The Lowdown on What You Need to Know about Intuitive Eating, the "Anti-Diet" Trend

I seem to be flooded on Instagram with posts about intuitive eating. They leave you with claims of happiness and health. It seems almost too good to be true. But what is intuitive eating? Is it really a healthy “diet”?

Intuitive eating claims to be an “anti-diet” meaning it's a lifestyle change and not a crash diet. The first thing most posts on intuitive eating says is that “you will never be hungry again” and “you don’t need to count macros.” These beliefs are also backed up by posts of self-love, compassion, and “rebuilding a relationship with food”. This movement seems to be rooted in developing healthy eating habits without depriving the body of its craving. It rejects the idea of good/healthy food and bad/unhealthy food.

But what is it really? It’s just eating normally. When you hear intuitive eating, you think “eat whatever you want”.  But don't think so fast. The diets pushed by media encourage restriction and dependence on the diet industry.

People who follow this trend believe we naturally know what to feed ourselves. It is something programmed into our biological makeup. However, when we are influenced by the outside world, we begin to lose our contact with our intuitive eating and become influenced by media and other people. They put the focus on internal cues as a way to decide your eating habits. The principles of intuitive eating are: reject the diet mentality, honor your hunger, make peace with food, challenge the food police, respect your fullness, discover the satisfaction factor, honor your feelings without using food, respect your body, exercise, and honor your health through gentle nutrition.

There has been a lot on the controversy on if intuitive eating should be an option.  Why call eating a box of Oreos intuitive eating?

They seem to miss the point and the fact that nutrition is encouraged. Nutritionists have claimed that intuitive eating should not be used for weight loss and can cause weight gain. Intuitive eating is not right for everyone, depending on their pre-existing medical conditions. Many people who promote lifestyle encourage deciding if the diet is right for you or not. In the end, this “diet” seems to be rooted in fighting diet culture, eating disorders, and improving mental health.