Intuitive Eating a set of principles that provide a framework into a new way of eating that is healthy for your mind and body. This evidence based approach ( see reference link below) is based on getting in touch with internal signals of hunger & fullness and doing away with external dieting tools that we have long come to rely on. Why? Because tight food restrictions and yo yo dieting rarely lead to sustained weight loss and often result in further weight gain over time not to mention the guilt and stress we feel when we eat, which gets in the way of experiencing any sort of pleasure from food. If you are someone who thinks about your food choices all day and whether they (or even you) are “good” or “bad” which then dictates mood, this may be a process with exploring.
Other parts of this process involve finding ways to cope with emotions like stress and boredom other than using food, finding body acceptance, discovering joyful movement, discovering true satisfaction from food, doing away with the “food police” and of course honoring health.
So many people feel chained to the number on a scale rather than focusing on healthy behaviors. I have seen all too often that if a person’s healthy behaviors do not reflect on the scale, they abandon those behaviors quickly after all, “ what’s the point”? Intuitive eating takes the focus off of the scale for this reason.
This is not another weight loss diet, this a weight neutral approach to eating. You don’t have to follow rigid food and exercise rules nor be a slave to your scale to find good health, but you can find freedom from the constant feeling of guilt surrounding food choices, and gain peace over time.
Sound easy? It’s not . For example one of the basic principles of Intuitive Eating is the ability to respond to inner body cues, “Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full”, which may sound easy but when you have a history of chronic dieting or rigid “healthy” rules about eating it can be difficult, as we have traditionally relied on things calorie or fat/carb counting or simply how much food is on our plate rather than being in touch with biological cues that have been there all along.
Too good to be true? It’s not. This is where I come in to help. I will help you assess where you are at and guide you through each part of the process.
Here are just some of the research studies using the Intuitive Eating model: Many have shown to help lower blood pressure, BMI, triglycerides and increase HDL & self esteem and an overall sense of well being and body acceptance.
Intuitive Eating Research Resources
How long does this process take? It depends on how long the dieting standard has been driving your eating habits. The more open and committed you are to the process, the shorter the process may take…a month/two. Other people take years to make changes although may make small but meaningful changes along the way.
If I allow myself to eat whatever I want, won’t I eat uncontrollably? Deprivation & guilt are what tend to drive people to eat uncontrollably. When you first allow yourself to eat foods that you have previously restricted you may find you are eating more of them because of that. When you give yourself true permission to eat all foods and you have come to peace with those foods they tend to find a more balanced place in your life and the mystique and pull of these foods tends to go away.
Will I lose or gain weight during this process? It is an important part of the process to put weight loss on the back burner, as this goal will interfere with your ability to make intuitive choices. However if you have routinely been eating past the feeling of comfortable fullness, eating in response to boredom or other emotions on a regular basis, are resistant to exercise, if you routinely skip meals, go on & off diets regularly and overeat in between as you prepare for the next diet, or restrict foods only to binge on them later on, it is likely that your natural weight is lower than it currently is and you may lose weight.