A lot of people are uncomfortable about their weight. The issue can cause so much distress that they develop eating disorders to control it. Intuitive eating can help them learn how to make good food choices to improve their overall health. However, it doesn’t achieve that by imposing food restrictions like a traditional diet.
Intuitive Eating Overview
Authors Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole coined the term “intuitive eating” in 1995 as the title of their book. However, the philosophy has been around since 1973. It’s part of the Green Mountain at Fox Run, weight management program that Thelma Wayler established in Vermont. Other early adopters of the concept include Susie Orbach in 1978 and Geneen Roth since 1982.
However, what is intuitive eating? The basis of the philosophy is that diets don’t work. Instead, it takes personal care and lifestyle changes to support long-term health. The concept helps people understand the hunger signals that their bodies send, making them the experts of themselves.
This eating style also promotes a healthy attitude toward body image and food. It focuses on people eating when they’re hungry and stopping when they’re full. Although this process should come naturally, some people simply haven’t learned how to listen to their bodies. However, so-called experts and diet books can lead them away from trusting their instincts.
How It Works
Beyond the basics of what is intuitive eating, it involves ten principles. The major one is to reject the diet mentality. Instead, it encourages people to honor their hunger signals and permit themselves to eat.
The more in tune that they become with hunger cues, the better that they can choose nourishing and satisfying foods. While some people will have to learn how to trust their bodies, others may have to relearn. To do that, they need to be able to distinguish between emotional and physical hunger.
Emotional hunger involves cravings for foods when people are lonely, sad, or bored. Afterward, they might feel guilty or hate themselves for giving in. Physical hunger is a biological urge to restore nutrients. Fatigue, irritability, and stomach growling are some signals, and people feel satisfied after they eat.
Although studies largely focus on women, they’ve linked this philosophy to proper weight maintenance and lower body mass index. Women who practice it also have better psychological health compared to those who don’t. They tend to experience anxiety and depression less and have improved body image, self-esteem, and quality of life.
As a health intervention, the concept has good retention rates too. People are more likely to follow and keep practicing the principles than a traditional diet. Also, they’re less likely to have eating disorders.
Getting Help for Eating Disorders
If you have an eating disorder, visit Ocean Recovery for treatment. We can help you learn how to eat healthily and listen to what your body needs. Our range of services includes:
Don’t let an eating disorder destroy your quality of life. Learn more about intuitive eating during treatment. Call us today at 800-641-2388.