Tribole and Resch(2007), the authors of Intuitive eating explain that intuitive eating is an approach that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body — where you ultimately become the expert of your own body. You learn how to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings, and gain a sense of body wisdom. (Tribole, Resch, 2007) Intuitive eating is something we are all born with. As children, we eat when we are hungry and stop when we are full. If we are outside playing all day, our bodies are more hungry and when we were inside cuddling on the couch watching tv, we weren’t as hungry. And that was okay. Children are in tune with their hunger cues, yet still are able to enjoy food and experience pleasure through it. As we get older, rules and restrictions start to set in- and we slowly start to loose our intuitive eater. Especially in today’s day, there is a new diet fad coming out every single day that we should try. If we eat a chocolate bar, it is considered “unhealthy.” Or if we go for another plate of food, we are considered an “overeater.”
When I tell people I am an Intuitive Eater, I get the same response almost every single time.. “Doesn’t that mean you eat whatever you want? That can’t be healthy. You can’t be skinny when you eat like that.” I literally have tried every “diet” under the sun. And every single time I started one of these diets I failed, very quickly. The reason being is so simple, yet it took me forever to realize! “Diets” are not maintainable, and that is why I hate the term “diet.” Diets make you feel restricted from the things you are not allowed to have, so when you have them you are more likely to binge on the item because you never get to have it. Realistically, you were never craving that item. It was your brain convincing you that you were craving it because of the restriction! I always felt like when I didn’t follow a diet and I didn’t follow through, that I was weak and I didn’t have enough will power. I would follow my diet perfectly, and then as soon as everyone went to bed I would sneak into the kitchen and stuff as many Oreos and bowls of cereal in my mouth as I possibly could. These diets were feeding my eating disorder, and ultimately making me worse off in the long run.
If you feel this way or have in the past, IT IS TOTALLY NORMAL! IT IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED ABOUT! I am here to tell you the true way of having a healthy relationship with food, your mind, and your body.. for the rest of your life! With intuitive eating, it is important to remember that results are not going to happen overnight, and you are not going to master intuitive eating in a day, or even a month! Consistency with the practice of intuitive eating leads to the best results.
In the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, she’s states the main 10 principles for following Intuitive Eating.
The 10 principles from the book are:
1. Reject the diet mentality
2. Honor your Hunger
3. Make peace with food
4. Challenge the food police
5. Respect your level of fullness
6. Discover the satisfaction factor
7. Honor your feelings without using food
8. Respect your body
9. Exercise- feel the difference
10. Honor your health
T he journey towards becoming an intuitive eater is not the easiest, it will be very uncomfortable at first. You will have all this freedom to eat whenever you want, and you will not have the stress or burden of worrying about food 24/7. This is a very strange feeling to have, and honestly you are going to feel like you have so much more space in your head to think about different things besides food! Once you become more in tune with your body, you will start to figure out that the food you are consuming is fuel, and its fueling your machine(which is your body!) It is going to nourish your body and all of your senses, and leaving you feeling consistently satisfied in every way.
I hope you will consider trying this new idea, and really dive into the concept that food is fuel, it is not here to harm you or hurt you. It is here to satisfy you, and to help you!