Intuitive Eating Principles: Explained

Principles of Intuitive Eating
Do you wish for a better relationship with food, body and mind? Did you know that feeling no guilt or shame around what you eat is supposed to be natural?!?!This is a CRAZY concept to accept due to the diet culture influences all around us! Read on to learn more about Intuitive Eating Principles.
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The Intuitive Eating Principles are a philosophy for eating that makes you the expert of your body and its hunger signals. It is NOT a diet but a way of thinking.

What Is The History of Intuitive Eating? 

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It was created by two amazing Dietitians- Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in 1995. They take concepts rooted farther back in history like the Health At Every Size(HAES) movement that started in 1960. 

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What are The Principles of Intuitive Eating?

These principles are laid out in much greater detail in Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch Book but are summarized below. 

1. Reject The Diet Mentality

Get angry and all the lies that were fed to you that led you to believe you were a failure for gaining weight back and ruining your diet. If you allow hope to linger that a better diet is just waiting to come out that will prevent you from becoming an Intuitive Eater.

Make a commitment to give up dieting, throw out all those diet books and Magazines, and protect your boundaries. Outsiders no longer dictate what, when and how much you should eat.

2.Honor Your Hunger

Keep your body nourished with carbohydrates and energy so your primal drive to overeat is not triggered. Listen to your hunger cues and eat when you feel hungry. For some this is a longer journey to feeling hungry again and small frequent meals are encouraged to help your body get back to normal hunger cues. You honor your hunger by feeding yourself on stressful days when hunger might not be felt and you keep snacks near by to avoid hanger.

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3.Make Peace With Food

Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself you cannot have something, it can often lead to bingeing from deprivation but when a pie is equivalent to an avocado, you can eat it until it no longer satisfies you and you may even find that a cupcake is not as good as you thought it would be. Eat what appeals to you and keep a your pantry stocked with foods you like.

4.Challenge The Food Police

Scream NO to thoughts that tell you are good for eating minimal calories or bad for eating chocolate cake. The Food Police mirrors diet rules that have created. You have listened to the Food Police for most of your life and it is going to take work to silence it. Identify what disordered eating thoughts you have and speak truth to them. Replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk.

5.Feel You Fullness

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Listen to your body and observe the signs that you are comfortably full. Pause in the middle of meals and ask yourself how the food is and how full you feel. Try to eat without distraction and remember you do not have to clear your plate. When you have unconditional permission to eat, you can truly stop eating when you feel full. Be mindful of what food leave you feeling fuller longer and which ones do not leave you satisfied for long.

6.Discover The Satisfaction Factor

Remember these are not strict rules or steps. These are guiding principles that can flow  like steps with some steps sticking more than others. Intuitive Eating is a  journey! These principles guide that journey.

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7.Cope With Your Emotions Without Using Food

Anxiety, depression, boredom, loneliness, are different emotions we feel throughout our life. We can find ways to nature, distract, resolve, and comfort our feeling without using food. Food is only a temporary solution to our emotions and will not fix them. Emotional eating can lead to more guilt and shame but dealing with our emotions helps us to heal and grow stronger. To avoid emotional eating, stop and ask yourself if you are hungry or searching for food in order to cope with emotions

8.Respect Your Body

Accept your genetic blueprint and make peace with your body. Just like we don’t ask someone with size 8 feet to fit into size 4 shoes, we can’t expect ourselves to fit into a body we aren’t genetically meant to fit in. Appreciate the parts of your body that you like. Stop weighing yourself, you are so much more than a number!

Be gentle with yourself and realize your body is where it is at due to so many factors beyond your control. Stop the negative body talk and covering up your body. Embrace diversity and dress for confidence.

9.Exercise-Feel The Difference

Forget workouts that you dread and find an activity that you love. Focus on how it makes you feel not dissociate it from weight loss. Se it as a way to care of yourself. Find little ways to be active and make it fun. Remember to take rest days!

10.Honor Your Heath With Gentle Nutrition

Remember you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. Progress not perfection is what counts. One snack, meal or day will not suddenly lead to weight gain or a nutrient deficiency. Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel well.

Honor your hunger and create balanced plates. Eat protein for satiety, cellular repair and more. Eat carbohydrates to fuel you and a sufficient amount so that protein doesn’t have to be used for carbohydrate energy instead. Eat an adequate amount of fat for absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, satiety, cellular repair and more. Drink plenty of water to aid in digestion and prevent constipation. Allow play foods for pleasure and satisfaction.

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How Can You Be An Intuitive Eater or Learn More?

If you want to dive deeper into the why and principles of Intuitive Eating, check out and the book- Intuitive Eating 4th Edition

Not sure about diet culture and its toxicity? check out my blog post-The Truth About Diet Culture

These principles may have brought up tough emotions for you. You might be ready to start healing your relationship with food. This journey is so freeing but hard and most people need some sort support along the way. I am here to provide that support! For me to do this, sign up below for my newsletter and get notified when I start seeing new clients.

Or find an Intuitive Eating Dietitian in your area! We are here for you!

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