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A Beginner's Guide to Intuitive Eating

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A Beginner's Guide to Intuitive Eating
I first encountered the phrase "intuitive eating" on Instagram, and my first assumption was that it was another list of dieting rules wrapped in a pretty package of empowerment and self-care. Then I noticed the bagels. And the cupcakes. And the glasses of wine.

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Intuitive eating

Intuitive eating

Rejects the diet mentality, promotes giving yourself permission to eat without labeling some foods "good” and others “bad,” acknowledging when you’re eating your feelings and accepting the body you...

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Making peace with food

Making peace with food

It doesn’t mean giving in to every craving; it means getting rid of the idea of “giving in” to “bad foods” altogether. Eat that Oreo when you want it, without any negative emotion attached, and you...

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Respect your fullness

Respect your fullness

Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Intuitive eating is about understanding what foods your body feels best eating, and how to make your own food choices based ...

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Intuitive eating and weight fluctuation

Intuitive eating does not guarantee weight loss. 

Dietitians who work with intuitive eating often talk about the “set point” – the range (sometimes as wide as 10-20 lbs) of weight...

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Understanding hunger

Understanding hunger

Intuitive eating means learning the difference between what is eating for emotional need versus physical need, and also really understanding that foods can be emotionally equal. It’s about learning...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Intuitive eating

It is a philosophy of eating that makes you the expert of your body and its hunger signals.

Essentially, it’s the opposite of a traditional diet. It doesn’t impose guidelines about wha...

The basics

To eat intuitively, you may need to relearn how to trust your body. Distinguish between physical and emotional hunger:

  • Physical hunger. This biological urge tells you to replenish nutrients. It builds gradually and has different signals, such as a growling stomach, fatigue, or irritability. 
  • Emotional hunger. This is driven by emotional need. Sadness, loneliness, and boredom are some of the feelings that can create cravings for food, often comfort foods. 

History of intuitive eating

Some of the concepts of intuitive eating have been around at least since the early 1970s, though the term wasn’t coined until 1995.

The program was built on the principle that diets don’t work and that lifestyle changes and personal care are more important for long-term health.

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Intuitive eating

Intuitive eating involves coming to peace with your body’s needs, letting go of the guilt associated with eating and ending the struggle of following diet rules.

Intuitive eating and mindful eating

With mindful eating, there is no explicit rejection of dieting. 

Intuitive eating rejects the diet mentality altogether—that’s the biggest difference.

Principles of intuitive eating

  • Honor your hunger. Reject the diet mentality, make peace with food and challenge the food police.
  • The act of eating. Respect your fullness, and discover the food delight factor.
  • The emotion of eating. Honor your feelings without using food, and respect your body.
  • Exercise—feel the difference.
  • Honor your health.

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Intuitive eating

This is not a diet. Intuitive eating is an approach to health and food that emphasizes learning to give your body what it needs.

It doesn't involve rules related to how or w...

Quiet your inner food police

Recognize and silence your inner critic.

An example of your inner food police: if you're scanning a restaurant menu and you catch yourself saying "That’s not healthy. That’s too many servings. That’s too high fat, " that voice is not yours, although it feels like it. It's only fueled by external messaging.

Stop moralizing

Food isn’t good or bad. Don't fall for this 'black or white' way of thinking.

Health and nutrition exist on a gradient. Keeping your health in mind when making food choices is totally in line with intuitive eating, but being rigid about healthy eating isn’t.

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