Written by Ellie from Ellie Gillam Nutrition. https://www.elliegillam.com/
Intuitive Eating is about learning to trust your body's innate wisdom of what feels good and what feels comfortable, it’s about finding joy in eating and having a healthy relationship with food.
There are 10 guidelines to Intuitive Eating (IE), you may resonate with some or man. I think everyone is on a different journey in their relationship with food and it can be challenging to overcome years of engrained diet mentality.
The goal is really to become in tune with your body wisdom and learn to listen to it’s cues…that may be what foods feel good or don’t feel good for you, it’s also about respecting your hunger and fullness, making peace with food choices and respecting your body how it is.
Even if you feel that you want to change the way your body looks, you can still respect it for all that it gives you each day - this is a gratitude practice that doesn’t come easily! It is something we work on daily, understanding while we might not have body positive days every day (that is totally okay and normal!) we can strive instead for some body neutrality - respecting where you are at now and not needing to feel positive or negative about your body.
The Intuitive Eating Guidelines are as follows:
Reject diet mentality - Dieting doesn’t work long term. It promotes shame, guilt, and unhealthy habits with food - ditch the diets for GOOD and come to understand everyone has different nutritional needs, be comfortable doing your own thing.
Honour your hunger - Feeling hungry? Eat something!
Make peace with food - if you tell yourself you can’t eat something, does that make you want to eat it more? Give yourself unconditional permission to eat all foods, and learn not to assign a moral value of “good” and “bad” to food. Food is just food - it will nourish your cells, your soul, your emotions or your whole body system - be okay with not depriving yourself.
Challenge the food police - that voice in your head saying that food is bad…thank it, and let it know you’ve got this, then ignore it. Similar responses go to family members or anyone offering unsolicited food advice.
Discover the satisfaction factor - this one is a great exercise in mindful eating! Have you ever sat down and actually tasted chocolate? Slowly, mindfully…there is a big difference in taste when you are eating quality chocolate! Discover what foods really taste like and why you like them, you might be surprised about some foods you think you love…
Feel your fullness - this one can take a bit of mindfulness as well, learn when you feel comfortably full vs uncomfortably full, learn to listen to your body and honour it.
Cope with your emotions with kindness - this is really hitting home dealing with your emotions. If you are an emotional eater, that is okay - food has likely gotten you through some really though times. Work to understand your emotions and what it is you need, it might not be food at all, but rather a long conversation with your mum, clearing your head in nature or going to bed early.
Respect your body - this comes back to body neutrality; respect your body for exactly how it is.
Movement, feel the difference - Practice movement you enjoy and do it because exercise, we know offers so much more benefit then just weight loss; mental health, longevity, improving bone density, reducing muscle wastage, improving insulin resistance and helps to manage ageing. Find something you enjoy, whether its group tennis, a weights session, surfing, yoga.
Honour your health with gentle nutrition - Learn what feels good for your body and make food choices based on how you want to FEEL. Remember its not one food that will make a dramatic impact on your health, but rather what you choose every day over time that makes the biggest difference.
If you would like to learn more about Intuitive Eating and would like to work with Ellie, click the button below.
Ellie is a Clinical Nutritionist graduating with a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine (BHSc). She is also a member of ATMS 52393. As a nutritionist Ellie support's women to feel confident in their health and learn to trust their bodies by providing an evidence based, holistic approach to nutrition and work preventatively as well as proactively. Ellie's focus area is around pregnancy nutrition and supporting mums postpartum to ensure they are just as nourished and cared for as baby is. Ellie also has a strong gut health focus, and offers comprehensive microbiome testing and interpretation via Microba for clients in need.