Intuitive eating is a passion of mine.
And it’s not surprising giving I used to have a terrible relationship with food – intuitive eating helped me to find balance. Being the start of a brand new year full of new possibility, I’m sure many of you have thought about diets, or changing your body shape and you know, be totally perfect and nail life this year right? Resolutions and goal setting are awesome at helping you focus and work towards your goals, but instead of diets and weight loss, here’s something I reckon could rock your world this year – intuitive eating! Here’s what you need to know.
Who is intuitive eating for?
Intuitive eating is an approach designed to heal your relationship with food from diet induced damage. While people believe it’s simply their lack of willpower or some sort of internal flaw that makes them feel out of control, binge eat and feel stressed around certain foods – it’s not, it’s diets, a diet mindset and food rules. They really mess with your head! We know chasing weight loss doesn’t work in the long term – the research is really clear on this. It’s time to put diets aside and find a better balance.
Intuitive eating sets aside weight goals and focuses on ditching those diet rules that keep you stuck in a diet/binge cycle – i.e. trying to avoid chocolate, but then inhaling the whole block. It helps guide you in relearning how to stop when you’re just satisfied, not when the whole packet is gone. Intuitive eating is about responding and listening to your body in terms of hunger, fullness and satisfaction and allows you to enjoy the pleasure of eating without guilt. It takes a gentle, balanced approach to nutrition and movement.
If you feel like you can’t trust yourself around certain foods, are always trying to lose weight and you feel like you just want to eat ‘normally’ – then intuitive eating can certainly help.
What is intuitive eating exactly?
So how do you ‘do’ intuitive eating? It’s important to know that becoming an intuitive eater is a process. It takes time and isn’t a list of rules to follow, rather it’s a set principals you learn to incorporate into your life. There are many ins and outs to navigate and everyone gets there at their own pace.
One of the first things that is necessary in order to become an intuitive eater is you need to set aside weight concerns and stop thinking like a dieter. This is an important step in order to be able to start challenging those voices that keep you stuck in that cycle of being good/being bad or ‘falling off the wagon’. With intuitive eating you learn to accept and respect the body you have.
Learning to understand and tune into your hunger and fullness cues is another part of intuitive eating. It’s about tuning in and learning to trust your in-built signals that tell you when and how much to eat. Satisfaction is also an important part of this and you’ll learn to match your food choices to what you really feel like eating.
You’ll learn to make peace with food so you no longer feel anxious about your favourite foods and you also learn to challenge our inner food police. Emotional eating is an issue many of us struggle with and it’s also addressed in intuitive eating.
Lastly intuitive eating looks at nutrition and movement. The reason these are left till last is we need to relearn ‘how’ to eat before we can concentrate on the nutrition side of things. At the start, it’s all to easy to turn nutrition into dieting – so once we’ve learned to listen to our bodies we concentrate more on our nutrition.
How do I get started with intuitive eating?
It can be really useful to jot down some thoughts to help you get started on a new way of thinking. Here are some questions to ask yourself.
– How much of your time do you spend thinking about food and exercise?
– Does this feel unbalanced and do you stress about your food choices?
– What would life be like if you had a more balanced relationship with food?
I’d also recommend some great books to get started.
Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch
Intuitive Eating Workbook by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch
These are available here (affiliate link)
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If you’d like some 1 on 1 support, feel free get in touch. I’d love to work with you!
If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments below.