Today I wanted to discuss something that I see way too often and that is this idea that Intuitive Eating is simply just “letting yourself go” or not caring about yourself or your health. First off, this is completely untrue. If you’ve read or listened to anything that I’ve said about Intuitive Eating, or if you’ve read the book, you’d know that! In actuality, it is a whole self-care framework that prioritizes both mental and physical health.
I think that it gets this image because at the beginning stages of Intuitive Eating you are unlearning all that diet culture has taught you and you are giving yourself unconditional permission to eat all foods. If you’re coming off of years of restriction and avoiding certain foods then you are very likely to initially binge eat these foods! This is a normal part of the start of Intuitive Eating, but it does not last!
What I see happen quite often is someone will feel so sick of dieting so they will decide to quit dieting and kinda give this Intuitive Eating thing a try. Well, they dive into the “unconditionally allow all foods” principle and they go crazy eating lots of the foods they had previously restricted. This may lead to not feeling very well and potentially even just weight gain. They end up figuring that there is no way that this is healthy for them, so they go back to the familiar old dieting routine that they know so well. This of course just keeps them stuck in the same vicious cycle that they desperately wanted out of for so long!
Instead, stick with it! I will also say that this is not a passive process, meaning that there is some work to be done. The Intuitive Eating Workbook is extremely helpful for this – to actually work your way through all the principles and learn to become an Intuitive Eater.