Intuitive eating has sparked a lot of interest in recent years. If you’ve heard about intuitive eating, you may be wondering if it’s an approach you can use in your health journey.
In short, intuitive eating is about making peace with food and trusting your body.
Intuitive eating was developed by two registered dietitian nutritionists in 1995. It is a weight-neutral approach that uses 10 principles to help people become more aware of their bodies’ needs. These principles guide people to “honor their health” by listening and responding to messages they get from their bodies.
It is important to know what intuitive eating is not: a diet or food plan. An intuitive eating approach to food never includes counting calories, macros, carbs or anything else.
Another important thing to know about intuitive eating is that weight loss is not the goal. Learning to know what hunger, fullness and satisfaction feel like is.
Depending on the health journey you’re on and what your goals are, intuitive eating may or may not be helpful for you.
For instance, when you have diabetes, it’s important to be aware of what you’re eating. Many people with diabetes benefit from noticing how specific amounts of foods can impact blood sugar levels. For many, it makes sense to track the grams of carbohydrates they are eating at each meal and snack. Removing structure and guidelines around food could be unsettling for those who feel they benefit from it.
That said, taking an intuitive eating approach may help lessen anxiety around food for some. This can benefit a range of health goals.
While it may not seem obvious, removing or loosening food restrictions may help a person focus on eating in a way that helps them feel well, rather than because of other emotions. For those who get stressed by counting and monitoring, an intuitive eating approach could be empowering and beneficial.
If you’re interested in learning more about intuitive eating, talk to your health coach. You can find a dietitian who is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor in your area as well.