Insights from Intuitive Eating
Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch wrote a book titled Intuitive Eating. I
have to admit, reading the book was a bit of a struggle for me, but my struggles
were worth the new insights and perspectives I gained. Here are a few concepts
from the book I would like to share with you for Septemberís thought bullets.
- An ethical dilemma of the authors lead to a new approach called intuitive
eating. How could the authors, as nutrition counselors, go on teaching
clients sound nutrition information that was ineffective? Healthy meals plans
were not helping clients permanently lose weight.
- Many clients of the authors reported they felt they were living in a food
police state run by the food mafia. Youíre not going to eat those high fat
french fries, are you? Foods are often described in moralistic
terms--sinful, tempting, decadent. The authors observed that the more their
clients prohibited certain foods, the more seductive the foods became.
- "Food is love, food is comfort, food is reward, food is a reliable
friend." Using food to cope with lifeís emotions is common. The
coping mechanism can vary from eating out of boredom to eating as the only
comfort in a painful life.
- Principles of intuitive eating include the following:
* Honor your hunger and feel your fullness
* Accept your genetic blueprint
9 You wouldnít try to squeeze your feet into
shoes several sizes too small
* Make peace with food
9 Allow yourself to eat when you are hungry
* Engage in conscious eating
9 Unconscious eating is putting bite after bite of
food in your mouth without really tasting it
* Practice gentle nutrition
9 Taste is important, and health is honored
- Inactivity isnít just for couch-potatoes. Many physically inactive
individuals spend little time on a couch with a remote control. Busy is not the
same as physically active.
- We should promote physical activity by asking people to focus on how it feels (higher energy levels, improved stress coping
abilities, improved sleep, a greater sense of empowerment,
a general sense of well-being). If all the benefits of physical activity were fully experienced, who would ever want to stop being physically active?
Source: Intuitive Eating - A Revolutionary Program That Works, by
Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD, and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, St. Martinís Press, New York,
NY, 1996, ISBN 0-312-95721-1.
Compiled by Betty Holmes, MS, RD
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