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Intuitive Eating: Honoring Your Body’s Wisdom

Intuitive Eating: Honoring Your Body’s Wisdom

There is no one right way to eat for your health. Learning to listen to our bodies cues and wisdom is a journey, and a worthy pursuit. That’s where intuitive eating comes in.

Technically, we’ve been intuitive eaters since we were in the womb, and slowly as we grew up many of us began to deny our body’s wisdom with the influence of diet culture. Diet culture stems mainly from media’s obsession with weight loss, and it wants us divorced from our body’s and the wisdom that it holds. Feeling hungry at 11am when you just ate at 9:30am? Ignore it and wait until the “proper” lunch time at noon. Craving steak with a baked potato? Order the lighter salad option. Staying thin and conforming has been the object of so much of our attention from the moment we realized we needed to fit in.

So, what is intuitive eating?

Intuitive eating is all about giving your body both what it needs and what it wants. It requires balance, flexibility, mindfulness, and compassion. It is not creating a diet to stick to or becoming rigid. Instead, is simply allowing yourself to trust your body’s inner wisdom. Intuitive eating is an evidence based self-care eating framework that was developed by two dietitians in 1995, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. It was popularized through their book, Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach that aimed to help people heal their relationship with food.

We are led to believe that if we are left to our own devices, we would just wallow away, only eating Cheetos and never leaving the couch. Intuitive eating argues that our bodies actually know what they need and that honoring the direct messages our bodies send us is the key to health. It does not include restricting foods, and instead offers the opportunity to foster trust in yourself and your body to make choices that feel good for you.

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According to Tribole and Resch’s work and book Intuitive Eating, there are 10 principles to the intuitive eating process:

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality
  2. Honor Your Hunger
  3. Make Peace with Food
  4. Challenge the Food Police
  5. Respect Your Fullness
  6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
  7. Honor Your Feelings 
  8. Respect Your Body
  9. Movement—Feel the Difference
  10. Honor Your Health with Gentle Nutrition

The point here is not to conform to all of the principles. Contrarily, check in with your body and adapt the principles that make the most sense to you. The process of intuitive eating can help you nourish yourself with so much more freedom, enjoyment, and fulfillment. Nutrition and mental health are inextricably linked, so be sure to care for yourself in both areas. Encouraging yourself to make nutrition something that adds value to your life instead of dread may help you to be your healthiest and happiest self.

Will you try intuitive eating? Message us @Maidenfolk on Instagram and let us know, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter below!

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