We've talked about what intuitive eating is and what it means (if you missed it, check out my Breakdown of Intuitive Eating Part 1), now let's dive into what it entails.
There are 10 guiding principles of intuitive eating that help you work toward finding food freedom and ditching chronic diet habits. These ideas encourage you to honor your body and serve it the best you can based on how you feel and what you need.
1. REJECT DIET MENTALITY - Throw away, unfollow, ignore, get rid of anything that promotes quick weight loss, easy fixes, restriction of any foods, or rules of any kind. There are no shortcuts to proper health and nutrition. It's not fair to your body to let programs, books, influencers, celebrities, diet trends dictate how you feed yourself.
2. HONOR YOUR HUNGER - Simply put, eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full. Your body tells you when it needs food, and neglecting that deprives your body of essential nutrients and adequate energy it needs to function and otherwise leads to overindulgence later as you ignore fullness cues.
3. MAKE PEACE WITH FOOD - Food is intended to help you, to nourish you. It is a fundamental necessity to live. Give yourself permission to eat and allow food to fuel your body. All foods fit, nothing is off limits, and you DESERVE to eat, no matter what.
4. CHALLENGE THE FOOD POLICE - There is no such thing as a good food or a bad food. Food is food. Food has no morality. There is no right or wrong way to eat. There are no right or wrong foods. All foods are equal, and nothing is off limits. Rebel against that inner food police that is trying to tell you that you can't have something. Trust me, you can have whatever you please.
5. FEEL YOUR FULLNESS - Be aware when your body is telling you it is satisfied. Ignoring your fullness cues can lead to binges and feelings of unnecessary guilt. Enjoy your food as you're eating it and pay attention to how it is making your body feel.
6. DISCOVER THE SATISFACTION FACTOR - When you allow yourself to eat what you really want and you honor your body's needs, in a comfortable environment, your body is able to feel satisfied and content, and you are more apt to discover when you're body has had enough.
7. COPE WITH YOUR EMOTIONS WITHOUT FOOD - When food is closely associated with our emotional state of being, it is easy to lose control or restrict that particular food. Look for other ways to cope with stress, sadness, overwhelm, loneliness, etc. that doesn't revolve around food. Find ways to proactively deal with that emotion instead of finding instant and fleeting gratification in food.
8. RESPECT YOUR BODY - Instead of berating and criticizing your body, appreciate it for what it can do. Every day your body takes you one step closer to your dreams. Recognize and respect the way your body serves you.
9. EXERCISE TO FEEL THE DIFFERENCE - the intended purpose of exercise is to increase overall health and longevity and prevent disease, and different kinds of movement have different benefits. FEEL those benefits in your body. Exercise is beneficial to your body, not a form of punishment for eating. Use it properly.
10. HONOR YOUR HEALTH - Listen to your body and make wise choices accordingly. Fuel your body well without deprivation or restriction. Listen to your fullness and hunger cues. Recognize the amazing work your body does. Move your body and feel the difference. Honor yourself and who you were made to be. Nourish your mind, body and spirit. Do what is best for you.