Dear Amanda,

I hear a lot of people talk about intuitive eating, and I think the concept sounds really cool. I guess my question is, how do I know that I won’t go off the deep end or gain a bunch of weight in the process?

Thank you,

Kelly B.


Hi Kelly!

Intuitive Eating is a self-care eating framework, which integrates instinct, emotion, and rational thought. It was created by two dietitians, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in 1995, who noticed that their clients would lose weight and gain weight over and over again with diets and set meal plans. Unlike diets, intuitive eating does not include aesthetics or weight loss or weight gain as a guarantee. We all have unique set points– a preset weight baseline wired to our DNA. Just like we all have unique foot sizes and shapes, we all have unique waist sizes and weights. 

The first step to intuitive eating- Reject the Diet Mentality– requires that you put any goals of weight loss on the back burner because the motive to lose weight will interfere with any allowance you’d give yourself to eat what you truly want. Part of Making Peace with Food for many people is weight gain, because they are finally eating what they’ve restricted for so long. However, along the way you learn how to Respect your Hunger and Fullness, Cope with Emotions Without Food, and incorporate movement you truly enjoy. Many people actually end up effortlessly losing weight after the weight gain because they find they actually don’t want to eat a whole chocolate cake every night and it was the “rules” that made it seem so enticing. Some actually gain weight – mostly because they were trying so hard to maintain a shape that wasn’t meant for them. Intuitive Eating teaches us that it wouldn’t be fair to ourselves and our quality of life to try to fit a certain shape- just like it wouldn’t be fair to try squeezing on a pair of size 6 shoes as a person with size 8 feet!

To learn more about Intuitive Eating and how to truly incorporate it in your life, read the book, Intuitive Eating.

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