HOW INTUITIVE EATING CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE
The team at Ease Nutrition Therapy are trained in Intuitive Eating. Shannon is training to become a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.
When we tell people about Intuitive Eating, it sounds too good to believe - they think it's another diet!
Intuitive Eating is an anti-diet approach that is completely free from diet strategies. It not a way to lose weight - it's a way to heal your relationship to food.
It's an approach which reconnects people to their inner body wisdom. Put simply, they unlearn all the thoughts about when, what, how, why to eat certain foods, and their beliefs about health, weight, beauty, bodies, and relearn how to trust their body to choose foods, trust their body to tell them when to eat, accept their body, and to care for their body no matter their size.
Intuitive Eating is based on 10 principles. I like to describe these as 10 stepping stones that are the things people with a difficult relationship to food often struggle with. Below is a breakdown of the 10 principles, and the "journey" Intuitive Eating will take you on.
Do any of these sound like something you want?
1. Reject the Diet Mentality
How much of your brain is taken up with thoughts about food, dieting, changing your body?
Here you begin to learn how trying to change your body can lead to problems with food. Including why diets don't work, your history with food and your body, breaking up with diet tools and mentality.
This principle is a period of unlearning followed by learning. It's the foundation to healing your relationship to food. How are you going to finally feel better when you don't have the facts about why your past attempts never worked?
2. Honour Your Hunger
Do you trust your body to tell you what, when, and how much to eat?
Once you've started to feel less consumed with thoughts of dieting, restricting, and feeling a bit more confident with healing your relationship to food, I will help you reconnect with your bodies signals.
You will learn how hunger feels in your body - which sounds pretty basic, right? But actually most people can only feel hunger when they're starving which means they only eat when they're ravenous - which leads to overeating and binging.
3. Make Peace with Food
Do you trust yourself to keep all foods at home, or do you try to avoid buying foods in case you eat them all?
This principle is about relearning trust around ALL foods and to be able to eat all foods free from guilt, restriction, and without rules.
This sounds really scary but I will support you every step of the way. Breaking free from food rules and the "shoulds"/"shouldn'ts" is key to a healthy, fulfilling relationship to food.
4. Challenge the Food Police
How often does a food in your head, or a voice outside your head - like a friend, family member, social media, or a past diet - tell you what you should and shouldn't eat?
This is all about learning what your thoughts about food sound like, where they come from, and how they impact you. I support you to approach your thoughts around food with curiosity and feel more neutral around all foods.
This principle is all about challenging diet culture, nutrition, and health myths that are often not backed by science. You can probably think about a bunch of nutrition questions you just wishes you knew the answers to!
5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
What would you eat if you could be completely free from food and nutrition rules, diet culture standards, and "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts"? Hint: It's probably not 10 donuts a day, which is usually what people imagine when they hear "food freedom"!
This principle is pretty simple really - it's about regaining enjoyment, pleasure, and fun around food again.
After years of dieting, hopping on and off of new trends, and trying to change your body, you're probably not feeling that adventurous around foods anymore. You might be feeling like you have no variety or enjoyment in food anymore. I will help you find satisfaction in meals again.
6. Feel Your Fullness
Do you go from "not full" to "completely stuffed" within a bite or two? You might not be able to tune into your body.
This principle is all about learning what fullness feels like in your body (might sound simple, but people do struggle with this a lot!), and coping with feeling full.
7. Navigating Emotional Eating
8. Respect your Body
Are you able to take care of your body, even when you're not overly happy with it?
Often when we're not thrilled with how our body looks, we don't like to look after it. I will support you to look after your body in the basic ways (e.g. enough food, sleep, hydration) and the more special ways (e.g. self-fulfilment, movement you enjoy, fun activities.)
We will explore your body image story, how your body was treated and seen by others, and how that impacts you nw.
Is food your only way of coping with emotions? Would you like more options? Do you want to understand why you emotionally eat?
This principle is packed full with self-care strategies, distraction techniques, tolerating emotions, and building emotional resilience.
Emotional eating is never a "bad" thing - but I can help you cope with your motions not only using food, and feel less out of control and overwhelmed with food.
9. Feel the Difference with Intuitive Movement
How would you exercise if there was no thought about changing your body?
People often only move their body when they want to lose weight, which means exercise routines are never sustainable or last very long. It also means people often feel like a failure when their exercise routine goes out the window.
I will help you figure out what exercise feels good in your body, rather than exercising to punish or change your body.
10. Honour Your Health with Gentle Nutrition
Learn how to fuel your body and feel food with nutrition again, free from restriction
Often people want to skip right to this end principle - like "let me get all the nutrition information I can get my hands on!"
We will work on nutrition, use use nutrition to manage any health conditions like PCOS or high blood pressure, but if you go all in with nutrition, it can become messy and turn Intuitive Eating into a diet.
We use Intuitive Eating framework at Ease Nutrition Therapy.
This doesn't mean that we follow Intuitive Eating "by the book." Rather, we use tools & techniques from it based on what clients need.
Shannon (founder of Ease Nutrition Therapy) has trained with the creators of Intuitive Eating. She is training to become a Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor. She is due to complete this training in winter 2022.