Thursday, January 20, 2011

Intuitive Eating

Thursday already?! We are almost at the weekend!

I’m so glad you all agreed with my last post about weight loss myths! In fact, many of you could truly relate and have dealt with the negative effects of dieting and not consuming enough calories. If you missed the post, click here. I think its such an important message for all the people who are constantly dieting and exercising, but aren’t seeing any results!

Another very important topic that I want to talk about is Intuitive Eating. Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, are two Registered Dietitians who have wrote a book about this topic. According to them, Intuitive eating is an approach that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body--where you ultimately become the expert of your own body.

One of the most important aspects of Intuitive Eating is listening to your body and the signals it is sending you. We spend far too much time paying attention to the latest diet trends or following a ridged diet plan, that we overlook what our body needs or wants. In addition, we have become so disconnected from our bodies that we can no longer distinguish from physical hunger and emotional hunger, often leading to emotional eating or mindless eating.

Here are the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating:

1. Reject the Diet Mentality: Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.

2. Honor Your Hunger Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full.

3. Make Peace with Food End your negative relationship with food, it is not the enemy! If you tell yourself that a particular food is off limits, it can lead to feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and often results in bingeing and overwhelming guilt. Instead know that no food is off-limits and give yourself permission to eat!

4. Challenge the Food Police: The food police, which can also be called “food noise,” are the thoughts in your head that declare you're "good" for eating under 1000 calories or "bad" because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. We need to end these thoughts to return back to our intuition.

5. Respect Your Fullness: Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you're comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what is your current fullness level?

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor: Make eating a pleasurable experience. Eat what you truly want and in a pleasant environment. Turn off the TV and other distractions and simply focus on the meal in front of you. This will help you to pay more attention to your body’s fullness.

7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food: Food should not be used as a source of comfort, as a distraction from your emotions or as a cure for your boredom. Food is simply the source of nourishment and energy for our bodies. Using food to numb you of your emotions is not only a temporary fix, but will only result in guilt and discomfort from overeating. Recognize the unhealed issues you are trying to hide with food, and find healthier ways to deal with them.

8. Respect Your Body: Instead of staring into a mirror and picking out all of the things you dislike, focus on what you love about yourself. Your body works so hard to keep you healthy, so thank it by fueling it properly and having realistic expectations.

9. Exercise: The endorphins released during a workout will leave you feeling energized and in a better mood. Even if some days you feel like you have to drag yourself to workout, you will usually be happy you did once it is over. Try and find things you love to do, like swimming, biking, yoga, etc, so it won’t feel like a forced task.

10 Honor Your Health: Instead of listing the food you can have and cannot have (this is the diet mentality you want to end altogether), focus on foods that you know will fuel and nourish your body. Eat plenty of veggies, fruits, whole grains and lean protein. Eat organic when possible. As long as you are eating healthy, nutrient packed foods most of the time, it will not negatively impact your health if you treat yourself every so often. “It's what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress not perfection is what counts.”

By taking the time and practicing these basic principles, you can relieve yourself of all the “food worry,” or stressful thought surrounded around your eating habits. You can start slow and pick just one principle you want to focus on for this week or this month.

Do you sometimes use food for reasons other than hunger? (stress, boredom, etc)

Which one of the principles listed above do you feel you can improve upon?

xoxo Tina


  1. I love this post and these guidelines! I have read a few books on intuitive eating as I find once and a while I slip up and find myself eating too methodically. I think intuitive eating has more value than any diet could ever offer. Thank you for this post and for stopping by my blog!


  2. (Sorry I have to comment through an old work profile haha)

  3. Love this list, I always try to just honor my cravings, I eat when Im hungry, days I workout I eat alot more, meaning smaller meals but like 5 or 6, I have been doing that alot, due to working out 5 or 6 days a week now, I used to eat when I would get bored even if I wasnt hungry, then I just started drinking decaf tea or popping in some sugar free gum instead ; )

  4. I LOVE this book!!! Such an amazing read. It really helped me overcome lingering ED issues as well. I use a lot of these principals with clients too!!! Your breakdown is so great. I am going to have to bookmark it for future reference.

    Number 10 is biggest on my list at this point. And even though I have come a very long way before pregnancy (my relationship with food). NOTHING changes your relationship as much as when you have another life inside of you to feed!

  5. What a great list, that sounds like a fabulous book! :)

    I follow a lot of these principles already. principles. However, I need to work on honoring my hunger--there are often times when I eat because I'm bored/stressed rather than because I'm hungry.

  6. I think everyone should read this!!! Honor my feelings without using food-i'm def an emotional/compulsive eater at times!