The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating

 

 

Intuitive eating is at the heart of what I teach. My How you do Food is How You do Life Program incorporates the 10 principles of intuitive eating below and goes beyond them to teach you how to deal with stress and anxiety, process emotions, mindfulness, develop the proper mindset, body image, self-compassion, and self-care. 

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality 

Diets don’t work in the long run for anyone. People lose the weight only to gain it back again and more. Diet mentality creates an adversarial relationship with your body. It’s all about external rules and control which backfires on you. Intuitive eating is all about listening to and honoring what your body wants and need. 

  1. Recognize Your Hunger

Intuitive eating requires that you listen to and honor your physical hunger. Eat when your body tells you it’s hungry and stop when you feel satiated (full). 

  1. Make Peace with Food

Don’t make any foods off limits. Give yourself full permission to eat all foods. Restricting leads to overeating, binge eating, and out of control cravings. Making foods forbidden makes you want them more and once you get a hold of them you will binge or overeat them. Allowing all foods takes the power and specialness away from them. 

  1. Challenge the Food Police

There are no “good” and “bad” foods. There is a place in your diet for all foods. Some are best eaten once in a while, others more often, and some with every meal. Practice the 80/20 principle. As long as you well most of the time (80%), there is room (20%) for splurges, treats, chips, etc. Eating something you deem “bad” doesn’t make you a bad person. Nor have you fallen “off the wagon.” This kind of diet thinking makes you overeat because you tell yourself you’d better eat as much as you can because you have to start over, preferably on Monday!

  1.  Discover the Satisfaction Factor

Intuitive eating brings the pleasure back to eating. Eat the foods you really love. When you can sit down and truly savor your food, you will eat far less. Prepare nourishing meals and eat them slowly and mindfully in a nice atmosphere. This will go a long way in helping you feel satisfied and not deprived.

 

 

  Principles of Intuitive Eating

 

 

  1. Feel Your Fullness

While your eating, check in with yourself and notice what your current hunger level is. Ask yourself, “Am I enjoying this food? Am I enjoying the taste, textures, smells, how it looks, etc.” Listen for the signal that tells you you’ve had enough and you’re no longer hungry. 

  1. Cope with Your Emotions with Self-Compassion

Food restriction can cause you to lose control around food and you might interpret this as emotional eating. Learn what emotions trigger your eating and find healthier ways to deal with and soothe your emotions. Common triggers for overeating are loneliness, overwhelm, guilt, feeling inadequate or fat, anxiety, sadness, procrastination, uncertainty, and anger.

Each of these emotions needs to be dealt with in their own way. This is why I teach you how to process your emotions and give you ways to deal with the various triggers that come up. I also teach self-compassion as studies show that being kinder with yourself helps you learn and navigate your emotional responses and allows you to learn from your mistakes and make changes with more ease.

8. Respect Your Body

Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Some people beat their heads against the wall trying to attain a body weight that’s just not meant for them. Our bodies and often our weight changes with every decade. Respect your body where it’s at. Embrace health at any size. When you respect your body, you will treat your body with the dignity and care it deserves. 

  1. Embrace Joyful Movement

Our bodies are designed to move. Finding an activity that you love to do will keep you doing it. Exercise for how good it feels rather than an exercise in calorie burning (diet mentality). Being active will improve your mood, lessen stress, and increase your self-esteem and motivation too. 

  1. Honor Your Health

Eat foods that you enjoy and that are healthy for you. You want to eat in a way that you can sustain for life. This doesn’t mean you’re going to eat perfectly, no one does. It’s progress, not perfection. Your main focus should be on health promoting behaviors that you can maintain for the rest of your life, not weight loss. Weight loss often happens as a result of these changed behaviors but there is no guarantee of that. Your body may already be at the weight its most comfortable at. 

 

 

Are you interested in learning how to embrace the principles of intuitive eating? I offer a free consultation. Contact me. 

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Overcoming Overeating and Releasing the Weight Without Dieting

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