Like mindful eating, intuitive eating (IE) honors the full person rather than just the food on their plate. It is focused on really listening to one’s body to identify hunger and fullness cues, recognize and honor cravings, and overall live and eat in peace, unapologetically. Registered Dietitians Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D, and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A established the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. Below, I will list all 10 and provide a concise explanation. Dietitians here at Wellview would love to dive in deeper with you about any and all of these principles, if they align with your health-related goals!
Intuitive Eating Principles
1. Reject the Diet Mentality – how often do those “lose 10lb in a week!” diets work, and especially work in the long run? IE focuses on consuming whole foods that nourish—in portions as large as your body is asking for.
2. Honor Your Hunger – simply put, our bodies are cars, and they need fuel. Best case scenario of not eating enough is we walk around uncomfortable. Worst case is that we are cranky, make poor food choices out of desperate hunger and low blood sugar, mess up our metabolism, and likely do not keep off any weight that the hunger allowed us to lose. It’s not worth it to be hungry…so eat!
3. Make Peace with Food – it’s true that some foods just inherently are not very health-promoting, but it doesn’t mean they don’t belong in our diets. There are very few physical health benefits of birthday cake or Grandma’s signature Thanksgiving pie, but there are usually a lot of emotional benefits to sharing special foods like these. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your food!
4. Challenge the Food Police – remove “bad” and “good” from your vocabulary when it comes to food. Our morality is not determined by whether we eat chips or an apple for a snack.
5. Respect Your Fullness – eating intuitively means listening for your body’s signals not just for hunger, but also for fullness. Eating past fullness typically leaves us feeling physically uncomfortable, which is a controllable action that is not necessarily in alignment with honoring our bodies.
6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor – this is a lot of where mindful eating comes in: recognize the craving and enjoy every bite mindfully, no matter the food.
7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food to Cope – while it is natural for us to eat for many emotional reasons (to celebrate or out of boredom), many times using food for comfort doesn’t fix the underlying issue. Developing a healthy relationship with food means identifying when we want to eat to soothe an emotion that another activity would be better suited for (like spending time in nature or watching a feel-good movie).
8. Respect Your Body – what goals is a healthy diet helping us achieve? There are many reasons to eat, and one of them is to nourish our body out of respect of what it does for us.
9. Gentle Exercise – there’s a difference between challenging yourself to complete a hard workout and forcing yourself to exercise in order to “make up for” an unhealthy day of eating. Are you exercising because you love your body and want to respect it, or because you want to punish it? The workout itself doesn’t have to be gentle, but the mindset around the workout should be rooted in love.
10. Honor Your Health through Gentle Nutrition – find a way to enjoy healthy eating, with the similar mindset of #9. Healthy foods really can taste as good as they feel in our bodies, and a dietitian is here to help you find how that fits for you!
Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!
– Samantha Marks, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian | Email Samantha