What is intuitive eating? Intuitive eating is an eating style that rejects diet culture and instead promotes a healthy attitude towards food and body image. Intuitive eating does not focus on foods to avoid or when to eat but instead aims at listening to your body signals so that you eat when you are hungry and stop once you are full. There are 10 guiding principles to intuitive eating that can help you to get started.
10 Principles of Intuitive Eating
- Reject the diet mentality – Do not bend to the promises of quick weight loss and feelings of failure when you try a fad diet and are not able to keep up with it. Instead focus on eating healthy foods that will promote good health
- Honor your hunger – Eat when you first feel hungry. Eating healthy food when your body first shows signs of hunger can help stop overeating at a later time.
- Make peace with food – Make a truce in your war with food. Stop thinking about food in terms of what you should and should not eat. Do not deprive yourself of certain foods, instead eat them in moderation so you do not binge on them all at once.
- Challenge the food police – Food is not good or bad and you should not feel good or bad about what you eat or do not eat.
- Respect your fullness – Your body tells you when you are hungry, but it also tells you when you are full. Listen to your body as you are eating so you only reach a comfortable fullness.
- Discover the satisfaction factor – Make the experience of eating a meal a pleasant one. Make a meal that you enjoy and sit down to eat it. You may find that you eat less this way.
- Honor your feelings without using food – Emotional eating is a coping mechanism for certain feelings. Find ways to deal with your feelings that are unrelated to food such as talking a walk, journaling, or talking to a friend. Also become aware of times when you use hunger as an excuse for negative feelings.
- Respect your body – Instead of criticizing your body for what it is not, recognize that it is beautiful and capable just the way it is.
- Exercise: Feel the difference – Find ways to exercise that you enjoy. Do not think about losing weight when exercising but instead focus on how energized, strong, and alive you feel.
- Honor your health: Gentle nutrition – Remember that the food you eat should be enjoyable and make you feel good. Your overall food patterns are what shape your health and just one snack or meal will not make or break your health.
Written by Taylor Jalomo
Jennings, Kerri-Ann. (2019, June 25). A Quick Guide to Intuitive Eating. Healthline. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/quick-guide-intuitive-eating.