Intuitive Eating is a life changing way of eating and viewing your body. I’m sharing the 10 foundations of being an intuitive eater with a free guide!
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PIN 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating
I promised you guys a follow up to the post I did on Intuitive eating where I explained more about what it was and how it has DRASTICALLY changed my life!
I touched on the 10 principals of Intuitive eating in that post, but today I wanted to go more in depth on them and what this is looked like in my own life.
PLUS, I have a FREE GUIDE that you can download that outlines all 5 steps I took to find food freedom! You can download it HERE! And, if you want to come to a free online masterclass that I am teaching on the subject, you can sign up HERE!
So, here are the principals!
Reject the diet mentality
The diet mentality says the less is better, smaller is better. So we eat based on numbers and macros so that we can be smaller. We don’t trust our bodies to tell us what they need and this creates a toxic relationship with food and our bodies. I used to have to have a certain amount of hours between meals, eat a certain calories at each meal, ignore hunger and eat the same “safe” foods daily. Now, I trust my bodies signals. When it’s hungry, I eat. Even if I just ate an hour ago. Every meal that I eat is different foods and a different number of calories and macros because I don’t count them.
Honor Your Hunger
We don’t eat when we are hungry because we have to stick to certain calories and macro plans and we don’t have “enough” calories in those plans to eat when we are hungry. OR, we eat when we are NOT hungry too often. I ignored my hunger for so long that my body actually shut it off because the feeling of hunger is not essential for life. I had to start to learn other ways of feeling hunger (thinking about food, weakness, tiredness, anxiety) and once I responded to those my true hunger feels (like an empty stomach) came back
Make Peace with Food
Diets tell us that some food is bad, some food is good, and we should/should not eat certain foods. When we restrict certain foods are bodies are hard wired to fixate on that food which leads to binging. Then, you restrict, and the cycle continues. Once all food is on limits you can stop at one or two cookies because you know you can have another one anytime. Permission to eat ALL foods was huge for me. At first I ate more “treats” but now I find myself craving a balance of treats and veggies!
Challenge The Food Police
This is about reframing your attitude towards food and how you eat food. We think I was BAD because I ate this BAD food, like someone food gives us value and worth. This is just not the case. You are worthy no matter what you eat. I used to feel so “bad” after I ate a certain food but I no longer associate my worth with my eating habits. My worth is in God, no matter what I eat.
Respect Your Fullness
When we are eating based on numbers and plans, we become out of touch with our fullness. We may never eat until we are full, because our calorie plans don’t give us enough food, so we don’t know what it feels like. Or we feel too full quickly because we have not eaten enough food for so long our stomachs have shrunk! I never felt full because I never felt hungry, so I didn’t know what fullness felt like. I had to do a lot of experimenting to see what fullness felt like. Sometimes I ate too much and sometimes not enough. But now, I don’t feel the need to overeat because I know food is always there. I can eat it whenever, so I don’t feel the need to eat until I am stuffed.
Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Satisfaction is not the same as fullness. When we are dieting, we are always trying to choose the lowest calories that will make us feel full. But, we are not choosing what we actually WANT to eat, so we are not satisfied. Satisfaction is about choosing what you want to eat and makes you feel good during the meal AND after the meal. You slow down, enjoy the aroma and taste of the food and eat with those you love. Eating becomes a great experience. I now eat exactly what sounds good instead of what I think I SHOULD eat and eating is so much more enjoyable.
Honor Your Emotions without Food
Its okay to eat emotionally sometimes! But, if we do it all the time, as soon as meal is over the emotion is still there and then we usually just end up feeling guilty for eating. So, we must learn coping mechanisms for these emotions instead of turning to food that we can use when we feel emotions!
Respect your body
This is all about truly embracing your genetics. We all have different shapes. You guys, I am 5’3 and I will never be a 5’10 model! We have to accept our healthy weight, set point (which is the weight your body fights to get to because that is where it is happy and healthy) I gained weight at first because I was under my bodies set point. But, my weight gain just stopped despite eating and exercising the same because my body was happy there. You can love your body for what it does for you not for how it looks!
Exercise and Feel the Difference
This is about exercising in a way that feels good! When we are dieting, exercise is a way to burn calories and a way to get our bodies to look a certain way. Intuitive eating says that exercise is about FEELING GOOD. It’s not about burning calories. It’s about listening to your body. This might mean you experiment with different exercises to see what you like! I used to never be able to miss a workout and my workouts were All about burning calories. I am still not back at the gym but even the yoga that I do feels different. It’s about honoring myself – not a calorie burn.
Honor Your Health
Intuitive Eating isn’t just eating all the pizza and cookies all day. Once you get past the stage of eating these foods all the time, your body will crave more nourishing foods and you can feel good about eating them. BUT you will also feel good if your body craves a cookie because you know one meal doesn’t do anything negative to your health. You also know that health is more than just food and your body – it’s your mental state, relationships, self-care etc. I used to eat and exercise perfectly by my mental state was crazy, my relationships were suffering, and I felt terrible about myself. But now, for the most part, all those things feel healthy and I feel so much better!