What is intuitive Nutrition ?
Intuitive Nutrition was a movement created by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in 1995. Their book ‘Intuitive Eating’ follows ‘Ten Principles’ to eating, looking and feeling better.
What makes it different from regular ‘diets’ or eating plan is the inclusivity of mind and body as one. Many diets focus on changing the outer body with no focus on mental health and eating behavior and patterns. The mind and body are connected so it only makes sense to take care of one you must take care of the other.
Essentially, Intuitive Eating is a personal process of honoring health by listening and responding to the direct messages of the body in order to meet your physical and psychological needs.
Intuitive Eating is not a diet plan targeted specifically for weight loss. It is targeted to make you look and feel better without attributing validation to the number on the scale.
If you are overweight and want to lose weight, I promise you that properly nourish your body with wholesome foods and taking care of yourself through movement and self-exercise will make you shed any extra pounds effortlessly without dieting or restricting or deprivation.
Below I have outlined the ‘Ten Principles’ of intuitive eating to help explain more.
1. Reject the Diet Mentality
Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you the false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at diet culture that promotes weight loss and the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet or food plan might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.
2. Honor Your Hunger
Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for rebuilding trust in yourself and in food.
3. Make Peace with Food
Call a truce; stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional 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. When you finally “give in” to your forbidden foods, eating will be experienced with such intensity it usually results in Last Supper overeating and overwhelming guilt.
4. Challenge the Food Police
Scream a loud no to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating minimal calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The food police monitor the unreasonable rules that diet culture has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loudspeaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the food police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.
5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
The Japanese have the wisdom to keep pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living. In our compulsion to comply with diet culture, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence—the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. 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.”
6. Feel Your Fullness
In order to honor your fullness, you need to trust that you will give yourself the foods that you desire. Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you’re comfortably full. Pause in the middle of eating and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what your current hunger level is.
7. Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness
First, recognize that food restriction, both physically and mentally, can, in and of itself, trigger loss of control, which can feel like emotional eating. Find kind ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve your issues. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food won’t fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you. But food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger may only make you feel worse in the long run. You’ll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion.
8. Respect Your Body
Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally futile (and uncomfortable) to have a similar expectation about body size. But mostly, respect your body so you can feel better about who you are. It’s hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical of your body size or shape. All bodies deserve dignity.
9. Movement—Feel the Difference
Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie-burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm.
10. Honor Your Health—Gentle Nutrition
Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel good. Remember that you don’t have to eat perfectly to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or become unhealthy, from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters. Progress, not perfection, is what counts.
Main Goals you can expect with Intuitive Nutrition Coaching
Normalizing your eating patterns.
Eating a wide variety of foods that you enjoy.
Exploring how different food combinations make you feel.
Letting go of food rules and labels – such as “good,” and “bad.”
Tuning into your hunger/fullness cues and honoring them.
Making your eating experiences more joyous.
Exploring which forms of movement bring you joy and feel good to your body.
Learning about different forms of self-care that resonate with you.
Improving your relationship with your body.
Measuring progress through setting realistic behavioral goals, rather than a number on the scale.
Assisting you with medical nutrition therapy for addressing different wellness concerns.
Receiving evidence-based information throughout the journey for nutrition myth busting.
Exploring nutrition together when the time is right.