Written by Ashley Seruya, BA
Intuitive eating can be challenging when coming from the diet world, and many of us are tempted to worry about “health” when we first start our journey… but is this helpful? Simply put, no.
Many of us who come to intuitive eating do so after either chronically dieting our whole lives, or struggling with an eating disorder. This means that when we finally decide to make peace with food, we are already at a disadvantage. We’ve likely been depriving ourselves and restricting, physically and mentally. We likely have a lot of nourishing to catch up on, physically and spiritually. We likely have a lot of rules around food and movement, and are terrified to give them up.
This is understandable to be sure. Intuitive eating asks us to cast aside everything we’ve been taught since a young age, and go against everything society reinforces every single day about weight loss and health. It’s no wonder that when many of us come to intuitive eating, we’re concerned about our health… we’re concerned that giving ourselves unconditional permission to eat all foods means we will jeopardize our wellbeing and our waistline.
But research shows that, in the long run, eating intuitively versus in a controlled or restricted way actually promotes health, no matter our size. So if health is really your concern, stop worrying about macros and carbohydrates and calories, and start focusing on tuning into your intuition and inner wisdom about hunger, fullness, and cravings. If you feel your eating is leaning towards mostly “fun” foods in the beginning, know that this is normal! You deprived yourself of those foods for so long, and your brain is worried you’re going to take them away again. Once the deprivation mindset calms down and your brain learns to trust you around food again, your eating patterns and cravings will balance out, and your body will find health on its own.