When people ask what I do and I reply that I’m an Intuitive Eating Coach/Mentor, I usually get a variation of this response “Uh huh…..er…what’s that?”
When most people hear the term Intuitive Eating they usually assume it’s either a weight loss program or some weird psychic, woo woo thing.
So I wanted to share with you today my definitions and explanations of what intuitive eating is to me both personally and professionally. Here are my 6 things intuitive eating is, and 3 things it ain’t…
Intuitive eating is:
1. Eating IN-TUNE with your body. It is eating most of time in response to your body’s signals for when, how much and what it needs and wants to eat. Your body is an intelligent and complex organism. It has the wisdom to be able to tell you what it needs to be healthy and happy. Intuitive Eating is peacefully working WITH your body, not against it.
2. A well researched and validated approach developed by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch that teaches how to create a healthy relationship between food, your mind and your body (https://www.intuitiveeating.com/content/what-intuitive-eating). It is the method I received certification in. I got to train personally with Evelyn (cue fan girl moment)!
3. How normal eaters eat. What I mean by normal eater is one of those people who seems (and is) able to eat whatever they want, they never seem to have issues with their weight or food, they enjoy their food without guilt and are at ease with how they eat. When you ask these people how they do all that, they often have a hard time answering or are quite vague because how they eat is INSTINCTIVE and INTUITIVE. It is normal to them.
4. A tool. One of many. Intuitive eating (like any tool) can not address the WHOLE picture of what makes up a healthy, happy food relationship. It makes up one part of how I help people to to stop the constant dieting/food worry/chaotic eating that is the bane of their lives.
5. A better way of relating to food and yourself. A way that allows you to ENJOY food. It enables eating to be a PLEASURABLE part of your life. Intuitive eating feels peaceful, nourishing and freeing.
6. How I eat. It was the central approach I used to recover from my own destructive eating patterns.
What intuitive eating is NOT:
1. The hunger and fullness diet. Intuitive eating is a process in which you develop an ongoing positive relationship with food and your body. There is no winning or losing. You don’t RUIN YOUR IE DIET if you eat when you are not hungry.
2. A weight loss plan. That is not to say that your weight won’t change as a result of eating intuitively, it’s just that having weight loss as the main goal impairs any progress towards becoming an intuitive eater. This is because trying to lose weight will always skew our decisions about how we eat, move and relate to our bodies.
3. A strange way of eating that you have to FORCE your body into. Just because life-long yo-yo dieting and worrying about weight is COMMON, doesn’t mean it is NORMAL. IE puts your body on your side, instead of making it the enemy or a slave you need to control.
If you have any questions or are unsure if Intuitive Eating is something that could help you, write in the comments below or send an e-mail to me at hello@HannahMayMarshall.com . I am happy to help.
Hannah May x
(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1byLfhU )