IE & it's longevity!
Intuitive Eating has more longevity than following a diet for the simple reason that dieting places external emphasis on what, when and how much to eat, often, forcing you to ignore your hunger cues, at other times eat past fullness because of the food prescribed at that time, and eat in a way that is possibly un-satisfactory, for (most of the time) the purpose of shrinking your body. If we know that active restriction and deprivation (whether by way of not eating enough food in general or psychological deprivation from not allowing ourselves to enjoy certain foods) isn’t actually good for our health, and yo-yo dieting/ weight cycling actually has negative consequences in regard to our health – then we have to ask ourselves – why are we actually doing it?
Have you ever noticed that the more times you go on a diet, the harder it gets to stay on it? This is because as humans, we have autonomy. I.e. no body actually likes to be told what to do. The minute we do the thing we aren’t meant to, such as eat the food we are not ‘allowed’ to eat while ‘on the meal plan or diet’, there is so much guilt, fear and negative internal reactions. That is a stress reaction. This isn’t good for our health!
But we stamp that stress and guilt down thinking that we SHOULD feel bad for having eaten the food off our meal plan or the food that is quote un-quote ‘not as nutritious’ as other foods. The thing is, food isn’t MEANT to bring us guilt or make us feel bad. When we eat something we think is ‘bad’, we subconsciously absorb the belief that ‘we are bad’. This is disordered thinking all over. It’s just not meant to be like that.
Food is here for so many reasons. For health, for enjoyment, for comfort, to fuel training, for socialisation, for connection, for culture, for satisfaction, the list goes on. There is no 1 role that food plays and unfortunately it seems diet culture has us stuck in a rut of thinking there is only 1 way to experience food. There’s so many and a positive relationship with food truly means exploring all of those roles from day to day, without experiencing guilt or stress from a food choice.
Not having external guidelines in place of what you can and can’t eat, but rather bringing the focus to your body directly for how food feels within you, what satisfies you, and tuning into your hormonal cues for your body’s unique signals (which vary from day to day!) is truly the way to a positive relationship with eating and food.
The Intuitive Dietitian xx