Are you new to intuitive eating and curious about the health benefits? In today's post we chat about Intuitive eating basics.
Intuitive eating is the complete opposite of dieting......and when most people hear that their internal panic meter rises. However, intuitive eating is a beneficial approach to anyone looking to improve their well-being. When I work with clients and groups on intuitive eating I like to describe the process of IE like writing with your non dominate hand. It's awkward, uncomfortable and takes work to get use to. However, it's a self empowerment model and brings our well-being back into our own hands. It's an ability we were born with but seem to lose over years of dieting and being exposed to our culture.
What is intuitive eating?
IE (or intuitive eating) is listening and honoring our bodies needs and wants. It's listening to and trusting our bodies cues and giving our body what it's asking for. IE is a non diet approach that helps individuals break the chronic diet cycle and build a healthy relationship with food and their body. It is taking into consideration that each person is unique and needs and craves different things. IE is a mind- body integration that guides you back to the cues your body gives you.
The 10 principles
1. Reject the Diet Mentality
Take a look back at all the diets you have tried over your lifespan. Have they worked (and by worked I mean been able to be maintained for a lifetime and given you freedom, health and nourishment)? For 95-97% of people the answer is no. Diet culture is everywhere. It can be found in our desire to cut out certain food groups, weigh and measure things, letting the scale dictate our health and so much more. Diet culture is everywhere we look and you have every right to challenge these things and be an advocate for yourself.
2. Honor Your Hunger
Keep your body nourished and listen to your hunger cues. Opposed to going off of a serving size, meal plan or calorie count, listen to your body and its hunger cues.
3. Make Peace with Food
Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. Allow all foods in your diet. There are no "good" or "bad" foods. Once we begin labeling foods they begin to become off limits. And what do we want when we can't have something? You know the drill. When we give ourselves unconditional permission to eat our bodies want variety and nourishment. All foods can have a place in your life.
4. Challenge the Food Police .
Challenge your thoughts that tell you you're "good" for eating something or "bad" for eating something else. This is #dietculture These are the types of thoughts that cause shame, anxiety and unhealthy thoughts/behaviors around food.
5. Respect Your Fullness
Tune in to your body and notice if you are full. Respect your bodies fullness cues. This takes awareness AND permission to eat all foods.
6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Choose foods that satisfy you. Before you eat check in with yourself and see what your body is craving. Something sweet? savory? hot? cold? listen to your body and allow yourself to have what you want.
7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food
How can you honor your emotions without numbing? Honoring may look like noticing, tuning into, validating and caring for yourself through it. Numbing might look like bingeing, restricting, beginning a new diet or workout plan to avoid sitting with the emotion. *note: most of the time we do not purposefully choose to avoid the emotion. For lot's of us it is because we have yet to develop the skills and tools to notice and regulate.
8. Respect Your Body Accept your genetic blueprint.
We. Are. Different. We all have different shapes and sizes that our bodies feel their best at. When we try to dictate that through extreme dieting we are robbing our bodies of doing the job they know how to do best, keep us alive and healthy.
9. Exercise–Feel the Difference
I love to call this joyful movement. Find things that you love doing (and this might be different everyday). Move in a way that you enjoy and feels good for your body. This might be yoga, running, dancing, swimming, lifting weights among a lot of other things. And it's OKAY for this to look different every day.
10 Honor Your Health–
Make choices that honor your health, values and also your tastebuds. No need to be perfect. Consider how certain foods make you feel. Find foods that honor your health and nourish your body.
Over 60 research studies have been done that have shown IE leads to
Resources to get started
These two books are great resources to get started
Health at Every Size
Additionally I have ongoing groups throughout the year based around Intuitive Eating as well as resources through social media.
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Hanna Kuyper, M.A, CIEC. is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT 109748) under the employment and supervision of DaLene Forester, PhD, LMFT, LPCC MFC 33095, LPC 629. ) Hanna see’s clients out of her private practice in Redding, CA. Hanna is also a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.