What is this non-diet way of eating that everyone keeps talking about? Can it help me lose weight?
Intuitive eating is based off of 3 pillars:
Think of these three pillars as forming a triangle. This means that the rational thoughts can interfere with your emotions and your instincts. If you can find the balance between the three, this will be your best ability to listen to yourself. You will be able to follow your survival instincts and feel hunger and fullness, as well as listen to your rational thoughts and your emotions.
Intuitive eating is more complex than “Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you're full.” It is not merely a substitution for a diet or a weight-loss program. Instead, Intuitive eating is a form of freedom around food. For most, it is to have more pleasure and satisfaction when eating. For others, it is to regain control over food and learn how to achieve the balance between the 3 pillars, emotions, instinct, and thought.
We have natural instincts at birth that slowly get lost as we get older. Societal influences and social pressures begin to change the way we eat and how we perceive our health and well-being. Intuitive eating is a journey and takes time and practice. It is not a quick-fix or a program that you practice for a couple weeks then move on to the next trendy diet. Intuitive eating is meant for those who have come to the realization that diet trends are not for them and they would like to begin letting their body be their guide again rather than following “rules”.
“Rules”… this brings me to the liberating piece of intuitive eating. There are no rules or “good and bad” foods. All foods fit and have a purpose for either satisfying your instincts or emotions. Satisfaction is connected to hunger and fullness as well as making peace with food. It cannot be very satisfying to eat foods that you think are “bad”, “wrong”, or “not allowed.” So how can you get satisfaction from those foods? You must work on taking away those labels from foods. There are no “good or bad” foods. All foods serve a purpose and everything is best in moderation.
If you’re going to your favorite restaurant, would you eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on your way?
If you’re going to your favorite restaurant, would you eat nothing all day?
Intuitive eating is finding the balance between receiving full satisfaction while keeping your body nourished and energized.
If you would like to begin working towards becoming an intuitive eater, one great place to start is purchasing the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. If you feel you may need more support, look for a non-diet, or Intuitive eating, and HAES registered dietitian and/or therapist.
If you’d like to work with me directly, ask me about my Intuitive Eating Book Club and Skills Group!