At the Women's Conference I spoke at last week I touched some on the concepts behind intuitive eating but I didn't have the time to go into it.
I want to first explain what it is, this is the statement on Intuitive Eating.org:
"Intuitive eating is an approach that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body--where you ultimately become the expert of your own body. You learn how to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings, and gain a sense of body wisdom. It's also a process of making peace with food---so that you no longer have constant "food worry" thoughts. It's knowing that your health and your worth as a person does not change because you ate a so-called "bad" or "fattening" food."
When I started counseling for anorexia after I left the hospital my counselor said he was going to use the same treatment for me as he would a person who weighed 400 pounds struggling with food addictions.
I learned then that overeating or under eating is caused by the same underlining issues.
At that time he introduced a little bit of the concept behind intuitive eating but it wasn't called that. He focused on trusting your body and trying to get me to learn to connect to my bodies needs again. (Also he helped me begin to work out the underlining issues which is key to recovery on the emotional end.)
I then started using the intuitive eating methods without even knowing it by just doing what I discovered was and wasn't working for me. For example I noticed I actually LOST weight during the HOLIDAYS! After a year or two of this happening I finally connected that it was because I gave myself complete permission to eat whatever I wanted because "it was the holidays" and eating certain treats was part of the celebration. I didn't deprive myself of anything and so naturally I was listening to my body more. I found myself wanting less because there were no "forbidden" foods or amounts. I later learned this is the major concept behind intuitive eating - banning nothing. It really does keep you from obsessing.
For instants if I told you that you could eat anything you want for the next week except for blueberry muffins, guess what will happen? You will crave and obsess over blueberry muffins!!!
Restricting leads to obsessing, then eventually when you do "give in" it usually leads to binging, then feelings of guilt, then the cycle often starts over again.
Then I took a course at college about eating behaviors and the principals were taught as a healthy way to create a better relationship with food. I really grabbed hold of it then, like I said before, I never heard the actual term intuitive eating until recently but people were learning the truth behind these principals then, and they do work and did for me.
Why intuitive eating? Because diets don't work!
95 Percent of Dieters Regain Weight Within 1 to 5 Years (-Tom at RealSelf on Jul 2, 2009)
by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA
Intuitive Eating Principles
1. Reject the Diet Mentality Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.
2. Honor Your Hunger Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.