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The Basics of Intuitive Eating

If you have followed Elizabeth Beil Nutrition for a while, you’ve probably seen the words “intuitive eating”. This blog post will tell you what intuitive eating is and isn’t as well as break down the 10 principles of intuitive eating into a simple and applicable way so you can start your journey to a better relationship with food, today! 

Here’s what it’s all about: 

Intuitive eating is an evidence based and mind-body approach to health. It’s teaching consists of 10 principles created by two registered dietitians in 1995 but has since been modified. 

Our Books | Intuitive Eating

Essentially, intuitive eating is the personal process of honoring one’s health using internal signals to optimize physical and mental health. Intuitive eating can be used to heal from a disordered relationship with food or even an eating disorder. Many people will turn to intuitive eating when they are tired of the cycle of restriction and bingeing. 

Here’s what it’s not: 

Intuitive eating is not a diet. Intuitive eating emphasizes that there is no such thing as a “good” or “bad” food. There is no messing up or failing. Intuitive eaters don’t experience guilt for the things that they eat. When there is no moral judgement placed on food, intuitive eaters can eat the food and move on. Intuitive eating does not promote weight loss. In fact, intuitive eating teaches that a person can be healthy at any size as long as they have a healthy relationship with food and their body. 

Intuitive Eating - Cheerful Choices Food and Nutrition Blog

Principles of Intuitive Eating: 

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality

Attractions of a new quick and easy weight loss diet will come along sooner than later. Get angry at the lies that diet culture presents and the false hope of sustainable weight loss just to feel shame when you gain the weight back. 

  1. Honor Your Hunger

Listening to your biological need for nourishment and energy is key to rebuilding trust with yourself and food. Honoring your hunger can help release the need to binge.  

  1. Make Peace with Food

Place no moral judgment on food. There are no good or bad foods. When you don’t allow yourself to eat certain foods it can often produce strong cravings and lead to overeating. 

  1. Challenge the Food Police

The food police is the voice in your head reminding you of every diet rule you have heard. These rules come from diet culture, but intuitive eating says that there are no rules! Challenging this voice in your head is a big step in the intuitive eating journey. 

  1. Discover the Satisfaction Factor

Pleasure and satisfaction can be found in the eating experience. In fact, when you truly find pleasure in your food, you will find that you will eat just the right amount of food based on your hunger and fullness cues. 

  1. Feel Your Fullness 

Listen to your body’s signals that show you’re no longer hungry and are feeling comfortably full. One good way to practice this is by pausing in the middle of your meal to assess what your current level of fullness is at. 

  1. Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness 

Many emotions that you will experience throughout life can trigger emotional eating and a loss of control around food. Food may cause comfort in the short term and distract from emotions, but ultimately, you’ll have to deal with the emotions one way or another. 

  1. Respect your Body 

No matter the size, all bodies deserve our respect. Respecting your body will help you feel better about who you are and make it easier to reject the diet mentality.  

  1. Movement – Feel the Difference 

The old dieter in you exercised simply to burn calories. Instead of this mentality, try to notice how you feel when exercising. Choose movements that feel good to you. 

  1. Honor Your health -Gentle Nutrition 

Most of the time, choose food that honors your health and taste buds but also makes you feel good. Remember, that one snack or meal cannot derail your goals. It’s what you eat overtime that matters. 

How to Support Your Family or Friend Who is Working on Intuitive Eating -  NpowerYou

If you’re interested in food freedom and want to give intuitive eating a try, reach out to Elizabeth Beil Nutrition! 

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