How to Lose Weight with Intuitive Eating – It’s Better, But Not the Focus

She received her Bachelor of Science in Human Development from Cornell University, and her Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from New York University, where she also completed her dietetic internship. In her private practice, Nicole Groman Nutrition, Nicole helps you reconnect with your body. She encourages prioritizing your body over your mind, having faith that your body will tell you what it needs, what it doesn’t, when it’s had too much, or if it hasn’t had enough. She’s been quoted in Vogue, Women’s Health, and Well+Good. Check out her work and learn more here.

Weight loss is a common health goal.  But let’s be real, the old-school method of strict dieting and calorie counting is a challenge and hazardous.

Not only is it frustrating, but it often leads to short-lived results, even disordered eating and just feeling bad about your body image or “self control”.  And more often than not, unsuccessful long-term weight management. But fear not, there is something better in store for you.

Shoulder of a lady with a tattoo and text that reads "Special Announcement: Your worth is not measured by a number."

What is this proven, refreshing approach to eating and weight loss?

Intuitive Eating has consistently proven to be more effective than traditional weight loss programs and restrictive diets. In over 150 clinical studies, the efficacy of Intuitive Eating is fairly well established (yes, that’s facetiousness – it’s very well established).

Before we go any further though, it’s extremely important to note – while Intuitive Eating may be better at weight loss than most programs, that is NOT the goal. Focusing on weight loss is counterproductive and not included in the Intuitive Eating approach for many reasons (more on that later).

Intuitive Eating Basics

Intuitive Eating is a game-changer, recognized by The National Eating Disorders Association, numerous medical journals, and nearly all of the top health websites that go through deep peer-review before publishing (here’s looking at you, Healthline ;)).

The approach puts you in charge of choosing the right foods for you, by listening to your body instead of a restrictive diet or regimen that disconnects you from your body. Intuitive Eating emphasizes listening to your body’s natural cues and signals of when and how to eat.  This promotes a mindful and attuned relationship with food that focuses on nourishment and well-being. So, you can now bid farewell to those diet cultures that have been weighing you down (again, obviously facetious). 

This concept is the creative outcome of dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.  It first appeared in their book “Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works.” in 1995.  It spreads the message of freedom from diets and a return to our instincts. Tribole and Resch realized that our bodies possess an incredible ability to guide us when it comes to food. We needed to relearn how to listen.

Is Intuitive Eating the antidote to the failing trend of diet culture?

Very possibly. But let’s understand why. Then, we’ll learn how to eat intuitively.

Intuitive Eating: The Diet That Encourages You To Stop Dieting

Imagine two different approaches to eating. In one corner, you have intuitive eating.  This is where you listen to your body’s cues and choose foods that make you feel good. It’s all about trust and enjoying the experience of eating.

In the other corner, we have restrictive diets.  It is quite the opposite of the first option as it comes with strict dietary rules and restrictions.  Unfortunately, diets may lead to feelings of guilt and anxiety about food.

With intuitive eating, you focus on self-care and finding pleasure in your meals. No food is off-limits, and you learn to appreciate every delicious bite. On the flip side, restrictive diets label foods as “good” or “bad” and create fear and guilt around eating.

Intuitive eating is a lifelong adventure. It’s about understanding your unique body and its needs.  You will learn to develop a positive relationship with food that lasts a lifetime. It’s the path to genuine well-being and self-acceptance, finding your own way. Meanwhile, restrictive diets are like one-way tickets to temporary fixes to short-term goals.  Plus, they can also lead to frustration and negative impacts on your body and mind.

So, which approach sounds more appealing to you?

The one that celebrates and nourishes your body?

Or, the one that brings stress and limitations?

The choice is yours!

Kitchen that incorporates the concept of intuitive eating with a subtle reference to weight loss

How To Lose Weight With Intuitive Eating – It’s Better, But Not the Focus

Intuitive Eating has consistently proven to be more effective than traditional weight loss programs and restrictive diets. In over 150 clinical studies, the efficacy of Intuitive Eating is fairly well established (yes, that’s facetiousness – it’s very well established).

Forget about obsessing over dropping pounds and squeezing into a certain dress size. This isn’t about what’s on your plate either – it’s a voyage of self-discovery and empowerment. You become the captain of your own ship.  You can navigate the waves of food choices with confidence and self-trust, eating without taking much time to make a decision, because you’re simply listening to your body and fluidly making decisions. It’s a journey that brings you closer to understanding yourself, your body, and food.

So if you’re tired of the restrictive approach to weight loss, it’s time to embrace a new way. Let’s dive into some fresh descriptions on the Intuitive Eating principles and build a more harmonious relationship with food. If you want to see the original 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating, see them here.

Some New Ways of Describing The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating

1. Embrace Body Neutrality

Forgo the restrictive diet mentality today. Comparing one’s body to someone else’s body, whether you know them or just see a picture of them, we’ve seen is the biggest trigger into the restrict and binge eating cycle. Why not welcome a mindset that honors and respects your unique body? Shift your focus from weight loss to embracing your well-being and creating self-acceptance, acknowledging that you won’t always have “body positivity”. However, even on days where you feel ugly, disgusted, or gross about your body, that you can always find gratefulness for your body – to say “thank you” for all your body does for you, whether that’s by walking, looking at nature or waving hello to a neighbor. Your body is always there for you.

2. Celebrate Your Hunger

2. Celebrate Your Hunger

Tune in to your body’s cues so you can nourish it with delicious and satisfying food, knowing the difference of super hunger, being a little hungry, emotional hunger, and practical hunger. Allow yourself to indulge in a fulfilling and nourishing way, truly enjoying foods that give you fulfillment and satisfaction, without so much as a thought to guilt. Practice this daily or weekly and see how it feels, whether lowers your stress and anxiety about food.

3. Discover Food Freedom

Grant yourself unconditional permission to enjoy all foods without guilt or judgment. Give yourself the power to make choices that align with your body’s needs and preferences.

4. Challenge Social Judgments

Reject the notion that certain foods are “good” or “bad.” Take a stand against external rules that contradict your body signals.  Focus on how foods so they affect your body and mind in a distinct yet welcoming manner.

5. Find Satisfaction in Food

Seek out foods that bring you genuine pleasure and satisfaction. Savor the flavors and textures, relishing each bite as you honor your body’s cravings.

6. Listen to Your Body’s Wisdom

Cultivate an awareness of when you feel full, recognizing before you get to the point of uncomfortable fullness. You can do this by tuning in to the gentle cues your body provides.  It’s a good habit to allow yourself to stop eating when you reach satiety.

7. Embrace Emotional Well-Being

Discover alternative ways to cope with emotions, stress, and boredom, other than food.  Engage in activities that bring you joy, seek support from loved ones, and choose self-care. Explore all of the feelings and emotions you may have throughout the day and week

8. Respect and Appreciate Your Body

Embrace your body in all its unique glory. Celebrate its strength and capabilities, rather than striving for an arbitrary ideal.

9. Engage in Joyful Movement

Embrace physical activity that brings you genuine pleasure and supports your well-being. Shift your focus from burning calories to honoring your body’s capabilities, enjoying the fact that your body is a rare gift – if you get to walk up stairs, across your town, swim in water, all of these movements are wildly exceptional within the spectrum of life and the animal kingdom. Enjoy each moment of them.

10. Nourish with Gentle Nutrition

Once you’ve healed your relationship with food, to the point where you’re not easily triggered back into the diet mentality or the restrict and binge eating cycle, make food choices that boost your health and vitality. At the same time, allow yourself to enjoy a diverse array of foods. Strive for balance and variety in the nourishing approach to food.

These empowering principles pave the way to a positive relationship with food. By embarking on this journey, you’ll discover the potential for a nutritive lifestyle. Embrace the possibilities and savor each moment of this transformative adventure!

The Verdict on Losing Weight With Intuitive Eating, According to Science

We’ve got some fascinating research on intuitive eating and weight loss to share. Now, intuitive eating isn’t all about shedding pounds, but guess what? It can still have some pretty awesome effects on weight-related outcomes!

In one study, researchers looked into how intuitive eating affects weight loss. And guess what? The participants who embraced Intuitive Eating saw some fantastic results. They experienced greater weight loss and improved body image.  Plus, participants felt better mentally compared to those who didn’t follow Intuitive Eating.

But that’s not all! Another study took a long-term look at intuitive eating among college women. Well, they discovered that practicing intuitive eating caused awesome changes over time. It not only leads to more favorable body weight outcomes. But, it also had positive effects on psychological factors. Talk about a win-win situation!

So, what does all this mean? It means that Intuitive Eating is about so much more than shedding pounds. Remember, weight loss may not be the primary focus.  But, it can still support your efforts in managing your weight.  Plus, it helps you create a healthier relationship with food and your body. So, embrace the power of intuitive eating. Then get ready to see some incredible changes in your life – both on the scale and within yourself.

Remember: Intuitive Eating Is Not About Weight Loss

Intuitive Eating is a powerful philosophy and program.  It transcends the narrow confines of weight loss and includes self-care. Rather than fixating on shedding pounds, it emphasizes how our bodies are more than numbers on a scale.  But, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution or a magical quick fix. It’s a personal and ongoing process and practice.  The process requires patience, self-reflection, and support. Everyone’s journey will look different, and that’s part of the beauty of it.

So, are you excited to embark on this extraordinary adventure?

It’s time to rewrite your story.  It’s the moment to redefine your relationship with food. It’s the day to unlock a world of self-love and well-being.

Get ready, because this journey will change your life in ways you never imagined possible.

And, you can use the Way app to Learn Intuitive Eating and Mindful Eating, without the scale!