Welcome back to The Balanced Dietitian Podcast! Happy November! I hope that you are doing wonderful. This time of year can be the hardest because it is cold and gets dark so early. November for me is typically a self-care month where I am actively engaging in more self-care than usual because my brain, body, and soul need it.
Today I wanted to talk about intuitive eating and knowing if intuitive eating is right for you and when it is not. I am going to talk about what we do and how we start leaning more toward becoming an intuitive eater.
[04:41] Can anybody be an intuitive eater?
My response is yes and no, both but it depends. The reason why I answered that way is that I think we oversimplify what intuitive eating means and if we only see intuitive eating as the hunger and satiety diet, then I don’t believe that everybody can be an intuitive eater. For some, hunger cues are hard to detect, and satiety for different reasons. It can be medication it can be years of dieting, it can be having an eating disorder, it can be being very distracted, it can be being neurodivergent, like having ADHD can really impair our ability to tune into our cues. There are so many different reasons why it can be hard to connect to our hunger and satiety cues that if we see intuitive eating as only the hunger and satiety diet, then no, it’s not for everyone. because not everyone can do that.
[07:54] What intuitive eating is meant to be
Intuitive eating was never meant to be a new diet. The first principle is rejecting diets. Intuitive eating is not a way to control or restrict our food. It is meant that you only eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Intuitive eating is not a diet, it is not a way for you to shrink your body and restrict it. Intuitive Eating is a combination of all these different principles. It’s really almost a way of living, a way of thinking, a way of trusting and connecting with the body that we’d have a way of increasing our pleasure with food.
[08:42] Intuitive eating takes time
Intuitive eating does take time. It is hard in a world where we’re just used to these easy, quick-fix detox diets. Intuitive eating will not happen overnight. Intuitive eating is the process in which we heal, discovering of the thoughts that we have around food and body, and what we were taught growing up. Then being able to change and choose differently. Intuitive eating can be such a beautiful model for us to start exploring all these different themes with a relationship to food and body.
[12:16] Health benefits of intuitive eating
Intuitive eaters tend to have lower disordered eating patterns, lower triglycerides, and lower instances of emotional eating. There are fewer times of loss of control with eating, less binge eating, less weight bias internalization, like body image issues, or even body dissatisfaction and lower blood pressure. Intuitive eaters tend to have higher self-esteem, a higher well-being, and optimism. Intuitive eating is not just this feel-good approach, it has been researched extensively.
[15:01] Can you engage in intuitive eating when recovering from an eating disorder?
Yes, they can engage in some parts of intuitive eating principles. There are many principles that you go through in recovery of eating disorders like rejecting the diet mentality, challenging the food police, discovering satisfaction with food, and coping with your emotions with kindness. These are all things that we will do throughout the recovery process and there are parts like, you know, our hunger and our satiety and movement and gentle nutrition that may come in a little bit later.
[16:30] Intuitive eating can fit for all
I do believe that intuitive eating can fit for all. We just need to personalize it for you in ways that will feel best for you and know that there is some ebb and flow.
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