Intuitive Eating: A Set Up for Failure
Intuitive Eating has become popular in the weight-loss and eating disorder community as an effective approach to developing a healthier relationship with food.
This controversial method however, does not account for those who have a high susceptibility to sugar and flour addiction and the current environment in which we live. Intuitive Eating (IE) is based on the principles of honoring one’s hunger cues, developing a peaceful relationship with food and ending the destructive diet mentality. IE was developed in 1995 by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resc and carries a strong emphasis on each person being the “expert” of their body. The approach encourages people to refrain from eliminating any foods from their diet and instead work towards a “moderation” approach.
Although IE may work for some, it is highly unlikely that an individual with an active addiction to sugar and flour can simply listen to their body and eat what they want. Further, IE fails to acknowledge that we no longer live in an intuitive environment. It’s 2019 and we are chronically more stressed than ever, we function on little sleep, we’re glued to our phones and guess what we gravitate towards to get us through the day? The convenience of quick energy: highly processed foods, often laden with sugar. Tell me… what’s intuitive about that?
The combination of eating foods that are engineered to make us want more, coupled with our current environment, adds layers upon layers of complexity. IE largely ignores the biological, social, chemical and emotional vulnerabilities we face when it comes to food and food behaviors.
The quest to develop the skill of IE is a set up for failure.
Instead, we need to acknowledge the fact that modern foods are not what they were and that they seriously hijack our nervous systems, endocrine systems and our brain.
Let’s move towards an approach that offers us humility in knowing what triggers us and the foods that cause serious health implications and make us more susceptible to overeating and binging. At Beacon, this is the middle path for which we strive.