10 Principles of Intuitive Eating

Principles of Intuitive Eating struggling as intuitive eaterIf you’re overeating you could benefit from these principles of intuitive eating so you manage your emotional eating cravings and eat healthier.

Imagine this: It’s late at night, and you’re standing in front of your fridge, battling the same old urge to find comfort in food. All day you’ve been counting calories, avoiding your favorite treats. Yet here you are, feeling powerless over your urge to splurge. It’s a frustrating feeling, isn’t it?

I know about this personally. I’m not simply a behavioral change expert and the founder of the Stop Emotional Eating Online Course.  Before I became known for helping others with their emotional eating, I was right there with you, struggling with that strong pull towards food.

In fact, for a few decades I greatly struggled with emotional eating, constantly chasing the latest diet trends, thinking the next one would be the answer. Although each new diet brought hope, eventually, it turned into a source of frustration and self-blame.

But what if I told you there’s a way out of this cycle? A path that leads away from food guilt and body dissatisfaction, towards a life of balance and peace with food. This is the promise of Intuitive Eating, a philosophy that’s not just about eating, but about learning to trust your body and its signals.

10 Principles of Intuitive Eating To Help You Eat Healthier

Intuitive Eating principlesComing up I will be sharing 10 principles of intuitive eating – each designed to help you manage your emotional impulses to overeat so you can create healthier habits.

1. Ditch Dieting Culture

The first step to intuitive eating is to let go of the dieting mindset. Research has shown that chronic dieting can lead to a cycle of weight loss and gain, often causing more harm than good. Trust that your body knows best and steer clear of diet fads that promise quick fixes.

  • Start by deleting diet apps and unsubscribing from restrictive eating newsletters, focusing instead on how foods make you feel.

2. Acknowledge and Respond to Hunger

Keeping your body biologically fed with adequate energy and nutrients is key. Hunger is not your enemy. It’s a natural signal that needs to be respected. According to a study in the “Journal of Health Psychology” ignoring hunger cues can lead to overeating or binging.

  • Keep healthy snacks like fruits or nuts handy, and allow yourself to eat them when you first notice hunger cues, rather than waiting until you’re overly hungry.

3. Embrace Food Neutrality

Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. When you label food as “good” or ‘bad,” it can lead to feelings of deprivation, triggering cravings for these very foods. Psychologist Marcia Pelchat found that forbidden foods become even more attractive.

  • Practice viewing all foods as part of a balanced diet, enjoying a slice of cake or a piece of fruit without assigning moral value to either.

4. Address Emotional Needs Without Food

Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, boredom, or loneliness can trigger emotional eating. Engaging in activities like mindfulness or journaling can help address these emotions more healthily.

  • Create a feel-good list of activities, like taking a walk or calling a friend, to turn to when you feel emotional hunger.

5. Celebrate Body Diversity

Accept your genetic blueprint. A study in the “International Journal of Obesity” suggests that body acceptance can lead to better adherence to healthy eating behaviors. Everyone has a different body shape and size, and it’s important to respect what you have.

  • Engage in positive self-talk about your body, focusing on its strengths and capabilities rather than just appearance.

6. Tune Into Fullness Cues

Listen to the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. It’s essential to pause in the middle of eating to ask yourself how the food tastes and how full you feel. This principle is backed by research in “Psychosomatic Medicine,”  highlighting the importance of mindfulness in eating.

  • Implement mindful eating by eating slower and taking a moment to assess your fullness halfway through a meal.

7. Quiet the Internal Food Critic

Silence that inner critic that labels your eating as “good” or “bad.” This mindset is a product of diet culture and can be detrimental to your relationship with food. Cognitive-behavioral techniques can be helpful in changing these thought patterns.

  • Challenge negative thoughts about eating with positive affirmations, reminding yourself that all foods can be part of a healthy lifestyle.

8. Find Joy in Eating

In our culture of dieting, we often overlook the pleasure and satisfaction derived from eating. Savoring your food enhances satisfaction, which can naturally help you feel content with less. A study in “Appetite” showed that mindful eating leads to greater enjoyment and less overeating.

  • Make mealtime more enjoyable by setting a pleasant dining space, free from distractions like TV or smartphones.

9. Enjoy Movement for Well-being

Become aware of how good it feels to move your body, rather simply thinking about the calorie-burning effect of exercise. Whether it’s a walk in the park or a yoga session, find ways to enjoy physical activity. Research in “Preventive Medicine Reports” shows that exercise motivation based on enjoyment is more sustainable.

  • Choose a form of exercise based on what feels fun and invigorating to you, like dancing to your favorite music at home.

10. Prioritize Balanced Nutrition

Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel good. Remember, you don’t have to eat perfectly to be healthy. Consistency beats perfection. A balanced diet rich in variety and moderation is the key, as suggested by numerous nutritional studies.

  • Plan your meals with a variety of foods in mind, ensuring you get a mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, along with fruits and vegetables.

Intuitive Eating Principles: Enjoy Healthier Relationship with Food

Intuitive eating is not just a method. It’s a journey to understanding and aligning with your body’s needs. It’s about making peace with food and honoring your hunger and fullness cues. Remember: Change doesn’t happen overnight. But with each step, you’re moving closer to a healthier relationship with food – and with yourself too.

Learn More Principles of Intuitive Eating To Stop Emotional Eating

>> I teach more Intuitive Eating Tips in my online program heere!

>> Or sign up for a free Mindset Mastery discovery session with me HERE.

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