At this point, you’ve probably heard lots of information (and misinformation) regarding Intuitive Eating. Maybe this has left you feeling confused, overwhelmed, and even terrified of what to expect on the other side of this methodology. Unfortunately in the health and wellness space, concepts are so easily lost in translation. People cherry pick the parts that suit them or bash on specific principles that are taken out of context.
Our job here is to help you find clarity using an evidence-based approach with the goal that you tune back in and reconnect with your body.
Today we’re demystifying some misconceptions of what Intuitive Eating looks like. As you read, keep an open mind and notice if any of these statements resonate with your own beliefs.
Expectation: If I let go of restrictions and allow myself to eat forbidden foods, my weight will just keep going up and up and up.
Reality: When you’ve committed to listening to your body and tending to its many needs, your weight actually begins to settle at its happy place. Your body reflects the ways in which you treat it. Keep in mind that your weight is not the problem. It’s an outcome of chaotic eating stemming from a flawed diet mentality. When you approach your body this way, you can actually start working to address the root of the problem.
Expectation: Intuitive eating is the Eat Whatever The Hell I Want Diet. Therefore, once I give myself permission to eat my forbidden foods, I will just eat ice cream and muffins for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and never eat a salad again.
Reality: Eating intuitively gives you the opportunity to discover the foods you actually like. When you’ve created rules and regulations around certain foods, it naturally creates a “forbidden fruit” mentality. Your cravings and desires for food then become reactionary to this restriction, rather than being fueled by a genuine food preference. By removing the restriction around these “forbidden” foods, they become neutralized, and you may notice some changes in the strength of those previous cravings and desires.
Expectation: If I don’t honor my hunger, or I don’t stop eating when I’m full, then I’ve failed Intuitive Eating.
Reality: It’s impossible to fail Intuitive Eating. Intuitive Eating is driven by compassion and curiosity, where you’re the expert of your own health. This is about honing your ability to listen to your own voice amid the noise of diet culture and external value systems. Therefore, each interaction with food is an opportunity to tune into your internal wisdom and uncover new insights on the complexities of your relationship with food and your body.
Expectation: If I don’t love my body, then I can’t do Intuitive Eating
Reality: Body Love and Body Respect are a journey and a process. As you learn to honor your body’s cues and trust that it wants the best for you, you come to see your body as more than just the space it takes up. Body Love and Body Respect are not easy, but they are a choice—a choice to treat yourself with care and kindness despite the lingering thoughts or beliefs that try to convince you to do otherwise.
Expectation: Intuitive Eating means giving up on my health and my body
Reality: Quite the opposite. In fact, one of the very first steps with Intuitive Eating is giving yourself permission to let go of diets, thought patterns, and perceived obligations that are harming you or just no longer are serving you. It is about claiming autonomy in our health and the ways we want to move our body. Intuitive Eating puts the choice and power back in our hands.
You may feel stuck in the middle. You recognize that diets aren’t serving you but you’re scared by the lack of apparent structure involved in Intuitive Eating.
Instead of letting that confusion keep you from moving forward, take a moment to challenge those fears and assumptions. We’re here to help.