I don’t know about you, but since I delved into the world of all things Intuitive Eating, I’ve encountered some major misconceptions about what it means to be an Intuitive Eater. In fact, I believed many of them myself before I truly embarked on my own Intuitive Eating journey and learned what it really meant to become 'an intuitive eater' (or better yet, the goal- to be a normal eater).
The saddest part of many of these misconceptions is that they often lead people away from the process of becoming an Intuitive Eater before they even begin. So what I thought I’d do today is debunk five of the most common misconceptions surrounding what it means to be an Intuitive Eater.
1. Intuitive Eaters eat all the things, all the time.
One big misconception of Intuitive Eating is that Intuitive Eaters just eat all the things, all the time. If it pops into their head, they eat it. If it appears in front of them, they eat it. While it’s true Intuitive Eating means you have the choice to do so-- true Intuitive Eating also takes into consideration: hunger and fullness cues, food preferences, food values, and how the eater wants to feel. Having a deep connection with their body and their needs means Intuitive Eating is way less chaotic and haphazard than it is often made out to seem.
2. Intuitive Eaters don’t care about their health.
This one really ruffles my feathers, because Intuitive Eaters care enough about their health to become intuitive eaters! Most people come to intuitive eating after years of dieting, striving for health and wellness and nothing sticking- they’re exhausted and want to live a healthy life of balance. Intuitive Eating is the non-diet solution for living your healthiest life. So yes- Intuitive Eaters care about their health- probably as much as you do (they just don’t obsess about it).
3. Intuitive Eaters just eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full.
This is a common mindset when people first hear about Intuitive Eating. “Oh, you don’t count or track or measure, so you just eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full?”
Yes, and no. Intuitive Eating is SO much more than just hunger and fullness cues. It’s also: letting go of the diet mentality, eating mindfully, choosing satisfying foods, working through emotional eating, respecting your body, joyful movement and gentle nutrition. So where getting in touch with hunger and fullness cues are important beginning steps of Intuitive Eating, they’re just the tip of the iceberg.
4. Intuitive Eaters eat donuts for breakfast and ice cream for lunch every day.
As an Intuitive Eater, you are one hundred percent welcome to all of the donuts and ice cream you want. But habituation tells us if we were to eat donuts and ice cream every day, we’d get sick of them- and further, we probably wouldn’t feel good. Intuitive Eating means we eat these foods without guilt or restriction- but that we take into consideration how we want to feel throughout our day- Intuitive Eating is more than eating for taste, just like it’s more than just eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full.
5. Intuitive Eaters don’t ever struggle with their relationship with food or their body.
We’re not aliens, us Intuitive Eaters- and where Intuitive Eating is a great way to improve your relationship with food and your body, it’s an ongoing process- a lifelong process, and we all have struggles that come up from time to time. Having struggles doesn’t exclude you from being an intuitive eater- you can’t lose your intuitive eating card. Intuitive Eating means you are continuing to expand your connection to your body, and growing through your struggles, one at a time.
How about you: Have you ever encountered any of these misconceptions? Have you ever believed them yourself (no judgment?!)?
Want to learn more about what it means to be an Intuitive Eater (and the steps it takes)? Download my free Stress Free Eating Workbook, here.