Intuitive eating, a book and lifestyle movement by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, is about creating a healthy relationship with food, mind and body. Intuitive eating asks you to give up the traditional diet mentality, and to retrain yourself to interpret your body's own language involving hunger and satiety. There are several tips on eating intuitively that will guide you in your practice and heal your relationship with food.
Tribole and Resch point out what thousands of studies have verified: Diets don't work. The first step toward eating intuitively is to give up the idea of dieting forever. They implore you to proclaim that you will never again be on a diet again or police foods, placing them into categories like "good" and "bad." They believe this is a crucial first step to making peace with food.
When You're Hungry, Eat
Part of this program is called "honoring your hunger." Human beings possess an innate sensor that lets them know when they need to eat. Diets and overeating have tricked us into ignoring these signals until, for some, they disappear completely. Listen to your body, go inside and really ask yourself "Am I hungry?" when you're making the decision to eat.
When You're Satisfied, Stop
Just like your body has signals to indicate hunger, it will also tell you when it's had enough. The goal of eating is to fuel your body and reach that sweet spot of satisfaction without overeating. They urge you to stop mid-meal and check in with yourself rather than eat all of what's in front of you, just because it's there. Doing this will stop you from overeating. You should never feel stuffed, just satisfied.
Deal with Your Emotions without Food
Tribole and Resch point out that many people eat out of boredom, loneliness, anger or anxiety. They implore you to recognize these feelings and to learn alternate, healthier ways of coping with them rather than trying to sate them with food. If you're eating emotionally, you're not honoring your hunger and satiety signals, and are therefore not eating intuitively.
Be Realistic and Respectful of Your Body
Perhaps most importantly, Tribole and Resch advocate a respectful and realistic view of body image. They want each person to discover what her own healthy weight is, and to be true to it. For most of us, it means that we can't be a size 0 anymore than we can grow an extra 6 inches. A natural and healthy size 12 woman should not fight her genes to satisfy society's image of what a woman "should" look like. Loving the bodies we have, recognizing our strengths and focusing on their health rather than our size increases our chances of taking better care of ourselves.