Why eating intuitively is not a fantasy and actually possible
We are all born with an innate connection to our hunger and fullness cues. As babies we made noise and cried when we were hungry and it was never questioned. When we were full, we would start to lose interest in food and get distracted by other fun things……until we were hungry again. It was not something we had to be taught, it was part of our DNA.
When I rediscovered Intuitive Eating, I used an imaginary scene that helped me to remember that intuitive eating was truly something we are born with. I saw a child at birthday party eating a piece of cake, and then deciding half way through that they were completely satisfied. So, off they went to play, leaving the cake behind. Something I would never do now or don’t think I have ever seen another adult do.
Somewhere along the way we’ve lost that ability to listen to our bodies. Maybe because we were always told to finish what was on our plate? Or were we regularly bribed to eat our food with the promise of dessert? Was it because diet culture promised us the “perfect body” so we made a long lists of food rules and tried endless diets? These are just some of the reasons we may have become disconnected from our bodies. We stopped listening to our innate signals and lost the ability to recognise our hunger cues to the point where we can no longer recognise what foods actually make us happy.
So let’s just start eating intuitively again, if it’s in our DNA it’s simple, right? Unfortunately it is not that easy. For people (most people) whose lives have been consumed by diets, counting calories, eating based on food rules, even weighing their food, its anything but simple. It actually seems completely foreign.
Learning to eat intuitively again is a process of re-nourishing our bodies and working to unlearn all of the rules we have made for ourselves. It is about slowly and gradually progressing toward something that we choose to do every day, NOT just another diet to try.
Lately social media platforms have been promoting Intuitive Eating by women with the “ideal body,” living a “healthy lifestyle.” They show clips of what an “intuitive eater” eats in a day. But really, they are promoting it as another weight loss tool. It's easy to see why there is so much confusion about intuitive eating, it’s so much more than just another diet, a way to lose weight and attain that socially acceptable, “perfect” body.
So what is Intuitive Eating really?
It’s creators, Evelyn Tribole (MS, ADP) and Elyse Resch (MS, ADP, CEDRD, FADA), define intuitive eating as an evidence-based and mind-body health approach. It comprises of 10 key principles and is a “personal process of honouring health by listening and responding to the direct messages of the body in order to meet your physical and psychological needs.”
At its core, Intuitive Eating is about trusting yourself and using your internal cues to make choices around food that feel good in your body, rather than relying on external dieting messages. It is about making food choices without judgment, and from a place of permission and acceptance of your body.
Intuitive Eating is not the popular weight loss tool that it is promoted to be, but a way to live peacefully with food in your body. Sounds too good to be true right?
If you are feeling ready to rediscover your ability to eat intuitively and want some help getting started and making peace with food, please get in touch.