What is Intuitive Eating?
Intuitive Eating can also be referred to as Non-Dieting, Attuned Eating and Mindful Eating. These eating philosophies are a class of eating behaviours guided primarily by awareness of and agreement with internal body cues of hunger and satiety. Instead of fighting your body, mindful & intuitive eating guides you to connect with and ultimately befriend your body.
Why is Mindful & Intuitive Eating helpful?
Mindful and Intuitive Eating are powerful strategies for breaking the trap of yo-yo dieting, compulisive eating and releasing ingrained emotional eating patterns.
Weight-control diets often teach us to disconnect from and distrust our body. Diets encourage us to categorise foods, to be fearful of them, to measure and control. Dieting can turn eating into an entirely cognitive process devoid of body signals and laden with guilt and power trips. Eating this way can be extremely frustrating, anxiety provoking and typically leads to yo-yo weight cycling. Intuitive Eating is a valuable and evidence based alternative to dieting, more conducive to our physical and mental health.
What about weight loss?
There is no guarantee of weight loss or gain when you adopt a mindful eating practice. The focus of this practice is attunement, acceptance, health and wellbeing.
Authentic Intuitive and Mindful Eating behaviours promote improvements to health and well-being that include physical, emotional and mental aspects. These improvements can occur irrespective of changes to body weight (assuming you are not significantly underweight). Intuitive Eating respects that body weight is highly individual and maintains that good health can be sustained outside of standardised body weight tables when our behaviours are healthy. If you are interested in these ideas you can click here to read more about Health At Every Size HAES.®
You can Learn Mindful & Intuitive Eating
Whilst we can lose the ability to eat in tune with our body through dieting, the great news is that these skills can be re-learned in teachable steps. This 're-learning' process can sometimes require a period of structured eating, and this is particularly true if your eating is highly restrictive or you are prone to very regular bingeing. Everyone's journey to reconnecting to their body and eating with awareness is different.
Mindful & Intuitive Eating is sometimes critiqued as simply eating 'whatever you want whenever you want'. Whilst this description is in part true, the authentic process is much more finely tuned and 'awake' than this catch phrase might at first suggest. Experimentation, with the guidance of professional counselling can assist you to reinstate a sense of eating competence that is sustainable, flexible and authentic.
What are the Core Skills of Intuitive & Mindful Eating?
- Being able to pay attention to what we are doing and experiencing
- Being able to sense our body’s signals, accept our body’s signals and respond to these signals with permission, compassion and wisdom
- Being able to practice 1 & 2 realistically and flexibly in 'good enough' fashion
Are you a Health Professional? Then please read on.
Tara is passionate about teaching Intuitive & Mindful Eating to clients and other health professionals. In 2011 Tara presented to the DAA NSW State Conference on this very important skill for Dietitians. To access Tara's skills as both a knowledgable trainer and clinical supervisor you are welcome to call Tara on 045 999 1788 or click here to enquire.