My world has been ruled by diets for years. Calorie counting, food restrictions, the inevitable guilt whenever I go “overboard” with eating. In all my interactions, even the most successful, strong women remain nonetheless obsessed with the idea of achieving or maintaining a certain (unrealistic) body type through strict diets. It is now time to smash the wellness industry that keeps indoctrinating us with self-hate.
What is Intuitive Eating?
You may have already heard about it. Intuitive eating is a philosophy founded by dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch way back in 1995. But it being old doesn’t mean it’s ineffective. Actually, it means that intuitive eating is not a fad. And that’s an enormous difference with all those diets that don’t work at all.
How to Get Started With Intuitive Eating
To get started with intuitive eating, forget the ideas of virtue and sin associated with food. Telling yourself that something is bad and that you can’t have it gives it undue power and allure. The urge for binges is created by restriction. Instead of focusing on “bad” and “good” foods, try focusing on your sensations. Be mindful of how you feel. Put down the spoon for a few minutes and check if you’re still hungry or if you’re eating just because there’s food on the plate.
How to Be An Intuitive Eater
Relying on intuition can be tough. Intuition doesn’t scream for attention. And its voice can get lost in a world with 24/7 food ads, be they on TV, Facebook, or Twitter. Looking at the umpteenth food trend dominating your Instagram feed can make it hard to parse what you want from what you think you want. So what do you do about it? Here are few ideas to learn how to tap into your intuition.
A Healthier Relationship With Eating
The goal here is to gain a new, healthier relationship with eating. So, while it can be frustrating, focusing on weight loss alone will make it impossible to become an intuitive eater. When food becomes more than food – a requirement, a reward, something for your cheat day – you lose contact with your own body cues. And that internalized message is what’s driving your frustration and what can ultimately lead to full-fledged eating disorders.
Sick of Dieting
When you have to deprive and punish yourself to look “good,” it becomes impossible to feel good. Appearing “healthy” while you’re sick and lonely is all that the wellness industry will give you. One of the 10 principles of intuitive eating is that there is wisdom in recognizing that eating can provide great pleasure and satisfaction. By allowing yourself this experience, you will find that it takes just the right amount of food to feel like you’ve had enough.
Intuitive eating is self-empowering. It’s all about you reconnecting with your own body. What is it trying to tell you? What does hunger feel like? Do you really need all those experts and diet trends? These may be hard questions to answer, but trust me, they’re well worth asking.