Squash Soup

INTUITIVE EATING

What if you could eat in a way that makes you feel satisfied, confident, and at peace with food? In a way that didn’t involve tracking and measuring everything you eat, drinking special shakes, or cutting out your favorite foods? What if you could feel better about your body, and nourish and care for yourself in a way that feels good?

 

The Nourished Lifestyles team explains what Intuitive Eating is and why it is important.

WHAT IS INTUITIVE EATING?

Intuitive Eating is an “anti-diet approach” to eating. Developed by dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, Intuitive Eating focuses on exploring the thoughts and mental framework we have around food. It brings back the joy and satisfaction of eating, and helps eliminate the guilt, obsession, and fear we often have around food. 


Intuitive Eating is based on 10 principles (click the link for a detailed description of each principle):

 

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality

  2. Honor Your Hunger

  3. Make Peace with Food

  4. Challenge the Food Police

  5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor

  6. Feel Your Fullness

  7. Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness

  8. Respect Your Body

  9. Movement - Feel the Difference

  10. Gentle Nutrition

As described by the authors of Intuitive Eating, "the main purpose of Intuitive Eating is to cultivate a healthy relationship with food, mind, and body. It is a weight-neutral model, meaning that the focus is not on body size, but rather on healing your relationship with food." (Intuitive Eating 4th Edition).

THE PROBLEM WITH DIETS

Diets can be harmful and cause weight gain:

Many think dieting leads to weight loss, but a study highlighted in the 4th edition of Intuitive Eating indicates that the strongest predictor of weight gain is actually dieting. 

People can often find themselves stuck in what is referred to as weight cycling, a cycle of losing and regaining weight - often regaining more weight than what was lost.  According to research summarized by the authors of Intuitive Eating, weight cycling has been shown to have the following harmful effects on health:

  • Increased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure

  • Loss of muscle

  • Weight gain, slowing the metabolism, hormonal changes that increase hunger and preoccupation with food, and more frequent binge eating

  • Higher risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis

  • Chronic inflammation

  • Escalation to eating disorders

Dieting also negatively impacts mental health, causing:

  • Reduced feelings of self-efficacy and empowerment

  • Body dissatisfaction and lowered self-esteem

  • Feelings of "loss of control" and helplessness

  • Diminished trust in listening to body signals

  • Distraction from other personal health goals

  • Increased food and body preoccupation

THE BENEFITS OF INTUITIVE EATING

Intuitive Eating is a way to break free from the diet cycle and to gain both physical and mental health benefits.

Authors Tribole and Resch reference a study that demonstrates several benefits of Intuitive Eating:

  • Greater body appreciation and satisfaction

  • Positive emotional functioning

  • Greater life satisfaction

  • Unconditional self-regard and optimism

  • Psychological hardiness

  • Greater motivation to exercise, when focus is on enjoyment

INTUITIVE EATING WITH

NOURISHED LIFESTYLES

The Nourished Lifestyles team offers individual nutrition counseling with a focus on Intuitive Eating. To talk to a member of our team about Intuitive Eating, fill out our Contact Form.

In addition to individual nutrition counseling, the Nourished Lifestyles team also offers a six-week Intuitive Eating Group Program. To learn more about the program, or to register, visit our Group Programs Page

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive helpful nutrition and wellness information for you or your clients. Unsubscribe at any time with one click.