Put away the diet books and scales, intuitive eating is the new eating philosophy that makes you the expert on your own body.
Intuitive eating is completely unlike other diet philosophies, mainly because it isn’t actually a diet. Intuitive eating teaches you how to get back in touch with your body and trust yourself around food again. With no meal plans, no discipline and no willpower required, here are the 10 principles of intuitive eating:
1. Reject the diet mentality
There is no quick, easy, healthy way to lose weight permanently and any book or magazine trying to tell you otherwise is lying. Diets are setting you up for failure.
2. Honour your hunger
Don’t put off eating if you’re hungry. Feelings of hunger are good and normal, and it’s important to keep your body fed. Reaching points of excessive hunger will only result in overeating and negative feelings afterwards.
3. Make peace with food
Stop trying to fight your biological need to eat. If you try to restrict certain foods, it can often lead to bingeing and, ultimately, feelings of failure.
4. Challenge the food police
There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods and you are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for eating certain foods. Don’t let unreasonable rules surrounding food prevent you from eating things that make you feel good.
5. The Satisfaction Factor
Eating is a necessity of existence. But it can also be enjoyable and pleasurable. Sitting down to a delicious meal that is enjoyable and satisfying will make the eating experience more pleasurable and much less like a chore.
6. Feel your fullness
Your body is clever. Just as it will tell you when it’s hungry, it’ll also tell you when it’s full. Learn to listen to and respect those cues and your body will thank you for it.
7. Honour your feelings… without food
Emotional eating is very common and won’t do you any favours in the long-term. Learn to cope with negative emotions in other ways: take a walk, talk to a friend, take a bubble bath. Emotional eating will just end up making you feel worse.
8. Respect your body
It’s easy to be critical about your body, but intuitive eating tells us to stop criticising and start respecting your body for all the amazing things it can do.
9. Movement – feel the difference
Find ways to exercise and move your body in ways that feel good to you. No more bootcamps and hating every second of the gym. Don’t focus on weight loss, instead focus on moving in ways that leave you feeling energised and good.
10. Honour your health with gentle nutrition
Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating perfectly. Eat what tastes good to you and eat what makes you feel good. If eating a slice of chocolate after dinner feels good, go for it. It’s the consistency of what you eat, rather than a single day, that counts. Your body knows what makes it feel good, respect that.
Intuitive eating is all about tuning into your body’s own natural cues and feelings, rather than imposing arbitrary rules that are impossible to follow and without restricting the foods that you love.
If you want to learn more, here are some resources that we love: