I like to call it “movement” instead of exercise. The point should be to just move and feel the different. Shift the focus on how good it feels to move your body, rather than how many calories you’re burning. If your only goal for exercise is to lose weight, it’s not very motivating.
Honor Your Health–Gentle Nutrition.
Make choices that honor your health and taste buds. You do not have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. It’s what you eat over time that matters. Progress, not perfection!
I teach the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating from Evelyn Tribole’s book, Intuitive Eating.