Intuitive eating is a simple answer to a complicated problem. Many of us have struggled with body image and weight issues for a long time, if not all our lives. And thanks to unrealistic media portrayals of so-called ideal body types and various runs at popular diets, we’ve also developed a horrible relationship with food and eating. Intuitive eating seeks to mend these problems by helping you develop a healthy relationship with all food types. There is no restriction on when and what you can eat. There are no “good” or “bad” foods. But it’s also not the free-for-all that it may sound like. In this article, we’ll do a brief dive into the principles of intuitive eating to show how you can implement them into your own life. We’ll also answer a popular question of how vitamins and supplements like CBD products may or may not fit into this lifestyle.
A Brief History of Intuitive Eating
Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch coined the term “intuitive eating” when using it as the title for their 1995 book. However, the concepts and ideas they expressed were already present before they penned their contribution to this healthy lifestyle movement.
Women like Susie Orbach, Geneen Roth and Thelma Wayler paved the way for Tribole and Resch, as they challenged diet culture and societal norms throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
This body of literature and ideas continues to have a lot to teach us today.
More About Intuitive Eating
Intuitive eating isn’t another diet fad. On the contrary, it is a lifestyle that runs counter to any popularized diets that have made their way through the media over the last 30+ years.
For those who have done diets and seen so-called results, think about this. If that diet “really worked” for you, why do you need to do it again? The answer is because it was restrictive and unsustainable. It taught you nothing except how to fear and fight with food.
Intuitive eating is about learning what is suitable for you and listening to what your body needs. The idea is, once you have this connection established, you’ll be able to provide nutritionally for yourself and develop a healthy relationship with food.
In their book Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach, Tribole and Resch set out the 10 principles of intuitive eating that form the basis of this movement and lifestyle. Here they are!
- Reject the Diet Mentality: Goodbye, diet books. Goodbye, diet magazines. Goodbye, diet culture! It’s time to eject these unhealthy programs from your life because, let’s be honest, they made lots of promises but never did work.
- Honor Your Hunger: Hunger is a natural, biological signal that needs to be respected and dealt with appropriately. You need to keep yourself fed with proper energy and carbohydrates; otherwise, you risk triggering a primal urge to consume, which leads to overeating.
- Make Peace with Food: No food is your enemy, and you should not be fighting it. Foods that you enjoy and make you feel good are essential in your life, and you should give yourself unconditional permission to eat them. Otherwise, you will develop cravings, and when you “give in,” the feeling of guilt will assault you. Why put yourself through that?
- Challenge the Food Police: They live inside your head, ready to scream and toss insults the moment you step out of line. They like it when you think of certain foods as bad and are more than willing to make you feel guilty whenever you eat some. It’s time to chase them away!
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor: When you eat foods you love and make you feel good in a positive setting, pleasure and enjoyment are great. There is a satisfaction to be found in eating, and harnessing it will help you feel satisfied and content.
- Feel Your Fullness: Learning to feel full is easier when you can trust and know you will feel content and satisfied. You’ll learn the cues that indicate hunger is gone. You’ll be able to feel full.
- Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness: Eating to satisfy emotional hunger will sometimes result in short-term numbing, but generally leads to more turmoil in the long run. Therefore, finding healthy ways to deal with negative emotions like loneliness, boredom and stress is essential.
- Respect Your Body: All bodies deserve dignity. When you learn to accept the genetic blueprint that you were born with, you’ll also learn to love the body you’re in.
- Movement — Feel the Difference: Get up and move your body. This isn’t about exercise to burn calories. It’s about movement that makes you feel good and keeps you active. As you progress, feel it. But find an activity that brings you joy!
10. Honor Your Health — Gentle Nutrition: There is no perfect eating, and you can’t expect yourself to achieve such a state. Everything you eat doesn’t have to be healthy for you to be healthy. Find foods that satisfy your taste buds while also honoring your body. Find foods that make you feel good while you’re eating them and after you’ve eaten them.
Do Vitamins and Supplements Have a Place?
Yes, they absolutely do.
As individuals, we all make different food choices and have varying nutritional needs. Whether it be a choice to go vegan or dealing with a gastrointestinal disorder, your body may need help to ensure it’s appropriately equipped nutritionally.
To support yourself, you must first support your body.
Some folks might choose to use multivitamins to top up their daily nutrients or CBD tinctures to deal with anxiety or sleep issues. Whatever the case may be, so long as you listen to your body and give it what it needs, these sorts of things will fit just fine into an intuitive eating lifestyle.