Intuitive eating- what it is and what it is not

The first Intuitive eating book was written by Tribole and Resch and published in 1995. So while it's not a fresh new idea of this century it is still relatively unknown and commonly misunderstood. Intuitive eating is an approach to improve your relationship with food and body. It supports the Health at Every Size model of health care. It's evidenced based and uses neurological and psychological science. It respects and promotes diversity and equality in health care.

Intuitive eating is about changing the way you think about food, eating and health. About relearning the skills we all had as small children to listen and respond to our body cues such as hunger and satiety. About combining our knowledge of ourselves, our lifestyle demands, our preferences and nutrition with these body cues and making food choices based on this data collection. Intuitive eating is about respecting our bodies and treating them with the care we would give to a life long partner (because they are). It's about accepting food has nothing to do with morality and we all deserve to eat.

Intuitive eating can benefit anyone, but especially those with a history of dieting, disordered eating or body image distress.

What intuitive eating is not:
A new weight loss approach or diet
A reason to eat whatever you want and ignore your body signals and health
A new set of rules to follow (or fail at, you can't actually fail at this)
A superior way of living to guilt others with
Anti-weight loss (it is a weight neutral approach that values behaviours and mind-body peace over weight)

There are 10 principles of Intuitive eating to help guide you through repairing your relationship with food and body.

1. Reject the diet mentality
2. Honour your hunger
3. Make peace with food
4. Challenge the food police
5. Respect your fullness
6. Discover the satisfaction factor
7. Honour your feelings without using food
8. Respect your body
9. Exercise- feel the difference
10. Honour your health with gentle nutrition

For more information see your Eat Smart Dietitian or check out www.intuitiveeating.org

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