Time to Trust Intuitive Eating: New Research

Julie Dillon

Tags: dieting, healthy eating, intuitive eating, registered dietitian

Diets don’t work yet trusting ones body seems, well, crazy. We are taught directly (“Eat one more bite!”) as a child via well meaning parents. And, we adults learn indirectly (remember that orange furry hunger monster from an unnamed diet company?) via diet’s multi-billion dollar industry.

I know it is not crazy to trust my body. And, I know it is not crazy to trust yours. Depending on your experience with food, getting to this peaceful trusting place may be easy or a bumpy journey worth its work. It promotes health and makes life much more enjoyable.

The quick criticism of intuitive eating usually includes:

  • if I trust my body, I will only eat chocolate, French fries, carbs, etc.
  • whenever I try a forbidden food, I can’t stop eating it. I obviously have to avoid certain foods and can’t have permission to eat everything.
  • I am over 40 so I need to watch what I eat. If I don’t, my weight goes up.
  • as a new college student, I gained the freshman 15 because I was around all that food all the time.

Research is starting to point out Intuitive Eating’s physical and mental health benefits. Consider this recent Intuitive Eating research published in the peer reviewed scholarly journal Appetite. It suggests:

  • those who trust their bodies identified bingeing less often.
  • They also dieted less. Hmmm. Rejecting diets can lead to less bingeing!
  • Trusting hunger and satiety led to less eating disorder behaviors.
  • And, if you value weight, trusting hunger and fullness was associated with a lower BMI.

If you’ve rejected Intuitive Eating in the past, I hope you consider this and other recent research. If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to work toward healing your relationship with food, consider contacting a Registered Dietitian who specializes in this. You can work through the bumps together and move forward.

What gets in the way for you to trust your body? Would love to learn more about your struggles. We could all benefit from the discussion in comments.

Take care.

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