Exploring Intuitive Eating

Intuitive eating is a concept developed by two dietitians by the name Everlyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. It employs many ideas from psychology, self-awareness and behavior change in an effort to provide a more personal feel for healthy living. It goes against the many rules of the diet culture but encourages a more inward-looking approach to how we interact with food and our bodies.

Even though the terminology associated with intuitive eating became mainstream in the 1990s, the idea of emotional and lifestyle focus on food can be traced back to the 1970s, with several psychologists and dietitians exploring similar concepts. The intuitive eating culture is gaining momentum with experts agreeing that personalization is the way to go when it comes to eating patterns as they recognize the role individuality plays in how people react to different foods.


Principles of the Intuitive Eating Culture

Some of the main principles outlined in intuitive eating include:

  • Rejecting a diet mentality: We live in a world that bombards us with information on all the latest diet trends through magazines, TV, the internet and social media with a particular focus on rapid weight loss and quick fixes that guarantee perfect health. Intuitive eating eschews all this and focuses on a more personal approach to food.
  • Honoring hunger: The intuitive eating culture recognizes hunger as a natural signal from the body that it requires nourishment. Honoring hunger involves eating a diverse range of nutritious foods and this is designed to diminish the craving for unhealthy options.
  • Peace with food: Finding peace with food involves avoiding demonizing food types and groups, but eating what is enjoyed. This is a psychological trick designed to remove the urgency cravings create as everything is available to intuitive eaters.
  • Respecting fullness: intuitive eating focusses on recognizing the feeling of satiety as the body’s natural method of signal satisfaction. Observing these types of signals is key in this lifestyle pattern as it helps to acclimatize individuals to unique levels of hunger and satiety.
  • Food as a coping mechanism: Food can be abused as a coping mechanism due to emotional inadequacies and intuitive eating asks individuals to check on this habit. It encouraging finding other ways to recognize feelings apart form food such as sharing with family, friends or professionals.
  • Body respect: There is a whole industry dedicated to pushing the idea about what the ideal body type is. Intuitive eating seeks to break this mentality by recognizing we are all genetically unique and that it is possible to have good health at every size.


Anti-Diet Movement and Health At Every Size

Intuitive eating is against the rules and restrictions that many diets places on individuals. As an anti-diet movement, it believes more in self-awareness and reflection without judgment to discovering better health. It also avoids quick-fix solutions but is instead geared toward life long changes.

Health At Every Size is a concept in intuitive eating that goes against body shaming and extreme weight loss diet plans. It encourages individuals to be comfortable with their body size and seek long term health improvement techniques rather than quick fixes.