Mindful & Intuitive Eating

Eat when you are hungry, drink when you are thirsty, sleep when you are tired. – Taoist adage.

Mindful & Intuitive Eating is sometimes defined as simply eating “whatever you want, whenever you want.” Whilst this description is partly true, the authentic process is much more refined and ‘awake’ than this catch phrase might look at first.

The simple tools of tuning into our bodies and fully experiencing each bite of food have the power to resolve many questions about food choices and diet. However, after a long period of ignoring our body’s signals, getting back in touch with them can take a little bit of work – this is where working with a skilled therapist can help.

It’s hard to listen to the body when a symphony of opposing authorities on diet are shouting their new findings and guaranteed weight loss methods from the rooftops, but it IS possible and the benefits to your physical and psychological health are considerable.


WHAT IS INTUITIVE EATING?

Intuitive Eating can also be referred to as Non-DietingMindful Eatingand Attuned Eating. These eating philosophies are a class of eating behaviours guided primarily by awareness of and agreement with internal body cues of hunger and satiety. Instead of fighting your body, mindful & intuitive eating guides you to connect with and ultimately befriend your body.

WHY IS INTUITIVE EATING HELPFUL?

Mindful and Intuitive Eating are powerful strategies for breaking the trap of yo-yo dieting, compulsive eating and releasing ingrained emotional eating patterns.

Weight-control diets often teach us to disconnect from and distrust our body. Diets encourage us to categorise foods, to be fearful of them, to measure and control. Dieting can turn eating into an entirely cognitive process devoid of body signals and laden with guilt and power trips. Eating this way can be extremely frustrating, anxiety provoking and typically leads to yo-yo weight cycling. Intuitive Eating is a valuable and evidence-based alternative to dieting, more conducive to our physical and mental health.

WHAT ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS?

There is no guarantee of weight loss or gain when you adopt a mindful eating practice. The focus of this practice is attunement, acceptance, health and well-being. However, if you have been eating out of attunement, is very much likely that you are out of your healthy body weight.

Authentic Intuitive and Mindful Eating behaviours promote improvements to health and well-being that include physical, emotional and mental aspects. These improvements can occur irrespective of changes to body weight (assuming you are not significantly underweight).

Intuitive Eating respects that body weight is highly individual and maintains that good health can be sustained outside of standardised body weight tables when our behaviours are healthy. If you are interested in these ideas you can click here to read more about Health At Every Size HAES.®

YOU CAN LEARN INTUITIVE & MINDFUL
​EATING

Whilst we can lose the ability to eat in tune with our body through dieting, the great news is that these skills can be re-learned in teachable steps. This ‘re-learning’ process can sometimes require a period of structured eating, and this is particularly true if your eating is highly restrictive or you are prone to very regular binge. Everyone’s journey to reconnecting to their body and eating with awareness is different.

Experimentation, with the guidance of professional counselling can assist you to reinstate a sense of eating competence that is sustainable, flexible and authentic.

Get in touch here, and let`s work together

THE CORE SKILLS OF INTUITIVE & MINDFUL EATING

There are three core skills of intuitive and mindful eating:

  1. Being able to pay attention, and be fully present to what we are doing and experiencing
  2. Being able to sense our body’s signals, accept our body’s signals and respond to these signals with permission, compassion and wisdom
  3. Being able to practice 1 & 2 realistically and with flexibility as often as possible

The only reliable authority, in the end, is your own body.