Intuition: that little voice in your head and heart that always knows what is best for you. Eating: the act of nourishing our bodies to stay alive. So, what’s the connection here? Intuitive eating is a modality that has taken the wellness world by storm and with it comes some questions, comments, and concerns from those seeking a path to more mindful eating.
A common worry amongst people who are nervous to try intuitive eating is that they think their intuition will lead them knee-deep in pizza and ice cream. They feel that if they aren’t told what is good or bad for them, they will lose self-control entirely.
The Facts About Diets
The irony here is that, statically speaking, typical restrictive diets often fail. Studies show that the average American adult tries to implement a fad diet four times per year and that 95% of the time, the diet fails. More often than not, dieters will regain the weight they lost with 1-5 years. Diets also have been proven not to work in the short term either. In America, 25% of people on a diet quit within the first two weeks.
So, clearly, something is missing here. Diets don’t work yet; we are so married to the idea of them. In part, we have the media to blame for the dieting epidemic. It seems like you can’t watch a show or scroll social media without coming across a new fad diet plan. These days, however, it can be disguised as “healthy” or “clean” “lifestyle choices.”
This is where you will find your juice fasts, master cleanses, detox powders, and magic teas, all intending to “clean you out.” Think about that for a moment. If we need to be cleaned, doesn’t that imply that we were once dirty? And how do you think the body and the nervous system will respond to being told it’s dirty?
Toxic Diet Propaganda
The stigma of “good food” and “bad food” that exists within the wellness world has created a problem known as Orthorexia. WebMD describes Orthorexia as “an unhealthy focus on eating in a healthy way.” Steven Bratman, MD, a doctor based in California, coined the term in 1996 to mean a “fixation on righteous eating.”
This term Orthorexia is a relativity new concept when it comes to the world of disordered eating, and it’s believed that it’s born out of toxic diet culture propaganda and a one size fits all approach to overall health and well-being. Intuitive eating, however, counters this idea completely.
The Intuitive Eating Solution
Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch dietitians, authors of Intuitive Eating and the mamas of this movement, describe an intuitive eating diet as “A self-care eating framework that integrates instinct, emotion, and rational thought.” So how does it work? We sat down with Rachel Katz, Intuitive Eating Coach, Nutritional Scientist, and Yoga Teacher to understand a little more about the practice.
Rachel’s path to intuitive eating was a long and painful journey. She shared that she suffered from an eating disorder during her high school years that left her conflicted about her relationship with food and her body. It wasn’t until college where she found her genuine love for health and wellness and decided to become a nutritionist.
As we know, the wellness industry and can often just be the diet industry in a wig, so she found herself wrapped up in dangerous diets all in the name of “health.” It wasn’t until she found intuitive eating did she genuinely begin to understand what it means to be “well.”
“Diets don’t’ work,” Rachel proclaims, “they never have, and they never will. Diets are not sustainable and tend to create an unhealthy relationship with food. Diet culture convinces people that their worth is connected to their ability to restrict certain food groups.
When we restrict ourselves for a long period of time, we end up binging on the very thing we were trying to avoid. We then feel horrible about it and begin yet another diet. Thus begins the binge and restrict cycle.”
Intuitive eating is the process of understanding what your body needs knowing that it might not match up with what society is preaching as “health.” This process can take time, and it’s not always as simple as it sounds. It appears that intuitive eating is more of a journey than a destination. It’s less eating “perfectly” and more about softening the narrative around good or bad foods.
There are no dietary restrictions for intuitive eating; everything Is quite literally on the table! This approach, though it scares the choric diet, often is the very thing that saves them from “falling off the wagon.” When we practice allowing ourselves to eat what we truly want to eat, we don’t need to overdo it; we just do it.
“Intuitive eating means feeling safe enough in your body to trust whatever it needs in every moment.” Says Rachel. She has combined years of nutritional studies and personal experience with offering a road map to food freedom. If you’re interested in allowing Rachel to guide your Intuitive Eating experience, you can learn more about her and book your first session today!
Nutritional Scientist, Intuitive Eating Coach,
Yoga Teacher, and True Healer.
Learn more about Rachel!