Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach to food and healthy eating that aims at breaking down cycle of dieting and reconnecting you with your body cues and hunger and fullness signals. Resharing from my award-winning food blog The Healthy Gourmet, you can find below the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating.
Intuitive eating is a way of eating that follows your natural cues and is opposed to diet culture and obsession with calories. In intuitive eating, we rediscover our natural rhythms and the pleasure of food. Food becomes nourishment and self-care.
Important health organizations like The British Heart Foundations are recommending intuitive eating as a healthy way to relate to food.
If you have been struggling with yo-yo dieting, or are simply confused by “food rules” and trends, reconnecting with your own body and learning to eat in a more mindful and intuitive way could be beneficial.
1. reject the diet mentality
Diets don’t work, and most people get stuck in a cycle of restrictive diets and weight gain. Diets mess up your metabolism and weight control center in the brain. They are not sustainable in the long run, leading to cravings and making it difficult to recognize the natural hunger and fullness cues.
2. recognize your hunger
The first step to healthy eating is to recognize your hunger. Eating when you are hungry won’t lead to weight gain, but eating when you are bored, sad or stressed will.
3. make peace with food
Food is not “good” or “bad” and no food is off-limits. Allowing yourself to eat any type of food, means that you are less likely to have cravings and binge on it later on. Restrictive diets always come with a list of foods that are “forbidden” fostering feelings of guilt or even shame when you have them. In intuitive eating, food is fuel and nourishment.
4. feel your fullness
In the same way, you need to become aware of your hunger cue, you need to be aware of when you are full. Basically, you need to know when you start and you need to know when to finish.
This may be more difficult than it sounds as most people nowadays are disconnected from their bodies, while restrictive diets and emotional eating mess up your natural hunger and fullness cues.
5. challenge the food police
Become aware and challenge any internal thoughts that may categorize food as good or bad as this can create feelings of guilt and shame around food.
6. discover the satisfaction factor
Food is fuel, food is nourishment, food is pleasure. Savior the experience of eating: set aside some time away from your phone or computer and focus on what you are experiencing. Be curious of new flavours and food, cook and create a pleasurable environment to enjoy your meal.
7. cope with your feelings without using food
Emotional eating is one of the most common reasons why people can’t lose weight. Using food to soothe your emotions like sadness, anxiety, and stress, causes you to overeat and binge on high palatable, high-calorie but nutrient-poor foods, giving away feelings of guilt and shame.
Find other ways to deal with your emotions, ways that support your long-term health, well-being and happiness.
8. respect your body
Self-acceptance is important to foster feelings of wellbeing. We are all different shapes and sizes and accepting your uniqueness, will make it easier to set realistic expectations regarding food and exercise, making choices that are logical rather than emotional.
9. Exercise and feel the difference
Choose a form of exercise you enjoy, and focus on how it makes you feel, taking the focus away from weight loss. Choose something that you can easily fit into your lifestyle: walking, hiking, dancing, riding your bike, or whatever makes feel good.
10. honor your health
Focus on choices that nourish your body, your soul, and your taste buds. Choose food that is real, nourishing, and that you enjoy supporting your long-term health and well-being.
Intuitive eating is a journey
Intuitive eating is a work in progress and not a quick fix. In today’s world, most people need time and support to reconnect to their bodies and trust their intuition. Many people also need to find tools to overcome their emotional eating and learn to lay the foundation of healthy eating habits, to make the Intuitive Eating approach a success.
My Intuitive Eating Coaching Programs
This is the reason why I offer both a foundational nutrition program, designed to help you lay the foundation of healthy eating habits called Nutrition Reboot, and a separate Emotional Eating Program designed to help you break the cycle of emotional eating.
To work with me on a bespoke Intuitive Eating Coaching Program simply get in touch or book a 30 min complimentary Zoom or WhatsUp chat.
intuitive eating coach
Claudia is an award-winning Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, specializing in helping people move on from emotional eating and yo-yo dieting to a more attuned and happier relationship with food. She holds a further specialization in Emotional and Disordered Eating.