There are a lot of misconceptions out there about intuitive eating.
💭 Is it just some woo-woo way to let ourselves off the hook?
💭 Is it a donut and pizza free-for-all?
💭 Is is the one and only way to be healthy?
No, no and no 🙅♀️
Allow me to break down the most common questions I get about Intuitive Eating. I'll also debunk some of the myths that might be holding you back from a better relationship with food and your body.
INTUITIVE EATING 101
If you're new to the whole anti-diet movement, you might be asking yourself:
⚡️ What the heck is intuitive eating?
Intuitive eating is a philosophy and practice that puts you back in control of what, when and how you eat.
It's the total opposite experience from traditional diets, which require that you restrict food or create rules around eating.
Intuitive eating encourages you to listen to and honour your body’s signals for hunger. It the system that finally allows you to let go of the food guilt and to fully enjoy your food.
⚡️ What is the difference between Mindful Eating and Intuitive Eating?
Mindful Eating is a practice that encourages you consume your food with thoughtfulness and non-judgemental awareness. Mindful Eating is one of the actionable tools included in the Intuitive Eating process.
⚡️ Do I need to be in tune with my intuition to eat intuitively?
You definitely don't need to be aware of it, or even be particularly skilled. That's what Intuitive Eating is all about - working your intuitive "muscles" so you can learn to tune into what your body's really asking for. If you've got instincts, you've got intuition. We just need to learn to cultivate it.
THE BENEFITS OF INTUITIVE EATING
⚡️ What makes intuitive eating so great?
Intuitive eating can be extremely effective for wholistic health and wellness, especially for those that have an unhealthy relationship with food. Intuitive Eating helps us strike a balance between eating to live and living to eat.
There are numerous benefits to becoming an Intuitive Eater including: lowered risk of chronic illness, stress reduction, better mental health + overall happiness, and heightened self-regard, improved self-esteem and increased body awareness.
⚡️ Will I lose weight by intuitive eating?
You might. You also might not. You may even gain weight. The point is that the process of Intuitive Eating shifts your markers for health and body confidence away from a number on a scale.
Know that your body will find the set point that's right for you, and you'll practice healthy behaviours regardless of your jean size. Scary... I know. But so, so worth it.
⚡️ Can I apply the principles of intuitive eating to exercise?
Absolutely! Moving your body is an important part of wholistic health.
Joyful movement is actually already included as a part of the Intuitive Eating process. You're just encouraged to choose movement that feels enjoyable, fun and right for you, as opposed to sticking to exercise regimes that make you miserable.
WHAT KIND OF COMMITMENT DOES INTUITIVE EATING REQUIRE?
⚡️ How long does it take to become an intuitive eater?
Becoming an intuitive eater comes easier for some than others - there's no set time frame. It's important to remember that it's the process that's important. not the end result.
The key to becoming an intuitive eater is patience and self compassion. It's a total shift from how you've been doing things for a long, long time.
⚡️ Can I follow a meal plan with Intuitive Eating?
Technically, no. But with good reason. When you stick to a meal plan, you might be compromising what you body wants or needs in the moment.
I generally don't use meal plans with my clients, but instead, teach them how to structure their routines and prep time to create space for responding to their internal cues. Gentle guides instead of strict schedules are the key, here.
That doesn't mean you never get to batch cook or plan out your grocery runs. It's just a way to relieve the restriction that says you must eat X on such and such a day in X amount at such and such a time.
IS IT TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?
⚡️ What if I can’t give up the hope of dieting?
It's okay. You're human.
We're immersed in a culture which drills in our brains that we have to look and act a certain way to be accepted - and that diets are the way to do this.
But the more you interrupt this way of thinking, the more successful you'll be with Intuitive Eating.
⚡️ What if I gain weight with Intuitive Eating?
You might. But the more you go through the process, and dive deeper into the practice of Intuitive Eating, the less important this will be to you. You'll understand that you can be healthy at any size and learn to trust your body and how it wants to exist without restrictions.
⚡️ Can I have food restrictions and still eat intuitively?
Definitely! Intuitive Eating is all about honouring what your body needs. So, if you need to avoid certain foods due to an allergy or sensitivity (like celiac or lactose-intolerance), then you're still tuning into what your body needs. Gold star!
⚡️ What about specific health concerns like diabetes or high blood pressure?
Same deal as above! You can still experience the benefits of intuitive eating while navigating any health challenge. Part of the work is to learn how to respect your body. And I can think of no better example than maintaining a diet that allows you to improve your health.
⚡️ I was told by my doctor I'm “overweight” should lose weight to get into a healthy BMI. Can I still try Intuitive Eating?
That depends on what your goals are. If you're looking to simply change the number on the scale, no matter what, then Intuitive Eating might not be right for you at this time.
But, if you're open to learning about and integrating the concept of Health at Every Size and tackle improving your health markers with a tried and tested approach, then you're already on your way to becoming an Intuitive Eater.
INTUITIVE EATING IS A GAME-CHANGER
So now that we've run through the countless benefits of Intuitive Eating, here's what I want you to know:
Wellness isn’t supposed to be overwhelming. Our lifestyle isn't supposed to cause guilt or shame. Food's here to nourish us, to fuel our bodies and bring us satisfaction.
There is a way to be healthy, enjoy wellness and love your body at the same time.
💛 Swapping diet culture for a better relationship with food will change your health from the inside out.
💛 No more crash cleanses, out of control binges or Monday morning "resets". You deserve so much more.
tl;dr: Intuitive Eating is a super effective way to focus on your health while factoring in your relationship with food and your body at the same time.
💛 Now's your chance to start your Food Freedom Breakthrough. If you're ready to shift your mindset and change your relationship with food, click below for my free Journal Prompt Workbook!