What is Intuitive eating?

What is Intuitive eating?


Diet culture has enjoyed utmost supremacy for decades. Health and nutrition experts put in their tireless efforts telling us what to eat when to eat, and how much to eat. These restrictions create such a vicious cycle that is very hard to escape. Thus, some nutritionists are now promoting an alternative concept named ‘intuitive eating.’

The term ‘intuitive eating’ was first coined in 1995. It appeared in a book by dietician Elyse Resch and nutritionist Evelyn Tribole. The main idea behind the concept is to abolish strict dieting plans and instead simply eat a variety of healthy foods and make exercise a part of your routine. Moreover, intuitive eating urges us to change our language and behavior around food. It is about being aware of making conscious decisions regarding eating what makes you feel good.

Intuitive eating is based on 10 basic principles as follow,

  1. Reject the strict-“say no to food”-diet mentality
  2. Identify your hunger
  3. Make peace with food
  4. Challenge the ‘food police’
  5. Sense your fullness
  6. Find out the contentment factor
  7. Cope with your feelings without using food
  8. Respect your body
  9. Exercise and see the difference
  10. Admire your health

All of these rules focus around trusting your body. They are about learning to respond appropriately to hunger. These rules may sound very simple however; they can be far trickier in practice.

Eat what makes you feel good

The essential tenet of intuitive eating is the unrestricted permission to eat what you want. However, eating without any regard to how the respective food makes you feel, isn’t particularly pleasant. Possibly, it may gravitate towards foods that have traditionally been off-limits. These foods may be fine in moderation but won’t make you feel great if you eat them too often.

According to health experts, a varied diet full of whole grains, healthy fats and protein are what a body requires to feel great. Intuitive eating promotes these types of food as ways to make our bodies function at their best. Most importantly, they don’t have a horrifying caloric count that needs to be monitored strictly.

Besides healthy eating, body appreciation and compassion are also the ideologies behind intuitive eating. Practicing mindfulness techniques to develop coping mechanisms, that don’t revolve around food, are equally essential as well.

Note that nutritionists say that jumping straight from an eating disorder into intuitive eating might not be beneficial. Intuitive eating is something with no rules and implementing something like that can make people feel overwhelmed and out of control. Your doctor can help you to figure out what is best for you in both physical and mental terms.

Intuitive eating may be a welcome relief for all those failed dieters, trying every possible thing but not getting the desired results. However, it must be noted that intuitive eating doesn’t promise quick-fix results. It is all about building a long-lasting relationship with your body and trusting it to make healthy choices, which require time. Intuitive eating can disappoint you with your rapid weight loss dream.

Intuitive eating demands self-discipline

The journey to a healthy body and mind is never easy. It demands commitment, self-control, and self-discipline. A lot of people overeat when they are bored, sad, for comfort. This can ruin all their efforts within a minute. These are hard behaviors to break.

The most important thing is to look after yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if something doesn’t work out. Identify the proper fuel for your body and accept that your dreams cannot come true overnight. You need some time and a lot of patience.


The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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