Intuitive Eating CAN improve overall health and happiness.
Intuitive Eating for IBS & GERD ended with “food is more than fuel”. This goes against many diet mantras that have been accepted by mainstream culture i.e. “Eat to live, don’t live to eat” or “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels”.
Community and pleasure are vital to nourishing your body well and becoming an Intuitive Eater. Let’s continue with principle number five:
5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor. 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. The Japanese have the wisdom to keep pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living. 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.”
Take your time mastering principle six–Savor It!
Giving yourself to permission to enjoy food is necessary in order to master principle six–
6. Feel Your Fullness. 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. In order to honor your fullness, you need to trust that you will give yourself the foods that you desire.
Intuitive Eating often brings up the fear that if you give yourself permission to eat whatever you want, in whatever quantity needed to feel satisfied you will never stop eating.
However, this fear usually comes when food has been used repeatedly to deal with emotions-luckily this is addressed in principle seven-
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. You’ll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion.
Learning to deal with our emotions healthfully is important for mind, body, and soul. Clients often tell me that they “feel” fat, or that they know being thin will make them happy; yet when they get to their goal it is never enough.
Learning to accept and respect your body as it is, size and all, is imperative to becoming an Intuitive Eater, which brings us to principle eight-
8. Respect Your Body. Accept your genetic blueprint. 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. 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.
Mastering the Principles of Intuitive Eating is an ongoing process. Once a client is comfortable with Principles 1-8 they can begin to work on Principles Nine Movement–Feel the Difference and Ten Honor Your Health– Gentle Nutrition.
I recommend saving these principles for last- after you kick diet mentality to the curb! It is imperative that Principles 1-8 are applied to the final two principles so that Intuitive Eating does not become another diet.
Intuitive Eating is not a diet and weight loss is not an intended outcome. Intuitive Eating CAN improve overall health and happiness. Learn more by taking the quiz, reading the book/workbook, or meeting with a trained Intuitive Eating expert!