Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach to health and well-being. It is not anti-weight loss, just the focus of the approach is not weight loss.
Intuitive eating has four main focus points:
- It is a weight-neutral approach with a strong body image component.
- It focuses on internal cues rather than external cues to guide people.
- It focuses on the pleasure and satisfaction from food and eating.
- It focuses on self-compassion to build a calm and positive relationship with food and body.
Diet culture uses external cues for food choices. Most of your life you have been building a relationship with food that is deeply influence by diet culture. It focuses on calories, portion sizes, meal plans, food diaries, weights and measures, like the number on the scales. This has become the mainstream traditional way to manage eating. It is dis-empowering and if you rely on diet culture to tell you what to do, you will find yourself feeling very anxious about the thought of living without food and exercise rules.
Intuitive eating uses internal cues to guide your relationship with food. It uses signals like hunger and fullness cues, together with satisfaction. To make decisions about what to eat you think about what you feel like eating, based on taste (something sweet or savory), temperature (hot or cold), texture (crunchy, liquid). A good question to ask yourself if you are stuck is “ If I didn’t have to worry about my weight, health or reputation, what would I pick to eat?” You are also guided by how your body feels afterward a meal, Do you feel tired, energised or sick and yucky?’ And together with all of this you can check into your emotional state. Initially the tools of intuitive eating are about experimenting, observing and exploring. This can take months or years of practice. It requires compassion, empathy and patience with yourself to build up the skills. The skills are empowering and once you have internalised them, you will confidently feed and look after you and your family for the future. And you will never diet again.
If you are interested in an Intuitive Eating program, contact us to book an appointment.
Disclaimer: Please note that the information in this or any other blog posts on this site may not be suitable or apply to you, depending on where you’re at in your mental health and/or eating disorder/diet recovery journey. This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for medical or psychiatric advice. Please consult your healthcare practitioner before making any changes.