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Make Peace With Food

Intuitive eating is a way of eating that makes you the expert of your body and its natural signals such as hunger and fullness. When practiced successfully, it is a methodology that can free you from the sinkhole of diets and regain the love for your body.

It is not a fad diet that promotes weight loss or perfect body mass. On the contrary intuitive eating is a way out of all the confusing diets, yo-yo dieting and food and image obsessions that diet culture has bestowed upon us. It doesn’t have rules and guidelines about when to eat or what to eat or even how to eat.

Intuitive eating is not new. In fact it's the beginning. Our beginning. We all are born into this world as intuitive eaters. Think of babies and how they only eat when they are hungry and reject all the spoons flying towards them when they are full.

So what happens as we grow up? How do we lose touch with our natural eating cues?

We take the first hit from our parents. Eventually parents start to control our eating in detail by forcing us to finish our plates or by awarding us with sugary treats and punishing us by the lack of. These types of behaviors and comments eventually damage our intuitive eating cues.

The second hit comes from diet culture. What is diet culture?

Diet culture is a system of beliefs that:

Adores thinness and equates it to health. Which is basically why we spend our whole life thinking we are not worthy because we are not the impossibly thin ‘ideal.’

● Promotes weight loss as a way to reach a ‘higher status.’ Which makes you spend a massive amount of time, energy and money trying to shrink your clothing size, even though the research is extremely clear that almost no one can sustain intentional weight loss for more than a couple of years.

● Demonizes certain ways of eating and foods. So you mostly feel too aware of your eating, ashamed of the food choices you make and slip further away from your pleasures and your own control of eating.

● Shuns people who don’t match their ‘healthy’ criteria which seriously harms lots of people mentally and physically.

Growing up in this culture strips us of our control over our body and natural signals. Now instead of making decisions by asking “what do I want or need?”; we start making decisions by asking “what will make me thinner and socially accepted?”

Right now we live in a world where, when we eat what we want, we are left with feelings of guilt and shame. That guilt and shame turns us into yo-yo dieters and makes us obsessed with food. This is where intuitive eating comes to play. Intuitive eating is about trusting your inner body wisdom to make choices around food that feel good. You are your own master and you don’t feel bad about making those decisions for yourself. But only through giving up dieting and replacing it with a commitment to go back to intuitive eating, you will be released from the prison diet culture.

Evelyn Tribole the founder of intuitive eating has 10 core principles that help people regain a healthy relationship with food and their body:

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality Throw out all the diets and magazine articles that offer you false hope.

  2. Honor Your Hunger Keep your body nourished. Or you might trigger a primal drive to overeat.

  3. Make Peace with Food Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t eat a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that become uncontrollable cravings and bingeing.

  4. Challenge the Food Police Say no to thoughts in your head that say you’re ‘good for eating minimal calories or ‘bad’ because you ate chocolate.

  5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor We often overlook one the most basic gifts of existence - the pleasure and satisfaction of eating.

  6. Feel your Fullness In order to honor your fullness, you need to trust that you will give yourself the foods that you want. Listen to your body’s signals.

  7. Cope with your Emotions with Kindness Food restriction can, both physically and mentally, trigger loss of control which can feel like emotional eating. Each negative feeling has its own trigger and food won’t fit any of those feelings. It may comfort us for the short term but it won’t solve our problems. We should eventually learn to deal with our feelings without the help of food.

  8. Respect Your Body Accept yourself. Accept your genetic code. Respect your body so you can feel better about who you are. All bodies deserve dignity.

  9. Movement - Not Sports Don’t force yourself on vigorous exercise. Just try to get active and shift your focus to how you feel when you move rather than the calories you are burning.

  10. Honor Your Health - Gentle Nutrition You don’t have to eat ‘perfectly’ to be healthy. It is what you eat consistently over time that matters. Honor your cues, taste buds and health. Progress not perfection is what counts.

Intuitive eating is a long and hard journey back to our nourishment roots. But it is worth it!


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