Have you ever felt defeated when you haven’t been able to follow the strict rules of a diet? Have you felt like you didn’t have enough willpower to eat clean or felt ashamed for making a food choice you felt were “unhealthy”? The problem isn’t you – it's diet culture! All of the popular diets you see on social media or in main-stream media focus on restriction. You aren’t able to continue them long term because their rules are unrealistic. You may think, well what’s next? What if I told you that you can ditch diet culture and the food police? What if I told you that you can restore a positive relationship with food by embarking on a journey to Intuitive Eating? Are you ready? Here are the three things I wish every person knew as they start their Intuitive Eating journey.
It isn’t a diet. Intuitive Eating helps you restore your relationship with food and teaches you to honor your body’s cues for hunger & fullness. You won’t find any calorie goals, macronutrient recommendations, food groups to eliminate or strict schedules to follow. You will leave behind the rules of restriction towards honoring your body’s unique needs. This includes honoring your cravings, eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. It embraces your body as it is without using food or exercise to change its size or shape.
It takes time. It can hard to be patient when you are shifting your focus on what influences your food choices. It may seem like for the majority of your life that you’ve been concerned about calories, macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, the “good” foods, the “bad” foods, the “clean” foods and the “unhealthy” foods. It takes time to shift your mindset that food is food. Intuitive Eating can support you to honor your cravings and support you in a way of eating where all foods fit.
You’ll need support. It’s no wonder that a lot of diets rely on the group or community aspect. Whenever you are making a change in your life, support can be vital to your success. A Registered Dietitian who specializes in Intuitive Eating can be extremely helpful to support you as you walk through your journey to Intuitive Eating. An Intuitive Eating Registered Dietitian can help you navigate this change by answer your questions and helping you overcome any obstacles along the way. Just like any change, it isn’t a linear process. There is no official criteria or deadline that defines you as an intuitive eater. You are the only one that can define that for yourself.
Are you ready to restore a positive relationship with food, your body image and your association between body size and health? I highly recommend reading Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D. and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A as well as their Intuitive Eating Workbook. You can also reach out to a Registered Dietitian who focuses on Intuitive Eating, like myself. I’d love to help support you in your journey of Intuitive Eating.