You may have heard about intuitive eating by now, a concept and way of eating that has gained more media attention in recent years. While traditional dieting hasn’t gone anywhere, more and more people are taking a different approach to manage their weight, health, and wellness goals. Some headlines are even saying the latest diet trend isn’t dieting at all(1).
This is where intuitive eating comes into play: a non-diet approach to health that teaches its followers to tune into their body’s internal cues, break the vicious dieting cycle, and ultimately heal their relationship with food. To learn the ten foundational principles of intuitive eating, read ourstarter’s guide here.
Intuitive eating is much more sustainable than traditional diets and is associated with a host of benefits(2). Yet because intuitive eating is so drastically different from the dieting messages often promoted in the media, it’s frequently misunderstood. This article will outline some of the most common misconceptions about intuitive eating and provide an explanation to help you better understand and follow its guidelines.
Intuitive eating can appear too good to be true. You may be wondering how you can forget the dieting rules you’ve ingrained in your mind for so long and ultimately make peace with food. With practice, rest assured it is possible and completely worthwhile.
Here are some common myths associated with intuitive eating and the truths behind them:
When you think of dietary changes, you probably think of diets intended to help you shed pounds. Intuitive eating is different in a few ways:
Because intuitive eating focuses on the mental implications of your relationship with food, it doesn't dictate what foods you can eat.
More often than not, your body knows what's best for it. If you pay attention to the way your body responds after eating certain foods, you'll quickly learn the value of nutritious choices.
If you've deprived yourself of foods for some time, you might worry you'll go overboard once you've provided yourself the freedom to enjoy them again. As you'll see ahead, intuitive eating principles take this into account:
Whether you're on the go or stuck in back-to-back meetings, it can be tough to squeeze a fulfilling meal into your busy days. Fortunately, intuitive eating does not dictate a strict schedule of when you can or can't eat, so you're free to fit meals in wherever they work best for you.
Intuitive eating can drastically transform your relationship with food and your body in a positive way by reducing food-related stress and promoting mental freedom. But it’s easy to misunderstand its principles since they are contrary to what is traditionally taught in the media. By studying and practicing intuitive eating principles, you will gain a better understanding of them and learn how they fit into your lifestyle.
When adopting intuitive eating, consider starting with one principle to implement into your life while gradually working your way through the other principles over time. Receiving support from a healthcare professional familiar with and trained in intuitive eating can also help you grasp the concepts and uniquely apply them to your lifestyle.
Joanna Foley - Contributing Writer, Physician’s Choice