Intuitive eating principles have been around since 1973 and promotes ending diet ‘culture’ and promotes a healthier attitude towards food and body image. In this post I’ll be sharing 3 easy steps to help you begin a more intuitive approach to eating.

Table of Contents

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Intuitive Eating Principles

Based on the best selling book “Intuitive Eating – A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach” by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, a more intuitive approach to eating and feeling good about your body is based on 10 basic principles. They are:

Reject diet mentality

Forget everything you’ve ever known about losing weight. Restricting calories through eating less, buying into weight loss plans, eating diet specific foods etc just doesn’t work. If it did no one would ever have to go on a diet again.

Honor your hunger

Learn how to rely on your body’s natural hunger cues and only eat when you’re truly hungry and learn how to recognize when you’re full.

Make peace with food

Learn that no food is off limits or out of bounds. Once you start restricting foods from your diet, you’ll crave them more and be more inclined to binge eat.

Challenge the “food police”

Ever feel guilty for having that piece of chocolate cake or feel you’ve been good so deserve “fries” with that? Intuitive eating teaches you that no food is off limits. There shouldn’t ever be guilt around the food you eat.

Feel satisfied with food

Create a pleasurable experience around food and eating. Make each eating experience a pleasurable one and only eat enough until you feel satisfied.

Know when you’re full

One of the best ways to avoid overeating is to be in tune with your body’s hunger signals. Learn how to slow down and become more self aware of when you’re full. It’s okay to leave food on your plate.

Honor your feelings without food

Learn how to manage stressful or emotional situations without comforting with food. Learn to distinguish between real hunger feelings and using food to comfort.

Respect your body

Learn how to love you body just the way it is. Health at every size is achievable and as you age and go through different hormonal changes in your life, so will the shape and size of your body which is okay and perfectly normal.

Exercise for enjoyment

If you think of having to exercise as a way of losing weight, it becomes a chore. Enjoy movement of any kind to strengthen and energize your body.

Honor your health

Stick to the simple rule that the food you eat should taste good and make you feel good. Gentle nutrition allows us to enjoy freedom around food and maintaining overall health and nutrition for our bodies.

Making peace with food means allowing all foods into your eating world so that a choice for chocolate becomes emotionally equal to a choice for a peach. It also means that your food choices do not reflect your character or morality…once you truly know you can eat whatever you want, the intensity to eat greatly diminishes. The most effective way to instill this belief is to experience the very foods you forbid.

Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, Intuitive Eating

3 Easy Steps to Begin your Intuitive Eating Journey

Step 1: Start Paying Attention

Start paying attention to small things throughout the day.

  • To how your body feels with certain foods 
  • To how often you are eating or how often you aren’t eating
  • To your energy levels throughout the day 
  • To your bowel movements

You will begin to become more in tune with your body’s natural hunger cues, one of the main principles of eating intuitively and how you can control over eating, emotional eating, binge eating etc.

woman eating food off a fork

Step 2: Consider allowing yourself to eat what you want

Want to eat an entire bag of chips? Don’t worry, that’s normal. If you’ve been restricting for years and you suddenly allow yourself permission to eat, it may feel hard to stop eating. That’s why diets and restricting any kind of foods from your diet will nearly always make you crave those foods and overeat them when you do eventually cave from your diet plan.

Making all food available to you, eating for nutrition and good health and making food enjoyable are all ways towards a better way of eating and never having to diet again.

Step 3: Don’t make yourself wrong

Just allow yourself to get curious and start the process. It’s a practice which takes patience. One of the best things about intuitive eating is that there are no rules. Only simple guidelines to help you enjoy eating food again for ultimate health and nutrition.

All these years you’ve been restricting foods or wondering what certain foods taste like but you’ve put them off limits because you’ve always thought they’ve been bad for you or not worth eating, go eat them.

Add it to your shopping list or find a recipe to make it. Find a quiet time, without distractions to really taste the food and enjoy it. What does it taste like, how do you feel after you’ve eaten it? Journal about it. Maybe it wasn’t as good as you thought. You might see that it’s one of those foods you can eat when you want or maybe it’s not worth eating again because it wasn’t so good after all.

What’s next?

Support is available. A Registered Dietitian can provide the support you need to guide you through an intuitive eating plan.

To find out if this is the right plan for you, please book in for a free 30 minute consultation to discuss if it is in fact something that will work for you.

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