Ten Principles of Intuitive Eating

©August 2012 by Evelyn Tribore and Elyse Kesen

A Report by Cathy Haylock for Stress Management class 2019 Jun 14

The author's main point is "Diets Don't Work". Intuitive eating is based on ten ideas:

  1. Rejection of the "Diet" mentality — Ignoring or eliminating diet books (which give you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily and permanently);
  2. Rejection of the "Diet" mentality — "Honor your Hunger" — Keep your body fed with adequite energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise, you can trigger protective instincts that drive you to eat more. Don't let yourself get too hungry. This is a start in building trust with yourself and food.
  3. Rejection of the "Diet" mentality — "Make Peace with Food" — Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. Don't tell yourself you can't have a particular food ‐ it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable craving and often, binging.
  4. Rejection of the "Diet" mentality — Challenge the "Food Police". Say "NO" to the thoughts in your head because you were glad for eating minimal calories or bad because you had a piece of chocolate cake. The "Food Police" monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. Getting rid of the Food Police is a critical step in returning to intuitive eating.
  5. "Respect your Fullness" — Listen to your body's signs that tell you that you are no longer hungry. One approach is to pause in the middle of a meal and ask yourself your fullness level.
  6. Discover the "Satisfaction Factor" — When you eat what you really want that is in an environment that is inviting and conducive to helping you feel satisfied and content.
  7. "Honor your Feelings" — Find ways to resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, anger, lonelyness, and boredom are emotions we experiance in life. Food won't fix any of these feelings. Food may comfort you in the short term, but emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You will ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion as well as the discomfort of overeating.
  8. "Respect your Body" — Accept your genetic blueprint so you can feel better about who you are.
  9. Exercise ‐ Just get out and feel the difference. Feel what it is like to move your body. Focus on how you feel from working out, such as "Energized". It can make a difference between getting out of bed in the morning for a brisk walk and hitting the snooze alarm when you wake up.
  10. Honor your Health — You don't have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy; it is what you consistantly eat over time that matters. Progress, not perfection, is what counts.

In conclusion: Intuititve Eating is not a diet. The idea is to eat when you are hungry and stop eating when you are full. There are no forbidden foods, just eating in moderation. This is a healthy lifestyle.

I am using this program myself, and have lost twenty pounds. I am eating less food but I still feel satisfied. I don't feel guilty when I have an occasional candy bar. I like using the author's 1 to 10 scale i.e. being very hungry to being very full—the author suggests staying between three and five on the hunger scale. I hope to continue to work on my healthy eating journey.