Intuitive eating is a framework, a philosophy of eating that makes you the expert in your body and your nutritional needs. Think of it as the complete opposite of dieting. Dieting is like writing with your non-dominant hand. Think about how it feels to right your name with that hand. Is it easy? Do you really have to think about it? Does it come out the same as when you use your dominant hand? Dieting removes your innate knowledge of body and places it in the hands of others. That other could be a diet plan that someone came up with, it could be a human who is prescribing you the ideal way of eating, it could be an influencer on social media saying don't eat past 7pm! Dieting is sneaky, it's often sold as wellness and it is packaged as a way to save yourself from weight gain. Instructions coming from outside of your body, telling you how to nourish your body with one goal in mind, not your health or your body rather profit.
The diet industry profits off of our insecurities, it's rooted in racist, fatphobic, sexist, speciest beliefs and behaviours. It states that you are not worthy unless you look a certain way and uphold a certain standard of consumption.
Intuitive eating teaches you how to listen to your body, it doesn't prescribe a set of rules, nor does it say there is one ideal way of eating, rather "all foods fit". It also doesn't uphold an ideal body. All bodies are good bodies. It removes "good" and "bad" from food labels and rather has a goal of neutrality with food.
These are the 10 principles of intuitive eating:
Reject the diet mentality
Listen to your hunger cues
Make peace with food
Challenge the 'food police
Feel your fullness
Discover the satisfaction factor
Cope with your feelings without using food
Respect your body
Exercise and feel the difference
Honour your health with gentle nutrition
Rather than a set of rules, intuitive eating is a way of challenging the current narratives you may hold around food, get to the root issue and release what isn't serving you, rather than continually looking for happiness and worth through body size.
I became an Intuitive Eating Counselor because I noticed a trend when I first started working with people in my practice. It didn't matter how well a person ate, what their body looked like, it was never enough. This was mirrored in my life. I spent many years eating in a disordered fashion pursuing "health". It was all in the name of getting smaller, and optimal nutrition and it was praised. You can read more about my journey with intuitive eating here.
Intuitive eating is un-learning. It's a journey towards self acceptance, releasing body shame, unending expectation and finding freedom outside of diet culture.
I help my clients unlearn the rules and standards of diet culture, stop obsessing about food, find worth and happiness outside of their body size, break down internalized fatphobia and release body shame.