Ninety-five percent of people who diet will not maintain their weight loss over a period of five years or more. In other words, only 5% of people who diet will keep the weight off, long term. FIVE PERCENT.

And yet, the desire to lose weight persists and people continue to try. And try. And try.

But there’s an alternative to this madness – intuitive eating. 

In this post, I’ll give you a brief intro into what intuitive eating is and how it compares to dieting.

So, what is intuitive eating?!

Intuitive eating is a framework that focuses on implementing healthy behaviours that support physical and mental health; it is rooted in self-compassion and interoceptive awareness (recognizing the body’s internal signals, like hunger or fullness). 

IE was created in the 1990s by two dietitians in the US, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, after they realized that when they put their patients on restrictive diets, the patients would lose weight, but more often than not, their patients would come back to them for support because they would regain the weight they lost (and sometimes more!). Regaining weight would then activate feelings of failure, guilt, and hopelessness. It’s no surprise then that dieting has also been found to have other detrimental effects on people: weight cycling, obsession with food, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. 

Intuitive eating is the anti-diet.

Here is a handy chart to show the main differences.

Intuitive eating is backed by science!

There are over 120 studies that have been done and it has been found that intuitive eaters eat more diverse food (not just play foods!) and to have:

  • More weight stability 
  • Greater body appreciation and satisfaction
  • Positive emotional functioning
  • Greater life satisfaction
  • Unconditional self-regard and optimism
  • Psychological hardiness
  • Greater motivation to move

So, how is intuitive eating revolutionary?

For many of us, we’ve been taught to follow trends, rules, tips – everything but ourselves and what we want. Ditch the scales, counters, charts, and plans, everyone. It’s time to come back to ourselves and our bodies!

We are all born with the ability to identify hunger and fullness. Think of babies – when they are hungry, they cry. When they’re full, they stop. On the journey to adulthood, many of us have been taught to disregard – and even to stop trusting – our bodies and to listen to everything that is outside of ourselves. It’s time to come home. 

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