If you’ve spent some time on the blog you’ve probably seen me mention intuitive eating from time to time. I even wrote a whole post about it over on The Free Woman. Needless to say, I’m a fan of the approach.
And since you’re here there’s a good chance you want to learn how to tune into your body. You’re ready to learn how to nourish it so that you can feel great every day. If this is the case I highly suggest going the intuitive eating route. Pick up a copy of the book or download it to your kindle the and dive in for guidance on putting the main principles into place.
But for now, if you’re unfamiliar with the intuitive eating approach, head over to Evelyn Tribole’s site to learn the 10 basic principles.
Okay so here’s where intuitive eating gets tricky – if you are like most people in our society you’ve internalized diet culture to some degree. So when embarking on an intuitive eating journey there are a few things to keep in mind. One of the most important is that this isn’t a formula and it doesn’t promise speedy results.
Intuitive eating takes time
This is not a 30-day plan that will give you “rave-worthy” results. This is not a “quick fix”. There won’t be any rules or meal plans to trick your body into the results you may be looking for.
Remember the tortoise and the hare? Diet culture is totally the hare and intuitive eating is the tortoise in this “race”. And if you remember the moral of the story, slow and steady wins the race. And this is true in our analogy too.
Diet culture gives us the illusion that we’re miles ahead on our food peace journey. That after a few weeks you can kick back and relax a bit. Hey, you deserve it champ! You did the 30-day quick fix, you followed the rules down to the letter and rocking the promised results. Now that you’re finished you get to eat however you want again. So you might as well reward yourself with a treat or two right?
Diets don’t teach, they dictate
Well, the truth is this is a slippery slope, but not for the reason you might think it is. More often than not, people slip back into their old habits again after those 30 days. This is because they didn’t really learn anything about creating sustainable eating habits that work for their lifestyle. They only learned how to follow the strict diet plan that measured out each and every bite for them.
And the worst part is, just like the hare waking up from his nap, they don’t see this coming. Despite starting a diet with the best of intentions to kick start healthy habits, this is almost never the result. Diets aren’t designed for the long-term. They are designed to be “effective” for only a short amount of time – just enough to give you what you were hoping for.
Intuitive eating is a learning process
With intuitive eating you’ll be working at your own sustainable pace, you don’t need to kick back and relax (i.e. “cheat days”). With the intuitive eating approach, there aren’t “good” foods or “bad” foods. Nothing is off limits. It’s about learning what works best for you and your body.
It may seem to take longer to create healthy routines compared to what traditional diets promise. But all you need to do is focus on your own progress. If your finish line is creating healthy change you can stick to and easily incorporate the tortoise is your champion.
So embrace the pace and get comfortable for the ride, because slow and steady wins this race.