Intuitive eating has gained traction among leading health professionals as a worthwhile approach to living and eating healthfully. First established in 1995 by two registered dietitians, intuitive eating continues to help individuals across the United States as the primary “non-diet” strategy for healthy living. Mindful eating and “health at every size” are two phrases that go hand in hand with intuitive eating.
According to Evelyn Tribole, RDN, intuitive eating “is a personal process of honoring health by listening and responding to the direct messages of the body in order to meet your physical and psychological needs.” So, at its core, intuitive eating focuses on body cues to prompt eating behavior instead of the rules and structure which are common to most diet programs.
10 Principles of Intuitive Eating
At the heart of intuitive eating are ten principles.
1. Reject the diet mentality
2. Honor your hunger
3. Make peace with food
4. Challenge the food police
5. Feel your fullness
6. Discover the satisfaction factor
7. Cope with emotions without using food
8. Respect your body
10. Honor your health with gentle nutrition
Based on these principles, it is clear that calories, pounds, timetables, and tracking are not likely to be common vocabulary among intuitive eaters. Followers of intuitive eating, in principle, do not diet and instead use the ten principles listed above to achieve two goals. First, they aim to gain awareness of their physical and psychological needs as they relate to foods. Second, they seek to remove the blockers preventing their ability to recognize these needs.
There are some notable benefits to intuitive eating. First and foremost, there are no rigid rules on the foods you can eat. This ability automatically puts fewer restrictions on your eating settings – it’s still reasonable for you to go to social events during meals.
Next, there is absolutely no focus on weight, which can be very powerful for individuals who are looking for a community that supports body positivity.
Third, by getting in touch with your emotions around food, you are free to build a relationship with food that is rooted more in your appetite needs versus your emotional needs.
Finally, research demonstrates that intuitive eating can have a positive impact on body mass index and psychological markers. More research is being done on how intuitive eating impacts health, as well as how it can be incorporated into more traditional diet-based weight management programs.
Talk to a California Weight Loss Clinic
Embracing intuitive eating can be liberating for many people, which is sometimes all that’s needed to improve an individual’s relationship with food. However, it’s important to dedicate time and energy to practicing intuitive eating, as for most people it represents a significant departure from how we currently think and feel about food.
If you are interested in discovering how to respond to your body’s natural signals, work with a certified weight loss doctor from Healthy Steps. Learn more about our program or contact us at 818-900-7846.