The Science Behind Why Intuitive Eating Works



Okay, okay. I may seem a bit biased when it comes to how much I love Intuitive Eating and how effective I find the approach. But becoming an IE superfan didn't just happen overnight.


I've been around the block with Intuitive Eating:


⚡️ it changed my personal relationship with food and my body

⚡️ it revolutionized the work I do with my clients

⚡️ and it continues to validate what I've experienced via scientific evidence


So let's dive into some of the many ways Intuitive Eating can support you in your pursuit of wellness.


TWO BIRDS, ONE DIET


Intuitive eaters are both happier and healthier.


A study conducted on Intuitive Eating at Brigham Young University (Hawks, 2005) found that:


the participants who scored higher on the Intuitive Eating Scale had "lower body mass index, better blood lipid profiles and lower levels of cardiovascular risk" compared with participants who scored lower on the scale

In other words, the Intuitive Eaters were associated with better overall health indicators (Hawks et al, 2005).


Additionally, a meta-analysis review (Bruce and Ricciardelli, 2016), found that Intuitive Eating was associated with:


greater body appreciation and satisfaction, positive emotional functioning, greater life satisfaction, unconditional self-regard and optimism, psychological hardiness and greater motivation to exercise when the focus is on enjoyment vs. guilt or appearance

So not only were Intuitive Eaters feeling great physically, their mindset and mental wellness had improved as well.

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE


One easy way to incorporate a healthy habit, is to aim to "eat the rainbow" or enjoy a wide variety of different coloured fruits, veggies and foods to expose your body to an assortment of beneficial antioxidants and phytonutrients.


Often, people who try Intuitive Eating are worried that they'll just end up devouring chips or donuts 24/7. When, if fact, the opposite has been proven more likely.


Another study, involving around 350 male and female college students, revealed that those who scored high on the Hawks Intuitive Eating Scale (Smith and Hawks, 2006):


ate a more diverse diet and had a lower body mass index (BMI)

In their research (Smith and Hawks, 2006), they also found that:


there was no negative association between Intuitive Eating and the amount of 'junk food' consumed

In other words, Intuitive Eaters allowed themselves to eat what they wanted, honouring their body’s cravings (including 'junk food'), and were even healthier for it.


As an added bonus (Hawks et al. 2006) noted that:


the Intuitive Eaters took more pleasure in their eating

Imagine being able to actually enjoy your food instead of stressing and worrying about the calories or carbs or chemicals. That's the power of Intuitive Eating.

HEALTHY AS A HORSE


Often, we're convinced that the solution to any health challenge or chronic illness is to restrict our food intake and attempt to lose weight. But what if we focused on our relationship to and mindset around food instead?


In regard to health outcomes, additional research (Van Dyke and Drinkwater, 2014) demonstrates:


a positive relationship between Intuitive Eating and improved blood pressure, blood cholesterol and dietary intake

Also, the non-diet apporach has been associated (Bacon et al, 2002) with:


improvements in metabolic fitness, psychology and eating behaviour, while at the same time effectively minimizing the attrition common in diet programs

So you may not end up your smallest size with Intuitive Eating, but you'll avoid the more detrimental yo-yo cycle of losing and gaining weight after another failed attempt at dieting.


(Weight cycling is typical for someone who partakes in dieting and this can increase their risk for developing heart disease or type 2 diabetes. More on that here.)

THE BOTTOM LINE


So if you needed an excuse to try Intuitive Eating (other than the total relief of food freedom that inevitably comes with), this is it.


Hopefully this information assures you that, no, IE won't make you unhealthy. In fact, it's more likely to support your pursuit of wellness and improve your health markers along the way.


If you're now convinced that Intuitive Eating is the best choice you could make for your health, then there's no better time to start!


Invest in yourself today, show yourself respect by prioritizing your wellness over your weight and trust the process. Food freedom is possible for everyone.


A great place to start is right here, learning about intuitive eating and bringing awareness to how you think about your overall wellness and your health.


💛 If you're looking to take your Food Freedom Breakthrough one step further, check out my Must-Have Wellness Apps Checklist to simplify your wellness journey.




67 views

Recent Posts

See All