It’s a lovely idea that all you need to make good decisions is to trust yourself. We Americans are deeply invested in the narrative of heroic self-dependence. The trouble comes when we are forced to acknowledge that our lives are highly interdependent and subject to influence.
Intuitive eating is a set of guidelines put together by a group of nutritionists to combat diet culture. So far, so good. They emphasize things like making peace with food, respecting your body, and labeling diet culture disordered eating (see my last issue
The problem lies in the idea that your intuition is enough to keep weight gain at bay. We live in a world that constantly suggests we eat, and then eat more. If you think marketing (one form of constant suggestion) doesn’t work, go take an inventory of all your recent purchases and how they came to be. For myself, I’m writing this while wearing an entire outfit I saw in Instagram ads. So, yes, simply suggesting something you want is enough to deviate course.
The second is the need to quantify. Your brain naturally distorts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve faced a dessert counter and all I can think is, yes, I need this!
I’m a healthy eater, exerciser, and highly active person and still, I need to keep tabs my food choices. I do it through daily weigh-ins
, and on occasion food journaling when I need to see my consumption over time.
If you are recovering from a long history of disordered behavior around food then intuitive eating might be a great place to start. I did a version of that for two years before starting in earnest to lose weight. During that time I focused on keeping my weight stable and unlearning diet culture.
If you are curious about these philosophies, check out the article below from Outside magazine. As always, feel free to hit the reply button and tell me your thoughts on this or any subject you would like me to tackle.