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  • Writer's pictureRenee Little, R.D.

3 Common Intuitive Eating Myths

Intuitive eating has actually been in the mainstream media more lately and as a result is allowing more people to learn about it and access it. Which is so great! I have met many folks though who have not read the book themselves and are getting all of their information from social media and podcasts. This can open up a lot of confusion about intuitive eating.

I thought it might be helpful to go through 3 common myths I've heard with intuitive eating and present more information for you. Knowing the full picture can help you to feel less fear and more comfort with starting your healing process.

The myths I've heard include:

MYTH 1 : You have to add in ALL the foods you've restricted all at once and it will feel out of control.

TRUTH: Making peace with food is only one part of intuitive eating. The other parts of the process include ditching the diet mentality, honoring your hunger, challenging the food police, respecting your body, coping with your emotions with kindness, joyful movement, feeling your fullness and discovering satisfaction with food. Without going through these other areas when we add in previously restricted foods it can feel very overwhelming. Making peace with all foods is also meant to be experienced along with the other mindset pieces of intuitive eating. You also do not have to add all of your previously restricted foods in at one time. You can take a more structured approach and add one food at a time.

MYTH 2: I cannot learn about intuitive eating or heal my relationship with food because I still "need" to lose weight.

TRUTH: Most people who find intuitive eating do so because they are actively dieting and trying to lose weight. The process of healing your relationship with food using the information and activities with intuitive eating can help you explore your reasons for losing weight and help you to become more body neutral. If you work with a certified intuitive eating counselor they can also help you explore more about your goal of weight loss, how to associate health with non-weight focused outcomes and assist you in divesting from diet culture.

MYTH 3: I can't eat intuitively because I have x medical condition (x = diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol)

TRUTH: Intuitive eating includes honoring your health needs and food values at the same time as helping you to ditch dieting and make peace with food. The way you approach intuitive eating may be different if you do have a medical condition compared to someone who does not. This may include involving known bloodwork or lab values or health markers that can also guide how, when and what you eat. In order to help live with a medical condition you do not need to lose weight or restrict a lot of foods. You can still eat a wide variety of foods and get enjoyment out of your meals and snacks.

If you are feeling lost or fearful of healing your relationship with food because of what you've seen on social or from others I would encourage you to do a bit more reading and learning or to seek out support from a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor in your area.

You deserve to have a peaceful relationship with food.


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