Intuitive Eating is a programme developed by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. It claims that by following their advice you will be able to ‘ make peace with food, free yourself from chronic dieting forever and rediscover the pleasures of eating’.
The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating
The principles of the programme are as follows:
- Reject the Diet Mentality
- Honour Your Hunger
- Make Peace with Food
- Challenge the Food Police
- Feel your Fullness
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor
- Cope with your Emotions without Using Food
- Respect your Body
- Feel your Fullness
- Honour your Health with Gentle Nutrition
Will I Lose Weight?
Intuitive Eating is not about losing weight although this may happen as a consequence. In the initial stages it is common for people to actually gain weight.
It’s basic premise is about retraining your mind and body to eat in response to hunger cues and to know when you are full and satisfied. This will result in your body settling at it’s natural weight which could be more or less than your current weight.
If done with full thrust the programme will teach you to build a more positive relationship with your body and allow you to rid yourself of the eating patterns ingrained through relentless dieting.
However, if you are a serial dieter then you may be used to the quick fix promise and this is not a quick fix. Intuitive Eating is a process. Some of us have spent years building our unhealthy relationship with food and it may take months to rebalance that.
Some critics have raised the issue that Intuitive Eating is still bound by ‘rules’ in the way that dieting is. It provides you with methods to retrain your eating habits and as part of the process. These methods have to be followed until the process becomes second nature. Therefore some might say that there is still the possibility of failure which is part of the downfall of our dieting culture. Intuitive Eating advocates will tell you that this is untrue as each binge or overeating episode is an opportunity for learning and therefore has positive worth.
Is it for you?
If you have a messed up relationship with food due to all the crazy diets you have been on throughout your life and you really cannot spend another second counting points or making cabbage soup then Intuitive Eating may be for you. If so the first thing to do is purchase the book by Tribole and Resch. Thereafter there are various workbooks that can be purchased online to help you through the process and there are various Facebook groups such Intuitive Eating for Beginners that will give you plenty of support. If you can afford it you may also want to seek out an Intuitive Eating therapist. Good luck!