How to Know if Intuitive Eating is Right for You

It’s so refreshing and exciting to see Intuitive Eating gain some popularity as we are constantly inundated with diet culture. But what exactly is Intuitive Eating and how do you know if it would benefit you?
 

Intuitive Eating is essentially the opposite of dieting. Instead of trying to control the size of your body through calorie restriction, Intuitive Eating uses your body’s hunger and fullness signals as an indicator of when and how much to eat. It is not a restrictive diet but a journey that creates stability in your weight and health.
 

Above all, becoming an intuitive eater is empowering and helps us discover our innate ability to just eat normally.
 

You may be thinking how amazing this all sounds, but is Intuitive Eating really right for me? The truth is, everyone inherently knows how to eat intuitively. So the question really is, are you out of touch with your body’s natural eating patterns and needs?
 

The first step is to ask yourself, what does healthy mean to you?
 

If your answer includes any of the following then you might have a disordered mindset around food and health:

  • Being a specific size or weight

  • Eliminating food groups

  • Calorie counting or tracking your food

  • Avoiding specific foods unless you “deserve” them

  • Moving your body to make up for the food you ate

  • Feelings of guilt around food.
     

None of these are indicators for health and can lead to disordered behaviors.
 

Next, ask yourself, what do you think “normal” eating looks like?
 

Do you have feelings of inadequacy or the need for compensation during meal times?  Do you think eating requires restriction around specific food groups or limited times in the day? Do you find yourself questioning whether you are truly hungry or full?
 

If you found the previous two questions challenging to answer and you no longer want to be negatively impacted by a tumultuous relationship with food, then Intuitive Eating is right for you.  
 

It begins by reshaping what you consider what healthy means to you, such as:

  • Having more energy

  • Moving your body in a way that feels good

  • Eating a variety of foods multiple times a day

  • Having good self-esteem and a stable body weight.
     

Begin to understand that normal eating does not include feelings of guilt or shame, nor should you feel the need to compensate for what you have eaten. Start to identify the diet mentality in yourself and others, and have confidence in your own eating choices.  As an intuitive eater, you will identify when you are hungry or full, and what you are hungry for.  You can eat 3 meals and 2-3 snacks per day, and include all 3 necessary macronutrients at each meal.
 

Intuitive Eating is not meant to be used as another dieting tactic. No matter what size you are currently at, freedom from food rules and rigidity to achieve a stable weight is attainable.  It is a journey many embark on to do just the opposite so they may regain their freedom from food rules.
 

 

This article was originally published through WellSeek: https://wellseek.co/2017/04/24/intuitive-eating-right-2-questions-need-ask/


*If you are currently suffering from disordered eating, meet with an intuitive eating dietitian to determine if you are at a place in your recovery where intuitive eating is appropriate for you.