Welcome to How to Love Your Body - on today’s episode we are going to bring it back to the basics and talk about What is Intuitive Eating? We want to share the 10 principles with you that were created by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch - These are amazing principles! We also want to share that there is more to these principles in this work.
In the work that we do at the body love society we use two terms, UnDieting and intuitive eating. In essence they’re really the same thing, getting away from dieting and listening to your body so you can take great care of yourself without the focus being on weight.
At the core it’s really about thinking in a new way that is based on science, compassion and sustainability. A life of wellness that isn’t fuelled by diet culture’s obsession with thinness.
The reason this is important work is because it can be so easy to live in diet culture, diet decade after decade, have it not work long term, feel like a failure and keep going around and around in the diet cycle without ever KNOWING there’s another way, without questioning if this is actually damaging our bodies and mental health.
That being said - what is intuitive eating? It is the base of our work so it’s important to talk about.
Intuitive Eating is a concept by registered dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, first published in 1995. They put it together into ten principles and laid it out so people understand it but it TRULY is intuitive. Many people do these things naturally if diet culture didn’t mess them up too much. So it is a naturally occurring way of being but Evelyn and Elyse put it together beautifully so we can all benefit from it.
The 10 principles of IE are:
Reject the Diet Mentality (THE MOST IMPORTANT!)
Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you the false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at diet culture that promotes weight loss and the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet or food plan might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.
2. Honor Your Hunger
Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for rebuilding trust in yourself and in food.
3. Make Peace with Food
Call a truce; stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. 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 foods, eating will be experienced with such intensity it usually results in Last Supper overeating and overwhelming guilt.
4. Challenge the Food Police
Scream a loud no to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating minimal calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The food police monitor the unreasonable rules that diet culture has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loudspeaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the food police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.
5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
The Japanese have the wisdom to keep pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living. 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. 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.”
6. Feel Your Fullness
In order to honor your fullness, you need to trust that you will give yourself the foods that you desire. 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.
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. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you. But food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger may only make you feel worse in the long run. You’ll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion.
8. Respect Your Body
Accept your genetic blueprint. 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. 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.
9. Movement—Feel the Difference
Forget militant exercise. Just get active and 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.
10. Honor Your Health—Gentle Nutrition
Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel good. Remember that you don’t have to eat perfectly to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or become unhealthy, 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.
The only downfall of this way of laying this work out is that dieters come to this work looking for a solution but since they think like a dieter they can often turn the 10 principles into rules which results in not being an intuitive eater but instead following the “hunger fullness diet”. THIS is not food and body freedom, which is our ultimate goal for the people we work with.
What we do is build from there with a LOT of mindset work, nuance and action steps so that you can begin implementing this work and not just LEARNING more about it.
If you KNOW intuitive eating is right for you, you love the idea of food and body freedom and you have all the KNOWLEDGE, you just don’t know where to begin or you’re feeling stuck, you are not alone and this is what we want to help with in the new year!
To get the details first when our app is released on Feb 1 you do that at bit.ly/tblsappwaitlist
We will be sending out ALL the details about this soon! (Think MAXIMUM support for minimum cost) our goal is to make this work accessible to every single person who wants it!
Hope you can make the best of this tough holiday season and we will see you on January 5th for our first episode of 2021! (We’ll be reposting a popular episode next week).