We are all born with the skill to stop eating when full, to eat when hungry, and to eat satisfying foods. Think of a baby, for example, who roots for milk when hungry and throws food off the tray when full. However, through the life process, “diet” culture leads people to trust books and so-called “experts” about when, what, and how to eat. This leads people away from trusting their body and its intuition. Intuitive eating is an eating style that promotes a healthy attitude toward food and body image. The term intuitive eating was coined in 1995 as the title of a book by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. They provide 10 principles of how to relearn and recognize hunger, be mindful and enjoy the eating process, and stop eating when comfortably full.
Reject the Diet Mentality.
Get rid of diet books, unsubscribe from fad diet programs, and put your scale away! Diet “tools” can keep you from listening fully to your body’s needs and give you an unrealistic view.
Honor Your Hunger.
Respond to signs of hunger throughout the day by feeding your body. Focus on food being your source of nourishment! When you are nourished, you will be able to better recognize your hunger and fullness cues and be less likely to overeat.
Make peace with food
Avoid the “good food” vs “bad food” mentality. Begin to think “abundance” and that all foods fit. Avoid taking out entire food groups as the brain only sees this as deprivation which can lead to intense cravings.
Challenge the Food Police
Challenge thoughts that tell you what you can and cannot eat. Keep a journal and rediscover new ways of thinking positively about all foods
Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Avoid eating on the run or with distractions (TV). Practice mindfulness by taking your time during meals/snacks to pay attention to the taste, smell, and experience of the foods. It’s easier to determine “enough” food when you are satisfied and content.
Feel your fullness
Trust yourself to eat desirable foods with less of a focus on calories and move towards the “wholesomeness” of foods. Be aware of signs of fullness and the need to not finish your plate.
Cope with your emotions with Kindness!
There should be no shame or judgement in enjoying food when not hungry (birthday cake at a party) or as a coping mechanism. However, food won’t solve the problems causing the emotions. It will be important to get to the root and find other ways unrelated to food to deal with feelings (taking a walk, meditating, calling a friend).
Movement- Feel the difference
Movement can improve your mood and how you feel about yourself! Feel the difference activity can make versus a focus on calories burned.
Respect your body
Can you change your shoe size? No. You can’t change your genetic makeup so why change your body according to what society says? Remember, you are unique and must accept that in order to feel better about yourself.
Honor your health with Gentle Nutrition
Eat foods that honor health and taste good. Remember, nutrition is a marathon that takes time, not a sprint. Allow yourself grace and flexibility when working towards nutritional health.
A registered dietitian at Nutrition HealthWorks can work with you towards an Intuitive Eating mindset for positive lifestyle changes. Visit our website at www.nutritionhealthworks.com