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How to replace diet culture with intuitive eating

You’re born as an intuitive eater. Baby’s cry to let you know they’re hungry. They stop drinking if they had enough. As we get older, we make rules and develop opinions about food. Some foods get the label ‘good’ and others get the label ‘bad’.

Intuitive eating is an anti- diet approach that teaches you to listen to your body. You get in touch with your body by listening to signals like hunger, satiety and satisfaction. It helps you to stop with the endless cycle of dieting.People who eat intuitively have a better relationship with food and their body. The process of intuitive eating is a practice, which honours both physical and mental health.

Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch wrote about intuitive eating in 1995 in their book Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach. They describe 10 principles of intuitive eating in this book. The 10 principles are stated below shortly.

Reject the diet mentality

The diet mentality is the idea that you should always be on a diet. From the intermittent fasting to low-carb diets, trying every single one of them. Ditch the diet mentality.

Honour your hunger

Your body will tell you when it’s hungry, so listen to it. Keep your body fed with enough energy and carbohydrates, otherwise you can trigger the primal drive to overeat.

Make peace with food

Stop the food fight! Give yourself permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing.

Challenge the food police

The food police monitors unreasonable rules diet culture has created. Say no to the thoughts that say you’re ‘good’ for eating minimal calories and ‘bad’ for eating chocolate. Chase the food police away.

Discover the satisfaction factor

When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes just the right amount of food for you to decide you’ve had ‘enough.

Feel your fulness

Listen to the body signals that tell you that you’re no longer hungry. Observe the signs that says you’re comfortably full. Pause in the middle of eating and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what your current hunger level is.

Cope with your emotions

Find ways to comfort or resolve your feelings and issues. Food won’t fix any of these feelings. It may be comforting for the short term, and distract from the pain. But food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for emotional hunger may only make you feel worse in the long run. You’ll have to deal with the source of the emotion.

Respect your body

Accept your genetic blueprint. Respect your body and feel better about who you are. All body’s deserve to be loved.

Movement- feel the difference

Get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus from the amount of calories you're burning to how it feels to move your body.

Honour your health with gentle nutrition

Make food choices that both honour your health and that are enjoyable. Remember you don’t have to eat perfectly healthy to be healthy. Consistency comes before perfection.

If you would like to learn more about intuitive eating. We would recommend the book intuitive eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.

Written by Yael de vos


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