Intuitive Eating Tips and Tricks: A Beginner’s Guide
It's 2022, and we're long past the point of accepting body shaming or body negativity. Thankfully, we've collectively entered a new phase ofbody acceptance where models of all shapes and sizes can KILL IT on the runway, and where old-fashioned notions of dieting are, quite simply, out of style (*finally*).
But of course, we all want to eat healthy meals that give us the energy, vitality and stamina to live our best lives. That's where intuitive eating comes in.
What is Intuitive Eating?
If you're a newbie to Intuitive Eating, here's the quick-and-dirty summary: Eating intuitively involves listening to your body, choosing foods and meal sizes that make you feel your best, and completely ditching the idea that certain foods are off limits or bad.
Created and popularized by dieticians Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole in their intuitive eating book "Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works," intuitive eating has been around for a while: The book was first published back in 1995. In their book, Resch and Tribole lay out 10 principles to follow in order to eat a healthy, nourishing and, well, intuitive diet. Here's the lowdown on intuitive eating tips to follow, as laid out by Resch and Tribole themselves.
1. Reject the Diet Mentality
At the heart of intuitive eating is a fundamental rejection of the idea that dieting works. Resch and Tribole recommend tackling these steps one at a time, so before you move on to the other tenets of the system, you have to acknowledge that dieting hasn't worked for you in the past and give yourself permission to let the concept go for good.
2. Honor Your Hunger
Next up is learning to eat when you're hungry. If you're hungry — even if it's at 10 p.m. — your body is ready to eat.
3. Make Peace with Food
It's time to categorically reject the idea that some foods are "bad" and others are "good" or "clean." You have to give yourself permission to any and every food (unless you're allergic to it, of course).
4. Challenge the Food Police
Once you decide to ditch the diet mentality, you'll start realizing how often people around you make value judgements about food. This step involves mentally going up against fear-based messaging around food (for example, the idea that anything processed is "toxic" or "not real food").
5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Now for the fun part: It's time to start REALLY enjoying your food! Take the time to set the table, minimize distractions and truly focus on satiating your cravings during meals.
6. Feel Your Fullness
This stage involves learning what your personal hunger cues are and learning how to monitor your levels of fullness throughout a meal, so you can feel free to stop eating when it's no longer pleasurable to do so.
7. Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness
Who here is an emotional eater? ✋ If you turn to food to cope with feelings, now's the time to go deep into what you're *actually* craving in your life. (Bonus tip: Get a journal for this part.)
8. Respect Your Body
This part is seriously hard: Accept your body as it is RIGHT NOW. Since intuitive eating rejects the diet mentality, it requires you to practice self-love and body-acceptance.
9. Move (But Do it Joyfully)
Listen, no one is going to deny the health benefits of exercise. But Resch and Tribole want you to move in a creative waythat feels good to you! (Personally, we're heading to the trampoline park.)
10. Practice Gentle Nutrition
Only after you've mastered the first nine tips should you move on to this last piece: Incorporate easy, gentle nutrition into your everyday diet. This doesn't mean removing foods or restricting your portion sizes: It means simple actions like adding more veggies to your plate.
Have you ever tried intuitive eating? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!