What is Intuitive Eating and discover Principle #1

This new year learn about Intuitive Eating

I wanted to invite people this upcoming new years an alternative to the “new year new you” or a new diet/wellness option. Diet culture is so loud. So instead of that option I am proposing you to learn about intuitive eating and choose to improve your relationship with food and your body.

This next podcast series I will be going through each of the 10 principles. So here is your opportunity to learn about Intuitive Eating and integrate it into your life. This series I will be interviewing experts in the Intuitive Eating community, many who are Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellors. Listen to the the full episode here.


What is Intuitive Eating?


It is a self-care eating framework that is comprised of ten guiding principles.  Intuitive Eating is a personal process of honoring your health by listening to your body and paying attention to the messages and acting in a responsive and compassionate way. You remain the expert of your body at all times. Because only you know when your satisfied with a meal or need to attend to your self-care. There is no external rules to dictate what, when or how to eat. Diet plans or coaches that sell you these “programs”  could not and will not ever know your body’s cues.

It was developed by two Registered Dietitian’s Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in 1995. There are over 100 articles to date showing the benefits. Making it an evidenced based approach. The bedrock is based on self-compassion which is something we could all use more of these days.


The principles build body attunement

There are two key areas these ten principals work on. The first is building body attunement- which is the ability to hear and respond to the physical sensations that arise within your body. Like biological cues of hunger, fullness. Having the ability to recognize your physical sensations gives you information about your physiological or psychical state. Therefore, you can decide what to do to meet your needs. Maybe it is more sleep, need to eat, needing a self-care break or setting a boundary etc.

The second area is removing obstacles that block your body’s attunement. In today’s world of diet culture and the craze of various dieting prescriptions. You may be thinking you do not know how to eat or even where to begin at trusting your body to guide you. The Intuitive Eating  principles also work at removing obstacles that blocks body attunement. Usually these are in the form of rules, beliefs or thoughts one has. Examples like what you “should be eating” or “not allowing yourself to eat” or your belief about what a healthy body looks like. These principles challenge these beliefs, judgements or thoughts and cultivate a kind and compassionate view to making food peace.


We were born intuitive eaters

Most of us are born this way having an intuitive relationship with food. We cry and signal the need to eat and stop eating when full. We are not influenced by diet culture or food rules. We simply respond to hunger and move on. While feeling confident in our bodies. That is what I help people get back to.


Listen to the full podcast episode here


Listen to the episode to learn more about:

  • The evidenced based benefits of Intuitive Eating
  • Why it is hard to reject the diet mentality
  • Factual hard truths about dieting and weight loss interventions
  • How your body is designed to survive food restrictions and famines
  • How dieting damages your mental health



Principle #1 Reject the Diet Mentality

If diet programs had to go through the same rigorous process a medication has to go through in Canada to get approved there would be no diets. They are not evidence based and cause the exact opposite (weight gain) that most people are searching for. We have known dieting does not work since the 1940’s!

This principle makes you reflect, reminisce and evaluate all your past dieting attempts. Making you really analyze them and determine the “success”, harms and overall life quality.


Listen to the episode to hear three exercises I do with clients to unpack this. Along with learning about what hidden forms of dieting you are currently doing.


Rejecting the diet mentality is an essential first step

Moving along through the 10 principles this first principle Rejecting the Diet Mentality must be  completed first.  If we are still holding on to diet thoughts, rules or behaviours we cannot truly be in an attuned state. We cannot truly be trusting of out bodies when there are doubts. Unlearning diet culture is really hard work and requires lots of practice. This is an ongoing process but essential.


Intuitive Eating book This is the essential book. Ensure you get the latest version which is the 4th Edition.


Do you need individual support to make peace with food and your body? I help people dropout of dieting and food restriction and learn about Intuitive Eating. Check out my individual counselling services here. 

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    Atheana Brown is a Registered Dietitian who specializes in disordered eating, body image, intuitive eating, and family nutrition. Her mission is to break the generational cycles of dieting and body shame.

    Offering nutrition counselling virtually across Ontario Canada. Book a free discovery call to learn more.

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