Date of Award
School of Unrestricted Education
Dr. Grace Veach
“Intuitive eating is a dynamic process integrating attunement of the mind, body, and food.” (Tribole and Resch 23). Essentially, intuitive eating is a way of life. By listening to inner, natural signals, intuitive eating integrates mind, body, and food for optimal health. Speaking from my own personal experience, intuitive eating truly does promote a healthy lifestyle. I don’t just know about intuitive eating; I live it. I want to share my knowledge and my experience with intuitive eating to those who have never heard of it. Although intuitive eating has gained popularity, especially among dieticians and nutritionists, it still remains in the shadows of traditional approaches to health and wellness. In this summary, I would like to highlight the importance of intuitive eating and how it promotes a healthy lifestyle.
Mentally and physically, intuitive eating guides individuals back to their internal cues. Mentally, intuitive eating encourages positive body image and increases confidence. Intuitive eating fosters a healthy relationship with food. Food is viewed as nourishment for the body and soul. Food is fuel; it sustains the human body. There are no “good” or “bad” foods with intuitive eating. The intuitive eater learns to enjoy food without gorging themselves. In addition, intuitive eaters naturally choose healthier foods to eat because they view food as nourishment and know other foods will always be available if they want it. An intuitive eater will eat based on biological hunger signals, rarely emotions or any other external cue.
Physically, intuitive eating promotes a stable relationship with exercise. Physical activity is viewed as pleasure instead of punishment. When used properly, exercise increases sense of self-worth, ability, and confidence. Also, intuitive eaters will rest. Soreness, tiredness, and illness are signs of a needed break. Intuitive eaters will honor these rest signals and take proper precautions. Intuitive eating also helps to maintain an appropriate weight based on individual genetics and normal bodily functions. As a result, normal eating patterns based on individual preferences and bodily nutrient needs are developed.
In my own life, intuitive eating has helped me overcome mental and physical battles. I struggled with body image and Orthorexic patterns. Orthorexia is an eating disorder which can be defined as, “An unhealthy and rigid obsession to eat healthfully.” I viewed my body negatively and viewed food as either good or bad. I would cut out food groups that I deemed “unhealthy” like sugars, carbohydrates, and some fats. In addition, I counted calories for some time. Although the combination of working out intensely, rejecting certain foods, and restricting calories gave me that skinny body I had always craved, it did not satisfy me. I was less happy, less energetic, and less confident. The choices I made and lived out worked against my body’s natural instincts. Instead of listening to my body’s internal hunger cues, I suppressed them. I deafened my body’s inner hunger signals which deafened my ability to love, care, and nourish my body in a God-glorifying way.
Why choose intuitive eating? Intuitive eating is more than just an alternative to dieting; it’s a way of life. In my own life, I have experienced the power of intuitive eating to develop a healthy lifestyle. By integrating attunement of mind, body, and food, intuitive eating can help individuals like you and I live freely in nourishing our bodies for the glory of God.
Oezer, Krista, "Intuitive Eating Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle" (2019). Classical Conversations. 7.