Intuitive Eating - 10 Principles

Intuitive Eating is an evidenced-based, mind-body health approach, comprised of 10 Principles and created by two dietitians, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in 1995.


The principles work by either cultivating or removing obstacles to body awareness, a process known as interoceptive awareness.


Essentially, Intuitive Eating is a personal process of honouring health by listening and responding to the direct messages of the body in order to meet your physical and psychological needs.


10 principles of intuitive eating:


1.REJECT THE DIET MENTALITY


If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.


2.HONOR YOUR HUNGER

Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant.

Learning to honour this first biological signal sets the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.


3.MAKE PEACE WITH FOOD

If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing.

When you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in overeating, and overwhelming guilt.


4.CHALLENGE THE FOOD POLICE

The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments.

Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.


5.RESPECT YOUR FULLNESS

Observe the signs that show that you’re comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what is your current fullness level?


6.DISCOVER THE SATISFACTION FACTOR

When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conducive, 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 much less food to decide you’ve had “enough”.


7. HONOUR YOUR FEELINGS WITHOUT USING FOOD

Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, 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.

It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover. But food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You’ll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion, as well as the discomfort of overeating.


8.RESPECT YOUR BODY

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 about your body shape


9.EXERCISE - FEEL THE DIFFERENCE

Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm.


If when you wake up, your only goal is to lose weight, it’s usually not a motivating factor in that moment of time.


10. HONOUR YOUR HEALTH

Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating.


It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress not perfection is what counts.