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What is intuitive eating?

I’m absolutely celebrating you right now, for wanting to do things a different way and start intuitive eating. No more dieting, no more restriction, just a peaceful relationship with food and more appreciation for your body.

But what is intuitive eating? To some it may seem like another diet plan to follow, but it’s quite the opposite.

Allow me to guide you through each of the 10 principles of intuitive eating. I’ll explain what it means and how it applies in real life, for you.

Let’s start with an understanding of what the principles of intuitive eating are.

 

What IS intuitive eating?

Intuitive eating is our body’s natural ability to regulate how much we eat and what we want to eat in order to get the right balance of nutrients and energy. 

A baby or toddler is the perfect intuitive eater. Have you ever tried to feed a child that doesn’t want another spoonful to eat?? They will cry when they are hungry, lose interest when they’ve had enough, and seem to change their taste preferences daily! 

This is an easy enough concept to understand, but things are much more complex as a ‘grown up’ so the better question might be what is intuitive eating as an adult?

As we get older and start to absorb the world around us we take in lots of different messages that affect the way we eat and the way we see our body. 

Intuitive eating as an adult means bringing back that natural, inbuilt knowledge about how you need and want to eat, letting your body guide you. There are a set of 10 principles to help you understand how to do that.

 

Intuitive eating principles are not rules

Intuitive eating says no rules, right? Diets have rules, intuitive eating does not. So it can be confusing to see that there are 10 principles of intuitive eating.

The principles of intuitive eating are not considered rules because they are totally flexible. They don’t have to be followed in order. They don’t have to be followed at all. It is a completely individualised approach. They are there to help you to find a nicer way to eat, to move, and to respect your body. 

There is nothing prescriptive in intuitive eating. No ‘you should….’. No guilt if you don’t apply them. No wagon to fall off!

Intuitive eating recognises that individuals have unique tastes, preferences, nutritional needs, abilities, and bodies. What works for you may not work for someone else. So, instead of rigid rules, intuitive eating encourages you to listen to your own bodies and respond to your specific signals.

Life circumstances, environments, financial situations, and personal situations can change. The intuitive eating principles are totally adaptable so if you need different approaches at different times, it allows for that.

Intuitive eating doesn’t prescribe a specific plan, or calorie counting. It doesn’t say that you have to do X amount of steps per day in order to eat X amount of food. Instead, it encourages you to simply pay attention to your own hunger and fullness cues, to honour your cravings, to remove the restriction (rather than put restriction in place), and to make food choices that align with your overall well-being.

The intuitive eating approach rejects the concept of food as either “good” or “bad” and this fosters a much more positive relationship with food and exercise.

Intuitive eating promotes body respect and body acceptance. It encourages you to appreciate and respect your body, irrespective of size or shape. It wants you to have a positive self-image, not the idea that you have to reduce your body – to be thinner, or somehow better, before you can be valued. 

One of the principles of intuitive eating is to eat for satisfaction. It’s all about finding pleasure in meals. There are no strict guidelines on what to eat, so you get to choose foods that satisfy both your physical and emotional needs. And FYI, emotional eating is fine (you’ll see….).

Intuitive eating incorporates mindfulness – being present and aware of your eating experiences. This mindfulness approach is inherently flexible and personal, and is not something you are afforded the luxury of if you’re on a plan that has rules.

So consider the 10 principles of intuitive eating as more of a set of guidance notes. A system that you can go all in on, without actually following a plan. It sounds counterintuitive, but I promise you it works. 

It’s all about helping you to create a mindful and intuitive connection with your body and your eating habits.

Would you like to get started today? You can!

Don't do it alone

I’m here to help, support and guide you. 

Book a free 30 minute session with me and I’ll help you to find a way to start working with the 10 principles of intuitive eating. 

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Terri

I'm Terri Pugh

I’m here to help you to get rid of the stress and worry around food, eat more intuitively, and find compassion and love for your body, whatever shape or size it is.

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