It’s a mind-body approach that considers the whole you – your emotional wellbeing as well as your physical health. In intuitive eating, you learn to trust in your body’s inner wisdom to tell you what and how much food based on your needs and your taste-buds.Those confusing and conflicting food rules that consume you with guilt are tossed to the side, and instead, you build a flexible personal toolkit that suits you. The intuitive eating approach was designed by Dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in the mid- ‘90’s. Intuitive eating is so much more than simply tuning in to your body’s hunger and satiety signals. It involves 10 principles which act as a guide through the intuitive eating process.
W e have more nutrition information now than we ever did. In fact, we’re bombarded with the stuff. There’s a barrage of BS ‘black and white’ nutri-nonsense that drowns out the often grey reality. it’s no wonder we often feel confused. But it’s not just an overload of nutrition information.
Nutrition has become extreme. We’ve become disproportionately afraid of certain foods. We’ve been taught to feel guilty after eating a cupcake. Have we killed someone to get it? No. Did we steal the cupcake? No.
I’m here to tell you that one meal or snack isn't going to make or break your health. The satisfaction and joy of eating have been replaced with external rules of how we should feel, what we should do, thinking we know better than our own bodies.
Intuitive Eating helps you to let go of that all-consuming inner thought police, allowing you to live your life to its true potential.
And when we lose the food rules and the food fear – we stop obsessing over those foods and start to tap into what makes us truly feel good.
Health is a whole-body experience, where your mental and emotional wellbeing is equally as important as your physical health. Health should be enjoyable, realistic and achievable for you. Health is not strict food rules, punishing exercise or guilt and stress around food and your body.
“Rather than focus on weight, the focus of IE is on cultivating healthy behaviours, period. Body weight is not a behaviour” Evelyn Tribole
While this is still a new and developing area of research there are now over 70 published studies beginning to show that eating intuitively has a multitude of health benefits. Most health indicators can be improved through changing health behaviours, regardless of whether weight is lost. In 2015 a meta-analysis (where you gather and review the current evidence at hand) found that IE is associated with:
And we don’t just feel better mentally. Another review found that IE is associated with better health, including improved cholesterol levels, better blood pressure, weight maintenance and a more diverse dietary intake.
There’s a constant external pressure to change our bodies.From glossy magazines, well-meaning public health campaigns, to the beauty industry promising exfoliating scrubs that remove fat cells (eye-roll) we are inundated with images of the ‘thin white beauty ideal’ on a daily, or even hourly basis.
The weight-loss industry is a multi-billion-dollar business built on making us feel terrible. Diets don’t work.
80% of people will regain that weight (and often more) within 2-5 years.And it’s the only industry where the customer blames themselves for the product not working, and still come back for more.
We’re made to think that if you just commit to a balanced diet and regular exercise, you can have a body that is healthy and slim. When in fact, genetics are the key determinant of your weight. There’s something called the set-point theory (link to youtube video). This is where our own powerful complex biological forces work to keep us at a certain weight no matter what we try and do. It’s a self-preservation system built from feast and famine through evolution.
Everyone’s body has a healthy weight – one that is unique to them. It’s not a lower number on a scale, it’s one where you are respecting your body’s cues and fully nourishing your body.
Intuitive eating isn’t about giving up on feeling and looking good. It’s knowing that feeling and looking good doesn’t depend on a particular weight on the scales.