[The following article on Intuitive Eating introduces a different approach to feeding ourselves by listening to the innate hunger and fullness cues we were born with. This approach is not another diet nor is it appropriate for someone newly diagnosed with an eating disorder. Disordered eating is the opposite of Intuitive Eating and requires guidance from a qualified provider to heal the illness before trust in the body can be restored.]
National Nutrition Month: Focus on Intuitive Eating
Written by Kaiser University Dietetic Intern, Jenniffer Hubbard
Do you ever get confused about what you should eat, when you should eat it, or how you should eat it? It seems like every day we are bombarded with messages that aim at having “the perfect answer” to these questions. It may seem complicated but it doesn’t have to be. In this article we will help you navigate these choppy waters and lead you towards a calmer stream of practical tips based on the concept of Intuitive Eating.
Intuitive eating is “a personal process of honoring health by listening and responding to the direct messages of the body in order to meet your physical and psychological needs” (Tribole, 2018, para. 2).
First, let’s go back to when we were children. Your day may have looked a little like this: you got up, got ready for school, went to school, came home, played, did your homework, went to sleep, and the next day repeated this cycle. You may have eaten breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, but that was not the focus of your day. Unless children grow up in an environment where there is a focus on food and dieting, they typically intuitively listen to their bodies for cues that tell them when their bodies need to be refueled and replenished, with no rules, expectation, or guilt. They do need an adult’s guidance in having healthy options available, but their minds are not restricted by the messages that our society seems to bombard us with; they already intuitively know “the perfect answer.”
How do we get back to this place of naturally tapping into that intuition? This place that has always been in us, has been temporarily replaced by all these confusing and conflicting messages society throws at us. The founders of Intuitive Eating, Registered Dietitians, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, have outlined ten principles that can help us get back to that place. Visit www.intuitiveeating.org or a Registered Dietitian to get a deeper understanding of how these principles can be applied in your life:
- Reject the diet mentality.
- Honor your hunger.
- Make peace with food.
- Challenge the food police.
- Respect your fullness.
- Discover the satisfaction factor.
- Honor your feelings without using food.
- Respect your body.
- Exercise- feel the difference.
- Honor your health.
During March, National Nutrition Month®, strive to find balance when navigating the variety of nutrition messages presented to you, and when in doubt, turn to an expert in nutrition, a licensed and Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist. Sarah Starr, RD is accepting new nutrition clients and enjoys incorporating this concept into her practice.
Tribole, E. (2018, September 12). What is intuitive eating? Retrieved January 23, 2019, from https://www.intuitiveeating.org/what-is-intuitive-eating-tribole/
Resch, E. (2017). 10 principles of intuitive eating. Retrieved January 23, 2019, from https://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/