What is Intuitive Eating? Let’s take an overview of the Intuitive Eating Book.
Intuitive Eating is an evidence-based approach to eating that was developed in the mid-90s by two Dietitians, Elyse Resche and Evelyn Tribole. It is a flexible and compassionate approach towards eating that doesn’t involve any rules around when, how much or what to eat. In fact Intuitive eating can be described as the opposite of a diet.
The Intuitive Eating approach has 10 principles, which work in two key ways.
- Some of the principles aim to build our ability to listen and respond to our bodies’ internal cues such as hunger and fullness.
- The other principles aim to remove the things that block us from being connected and attuned to our bodies like the external rules imposed on us by diet culture (eg: no food after 7:00 pm).
Why Intuitive Eating?
There have been more than 125 research articles investigating Intuitive Eating. A review of 97 articles found that Intuitive eating:
- Supports positive body image and self esteem
- Protective against disordered eating and eating disorders
- Associated with greater general well-being
Who is Intuitive Eating for?
Intuitive eating is a self-care framework for eating and can thus be used by anybody from any background. Some people find they can use the book and other resources available to navigate on their own while others find extra 1:1 or group support most helpful to them. With support from a trained Intuitive Eating Counselor the Intuitive Eating framework can be thoughtfully adapted to be supportive in the context of an individual’s unique needs (considering other factors such as health conditions and access to resources or body signals/cues). This additional tailored support is important to consider for example for individuals working to recover from an eating disorder. Consideration for what other qualifications an Intuitive Eating Counselor holds may also be important.
It can be a particularly helpful approach if you are frustrated and tired of the endless quest for, and preoccupation with, weight loss. If you are at a stage where you are curious about the possibility of letting go of the empty promises of dieting and instead want to cultivate a peaceful relationship with food and body, then Intuitive Eating is for you.
Snapshot: The 10 Intuitive Eating Principles
Here is a brief overview of the 10 core principles of Intuitive Eating explored in the 4th and most recent edition of the Intuitive Eating book.
Principle 1: Reject the diet mentality
Principle 2: Honor Your Hunger
Principle 3: Make peace with food
Principle 4: Challenge the food police
Principle 5: Feel your fullness
Principle 6: Discover the satisfaction factor
Principle 7: Cope with your emotions with kindness
Principle 8: Respect your body
Principle 9: Movement-feel the difference
Principle 10: Honour your health through gentle nutrition
Where to from here?
The journey towards Intuitive Eating looks different for everyone. If you want to delve more into the world of Intuitive Eating, then we invite you to consider the following resources as places to start digging in.
- The Intuitive Eating Book by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch (4th Edition). This is the original Intuitive Eating book that is still considered to be one of the best starting points for one’s Intuitive Eating journey. Get an overview of the science behind why diets don’t work, the underlying concepts of the Intuitive Eating framework and a deeper dive into each supporting principle.
- The Intuitive Eating Workbook by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. This is a shorter Intuitive Eating book that includes practical activities and reflections that can help you to apply the Intuitive eating principles to day-day life as you learn more about each. You can explore this book solo or pair it with or use as a follow up to the Intuitive Eating book.
- Intuitive Eating for Every Day by Evelyn Tribole may be a nice added support to either of the above resources. Each day a small reflection question, affirmation, practice or gentle reminder etc is offered up to help provide a little dose of daily Intuitive Eating support. We would recommend this Intuitive Eating book in addition to exploring one or both of the above resources or perhaps to working 1:1 or in a group with and IE Counselor.
As you embark on your Intuitive Eating journey, it is natural to experience challenges with certain principles and their application. At these times, we highly recommend engaging with a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. These counsellors are trained with Evelyn Tribole and/or Elyse Resch, the authors of this framework, and can help you each step of the way, wherever you are in your journey.
Click here to learn more about Wander and Nourish Nutrition’s very own Intuitive Eating Counselor and Accredited Practising Dietitian, Lisa.
*Co-written with Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Wander and Nourish Nutrition Intern Misa Mojarrabi. Thank you Misa!