Does intuitive eating ignore nutrition and what about weight loss?
This is a big concern with people. What about being healthy and what about my weight? Intuitive eating is not ignoring nutrition, but it does move the FOCUS away from perfect nutrition in the beginning. Intuitive eating also challenges us to take an honest look at what our beliefs are around our weight. First, I’ll address why nutrition is not the focus when you begin practicing intuitive eating.
Intuitive Eating was a result of the private practice experiences to 2 registered dietitians who were creating what they knew were healthy, nutritionally balanced meal plans for clients only to have the same clients come back to them later feeling guilty and ashamed for not sticking to their plans. Sound familiar?
Their clients, more often than not, were judging themselves on whether or not they were eating “right.” It sounded a lot like the diet cycle and it also sounded really unhealthy. Self-judgment for what you eat or don't eat appears to be a tool for motivation except it doesn't work and intuitive eating was created (and then tested) to dismantle the link between diet and moral goodness.
Intuitive Eating is untangling the source of the problem, which is not diet or exercise, but faulty thinking from faulty messaging.
We must challenge diet culture and moral judgment about diet and body appearance. We have every right to be pissed off at what the world has been telling us, especially girls, that healthy is being skinny and that it is a representation of our worth. If we want a healthy relationship with our food and with nutrition, we’ve got to stop believing the lies and fear.
The last principle of intuitive eating is gentle nutrition. So after you've cleared the cobwebs, the judgments, the negative self talk and old patterns you can look at nutrition with clarity. I can tell you that what you'll see is a whole lot of crap out there and realize that in essence it's very simple and there needs to be no rules. Food is food.
As for weight, we can call bullshit to the same lies and fears. As long as the goal is weight loss, you will continue to be disappointed by the cycle of hope, control , fear then shame. We must become attuned to our bodies if we are to break the cycle. Studies show that dieting is the leading predictor of weight gain. I take this to include cycles of eating "perfectly clean" and then not so clean or normally because it still results in guilt and shame and deprivation.
Why do you not focus on weight in intuitive eating? Because the reason, deep down, that we want to lose weight is because we don’t feel good, we are unhappy, we feel disconnected, we don’t feel like we belong. And those feelings don’t live in your butt or your belly so they don’t go away with a diet or clean eating challenge - believe me, I've tried.
The sooner you stop searching for love, belonging or happiness in the size of your jeans, the sooner you realize you can have all of those things in ANY shaped body. Then the war with food and the war with the size of your butt can end and you can exhale.
Intuitive eating is freedom, it is going out and LIVING without waiting for a smaller waist, a truckload of money, more time or someone/something to rescue you. The time is now and you are your own hero.
Thank you so much for reading the series, I have a special invitation I want to share.
I coach women through this process of ending the war on their bodies, eating with freedom and shifting their mindset from fear to possibility. I have been this woman at war with herself and I've made it out. I don't want any woman to stay in that jail of unworthiness and fear because of her body and it's my mission to help any woman ready to do the work to find that freedom.