Maybe some of you have heard of this, maybe to some of you this is new! I wanted to shed some light on this topic as it is in my professional opinion the most fulfilling, positive, stress-free, nourishing and peaceful relationship you can have with your food. 

In today’s world, every other day there is a new “diet” and 99% of the time they are fads and although they may give results they are not long term and can really impact your health and create a negative mindset around certain foods. As you know from reading my other blogs you know all foods fit in moderation and proper portions. Now, I want us to take it a step further and let go of some food rules and begin to listen to our bodies and what they are telling us. For this is the most genuine way for us to relate with food and nourish our bodies and meet our own individual needs.

To put it simply, intuitive eating is the culmination of mind, body, and food. It is about rejecting the diet mentality, pursuing an active lifestyle for the sake of feeling good, not because you just ate cake and need to burn off those calories.  This is also about promoting body positivity and truly respecting our bodies no matter their shape or size. 

Here are the 10 principles of intuitive eating:

  • Reject the diet mentality 
    • Stop trying fad diets to lose weight quickly- they are only giving you false hope, hurting your relationship with food and potentially putting you at risk for lack of nourishment. These fad diets will prevent you from the freedom of truly practicing intuitive eating and listening to your body.
  • Honor your hunger
    • When you are hungry, EAT. Why would you not eat if you are hungry? Please listen to your body and honor your hunger. If you don’t eat when you are hungry, you are more likely to indulge and binge later. Also, the longer you go without eating, you are reducing your metabolism and releasing hormones that cause your body to store more fat as a survival mechanism. 
  • Make peace with food
    • Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. When we restrict ourselves of particular foods, it leads to strong feelings of deprivation and intense cravings and you will only be able to hold on for so long before you finally give in and binge on all those forbidden foods, and engage in “last supper eating” like behaviors followed by a large dose of guilt and shame. 
  • Challenge the food police
    • There is no “good food” no “bad food.”  Food is food and all foods fit in the proper portion and moderation. Period.
  • Discover the satisfaction factor
    • An excerpt from states that 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. 
  • Feel your fullness
    • Be consciously aware of how hungry and full you are. Throughout your meals and snacks, stop and ask yourself, am I satisfied? Have I had enough? Did I overeat? This will help you understand and listen to what your body needs. Trust your body.
  • Cope with your emotions with kindness
    • Don’t try to heal your emotions through food. When eating ask yourself, am I eating because I am truly hungry or am I using it as a coping mechanism for stress, anxiety, sadness or loneliness?
  • Respect your body 
    • We must respect our body and be aware of our genetic blueprint. Everybody is different and we come in all shapes and sizes. Be realistic about your body. If you are a shoe size 8, would you ever expect to fit into a size 6 shoe? No! So why do we have different expectations of our bodies?
  • Movement- Feel the difference
    • Learn to enjoy the act of movement and an active lifestyle. Don’t focus on exercising a particular way or amount of time to burn off all those calories from the cake you ate. Move to feel more energized, less anxious, and less stressed and truly feel GOOD.
  • Honor your health- gentle nutrition    
    • Remember indulging once in a while isn’t going to make you unhealthy or suffer a chronic disease. In fact, that is part of a healthy relationship with food. It is more about our pattern of eating over time. So, rather than looking at what you ate for one meal or one day, focus on how you ate that week or over the past month to give you better insight. 

These can also be summarized into 3 core characteristics:

  • Eat for Physical Rather than Emotional Reasons
  • Rely on Internal Hunger and Satiety Cues
  • Give Yourself Unconditional Permission to Eat

Mindful eating is paying attention to your food experience in the present moment, void of judgements. An example of this would be eating a slice of cake at a birthday party; enjoying the smell, becoming fully aware of the variety of flavors and textures in it and indulging while being free from negativity such as guilt.   

Look out for my upcoming blogs each week this month as I share more tips and ways for you to become a successful intuitive and mindful eater, encouraging you to truly have a healthy and enjoyable relationship with all foods. 


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