What does it mean to eat intuitively?

First of all intuitive eating is not a diet; it’s a philosophy and approach to eating that promotes a healthy and balanced relationship with food. The principles of intuitive eating were developed by dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch and the core principles of intuitive eating are as follows:

1. Reject the Diet Mentality: Intuitive eating begins by rejecting the dieting mindset and the idea that restrictive diets are the answer to health and well-being. It encourages individuals to let go of the pursuit of weight loss as the primary goal.

2. Honour Your Hunger: Listen to your body’s natural cues for hunger and respond to them. Eat when you are genuinely hungry, and try not to ignore or suppress your body’s signals.

3. Make Peace with Food: Allow yourself to enjoy all foods without labeling them as “good” or “bad.” Depriving yourself of certain foods often leads to overeating or bingeing when you eventually give in to cravings.

4. Challenge the Food Police: Recognize and challenge the negative thoughts and judgments you may have about food, your eating habits, or your body. Replace these thoughts with more positive and compassionate self-talk.

5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor: Pay attention to the taste, texture, and pleasure of eating. Eating should be an enjoyable experience, and finding satisfaction in your meals can help prevent overeating.

6. Feel Your Fullness: Listen to your body’s signals of fullness and stop eating when you feel satisfied. Avoid the urge to overeat or finish your plate just because it’s there.

7. Cope with Your Emotions without Using Food: Find alternative ways to cope with emotional stress or boredom that do not involve using food as a comfort mechanism. This can involve practicing mindfulness, engaging in hobbies, or seeking support from a therapist or counselor.

8. Respect Your Body: Accept your body’s natural size and shape, and treat it with kindness and respect. Self-compassion and body positivity are essential components of intuitive eating.

9. Exercise for Fun and Well-Being: Engage in physical activity that you enjoy and that makes you feel good, rather than as a means of punishment or compensation for eating.

10. Honor Your Health: Make food choices that support your overall well-being and health, but without rigid rules or restrictions. Trust that your body knows what it needs.

If you want to end emotional and binge eating you can’t be on a diet or think that the principles will make you lose weight. You might lose weight by eating intuitively, but that is not the goal of this way of eating.

Intuitive eating emphasizes mindful eating, self-awareness, and attunement to your body’s cues. It encourages individuals to develop a healthy relationship with food based on internal cues rather than external rules or diets. It’s not about counting calories or controlling portion sizes but about reconnecting with your body’s natural wisdom when it comes to eating.

For everyone who wants to stop emotional and binge eating, weight loss is secondary.

Weight loss comes as a byproduct of you not using food to cope and not eating more calories than you need.

Fix your relationship with food first by using these principles and you won’t have to go on a diet for any additional weight loss