What is Intuitive Eating ?
Updated: Nov 4, 2021
I have now completed my training in applying Intuitive eating and non-diet approaches with clients. I became interested in this emerging area of nutrition whilst studying at university. It isn't something that was taught on my degree and I'm pretty sure is isn't on any nutrition degrees currently. Hopefully this will change as it's a really interesting approach that's got some pretty solid evidence behind it. I did my course with the London Centre for Intuitive Eating (https://londoncentreforintuitiveeating.co.uk/) It's great course, with a really practical approach to help nutrition professionals apply the principles of intuitive eating (IE) with clients.
So what is intuitive eating ?
We were born intuitive eaters; babies cry when they are hungry and stop eating once they are full. They don't have any arbitrary rules that dictate what kinds of foods they 'should' eat. They eat according to physiological cues. As we grow up, many of us adopt rules and restrictions about food.
IE is one of a number of non-diet approaches. It's based on 10 principles which enable you to eat in accordance with your physiological, rather than external and emotional hunger and fullness cues. It recognises that all foods serve a variety of purposes, depending on the context and no foods are labelled as 'good' or bad'. IE allows us to ditch the diets as we are no longer preoccupied with food and dieting. This is important as studies show that yo-yo dieting can lead to a binge/restrict cycle and disordered eating and result in negative impacts on both physical and mental health.
The 10 principles
1) Reject the diet mentality
2) Honour your hunger
3) Challenge the food police
4) Make peace with food
5) Respect your fullness
6) Discover the satisfaction factor
7) Honour your feelings without using food
8) Respect your body
9) Exercise - feel the difference
10) Honour your health
Working with a trained professional, you will work through these principles. It's important to say that the IE is not linear, and you can't 'complete' it. Learning to eat intuitively takes time, patience and is something you'll continue to develop.
Is IE for me ?
If you want to be free of restrictive food rules and diets, be free of worrying about what you 'should' eat, stop feeling that you have to punish yourself with exercise to compensate for eating that cookie and end the physical and emotional rollercoaster of endless dieting, IE could definitely be for you. It can really help you develop a healthy relationship with food, improve body image and confidence and become happier and healthier.
IE isn't is a diet or weight loss method. Yes, you may lose weight in the long term as you adjust to eating accordingly to your body's needs. However, IE is a tool to develop healthy eating and movement habits, something to improve your overall physical and mental wellbeing.
If IE sounds like something that could help you, get in touch for a free 15 minute discovery call.