Have you tried every diet out there? I sure had.
Sometimes it was called a lifestyle; sometimes it was called eating clean or eating sensibly; sometimes it was drinking gawd awful shakes instead of meals. Not once did I get the results that I expected.
At least, not in the long-term.
I knew that I couldn’t face another diet but I wasn’t ready to give up on my health either. That’s where Intuitive Eating came in.
What is intuitive eating?
Intuitive Eating (#IE) is a process of making peace with food that I discovered twelve (12) years ago. I had seen a lot of anti-diet material before, but this one had a process to follow. It was written by dieticians and it had so much research to support it’s use that it appealed to the doctor side of me.
It’s comprised of ten (10) principles that are used together to create a healthy relationship with food (and your body).
- Reject The Diet Mentality: weight-loss stats are dismal; nearly all, about 95%, of dieters regain their weight within 3 years, many gaining more than they lost. And of those who are ‘successful’ the weight loss is on average about 2 pounds. It’s time to reject the notion that some new plan is just waiting to solve your problems through weight loss. (reference)
- Honour Your Hunger: “once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intention of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant”. The biggest cause for overeating is undereating. This principle is about identifying what subtle hunger feels like and heeding that need.
- Make Peace with Food: the most controversial of all of the principles, making peace with food is about giving up all of the rules and conditions that surround food. This principle isn’t about eating your face off. It’s about building trust. It’s nuanced and beautiful when applied with understanding and intention.
- Challenge the Food Police: learn how to manage the voices in your head that rhyme off the macros, points or calories of every food, chastise your reflection in the mirror and take up far too much of your time.
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor: food is fun; food is love; food is pleasure; food is fuel. When you start to place satisfaction front and center of your eating experience, you open up to a world of connection and adventure.
- Feel Your Fullness: a principle that isn’t talked about very much. Knowing what comfortable fullness feels like AND stopping eating when it happens are two different things. Leaving a meal without feeling deprived OR stuffed is a beautiful thing.
- Cope with Your Emotions (using more than just food): emotional eating and stress eating aren’t inherently bad, they just may not be the most respectful way to manage your day. Food can always stay in your Self-Care Toolbox, this principle is about adding more tools so that you have choices.
- Respect Your Body: I might argue that this principle should be higher on the list. We take care of what we respect. Befriending your body may be the best investment you’ll ever make.
- Joyful Movement: exercise to feel your body and give it what it needs instead of punishing it for not looking right or making up for what you ate.
- Honour Your Health with Gentle Nutrition: this is the last principle for good reason. One cannot focus on nutrition until a healthy relationship with ones body and food is established. Otherwise, ANYTHING can be turned into a diet by the Food Police. Once that relationship is in place, then you can make food choices that honour your mouth and your body.
Together these principles make up a whole new language where your food and body is concerned. They work together to create trust: trust in the process, trust in your choices and trust in your body.
How do I approach intuitive eating?
The first step is an assessment to see where you’re currently at mentally, emotionally and physically while identifying where the main source(s) of your food struggle live. From here, we work together to customize your support and personally tailor it for you.
To use the language metaphor again, I’m going to teach you the nuances of this new language.
We live in a world that speaks Diet. Even the medical community speaks Diet so it can be hard to become fluent on your own.
You’ll only learn so much from the book and from doing the exercises. The real beauty and fluency of a language is found through conversation. That’s where the nuances are found and the language comes alive.
I’m going to help you see how the nuances apply to your experience with the principles.
This support can be found in 1:1 appointments, as part of your naturopathic care, or as part of a group program.
What’s it like to work with me?
We start out with a health assessment to see where your health is currently. This includes a 75-90 minutes visit where we will discuss your past medical history, your current concerns, your sleep, your hormones, your stress, your routines and your nutrition. Laboratory tests may help us in determining your current issues as well as give you a clear risk assessment in terms of cardiovascular risk and diabetes risk.
Your treatment plan will be customized based on what we learn from the assessment. Treatment options include supplements (herbs, amino acids, vitamins, minerals), lifestyle counselling (routines and habits) and nutritional counselling (consistent with an Intuitive Eating approach). Treatment plans will not include weight loss recommendations or restrictive nutritional plans.
Follow up visits are booked depending on what interventions we’re trying. Typically we follow up every 2-4 weeks to begin with, and then a few times a year to tweak and adjust your plan.
If you’d like to discuss options for intuitive eating with me, please click the button below to book your Connection Call.
Please note: Naturopathic services are only available to residents of the Province of Ontario. If you live outside of the Province of Ontario, intuitive eating coaching programs are available.