Understanding Intuitive Eating
Intuitive eating is something we're all born with, but also something many (if not most) of us have lost. It still resides within us, awaiting its moment of reawakening.
We can all reclaim the intuitive eater within us and get back to a natural and nourishing relationship with the food on our plate.
Intuitive eating is best summarized in an excerpt from The Intuitive Eating Workbook by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. I get a little emotional every time I read this, because it so eloquently sums up and speaks to the hurdles we're facing in our current diet-obsessed culture. Read this slowly. Let the words sink into you like a sponge. And please be ever reminded, that there is a way out of the obsession.
"The well-intentioned pursuit of wellness and a so-called healthy weight has been hijacked by a confluence of factors, and healthy eating has evolved into a near religious endeavor, with morality and absolution attained through consuming the "proper diet." Public health policy has contributed to this dilemma by declaring a war on obesity; a holy war, if you will, which has led to both weight stigma and a flourishing dieting industry--to the tune of nearly $60 billion per year.
Fearmongering, in the name of health, in front of the backdrop of an appearance-based culture, has triggered the perception that we are one bite away from a disaster. It's a cultural neurosis; the fork has become akin to a loaded gun--just one wrong move pulls the trigger. This creates a perpetual background anxiety at the kitchen table and every time you eat: Eater beware--you are only a bite away from a heart attack or obesity.
It's no wonder that people are driven to popular eating crazes, such as "clean eating" and fad dieting, all in the name of health. But this pursuit is creating more problems. A substantial body of research shows that dieting is not sustainable and leads to a host of problems, including eating disorders, food and body preoccupation, distraction from other personal health goals, reduced self-esteem, weight stigmatization, discrimination, and--paradoxically--weight gain.
As a result, people are weary of dieting and yet terrified of eating. People don't know how to eat anymore. They are ashamed of their bodies and don't trust that their bodies "work." The pleasure of eating has been stolen. Intuitive Eating--a concept we created in 1995, based on evaluating hundreds of studies, in addition to our clinical experience--is the solution to this growing dilemma.
What is Intuitive Eating?
Intuitive Eating is a dynamic mind-body integration of instinct, emotion, and rational thought. It is a personal process of honoring your health by paying attention to the messages of your body and meeting your physical and emotional needs. It is an inner journey of discovery that puts you front and center; you are the expert of your own body. After all, only you know your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Only you know how hungry you are and what food or meal will satisfy you. No diet plan or guru could possibly know these things."
If you're interested in learning more about intuitive eating, I encourage you to check out both The Intuitive Eating Workbook and the book I refer to as my "bible" in the work I do with clients, the 3rd edition of Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works.
If you would like to chat more about the work I do using this approach you can reach me here:
Or schedule an initial discovery session here:
Through the use of intuitive eating principles along with a host of other essential mind-body and holistic nutrition practices, you can live free of dieting and compulsive eating. Congratulations on the work you've done so far in the pursuit of your health and a peaceful and joy-filled life.