Intuitive eating is a way of eating that allows you to finally ditch the diets and figure out what works best for YOU. So, what exactly does that look like? And who should consider working with an intuitive eating dietitian? Keep reading to find out!
What is intuitive eating?
Intuitive eating is a way of approaching food and nutrition that is based on self-knowledge AND self-care. It can really help anyone who wants to feel confident and comfortable in their own body while living a life they love.
It is built on the idea that we can heal our relationship with food and our body by becoming more in tune with ourselves. This means eating and moving in response to signs from your body and what you have learned works for you, rather than in response to external cues.
What are the benefits of working with an intuitive eating dietitian?
If you want to work with an intuitive eating dietitian, there are so many amazing benefits.
First, I would recommend ensuring that they are a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. This way you can make sure they will take a whole-person approach to nutrition. They can also help you with the mental and emotional aspects of eating. One way is by helping you learn how to deal with emotions and stressors that affect your food choices.
How to find an intuitive eating dietitian in your area
Since we want a dietitian who is also a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, I would first recommend searching the official directory. Everyone listed in this directory has completed the official training from the original IE professionals.
In order to receive this certification, Counselors have to complete the following:
- Completing and passing Helm Publishing’s Self-Study Intuitive Eating Course
- Completion of Evelyn Tribole’s Intuitive Eating PRO Webinar
- Completion of three supervision/coaching sessions with either Elyse Resch or Evelyn Tribole.
I completed the Certification process last year (2021) and really enjoyed learning about how Intuitive Eating is SO much more than just hunger and fullness. Sometimes it feels a bit difficult to truly explain IE to others because we have been so conditioned as a society to only see results in the form of numbers and physical appearance.
What to expect from working with an intuitive eating dietitian
While I can mainly speak to what it’s like to work with me, I would like to imagine (or hope) that working with other Certified IE Counselors/Dietitians would be similar!
First things first, we are NOT the food police (and I won’t be weighing you). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients be so shocked that I don’t care so much about WHAT they eat, but WHY they eat it and how it made them feel.
I want to know more about what led to you choosing that particular meal or snack. Did you actually enjoy it? What did it taste like? What did you like or not like about it? Did it help give you enough energy to get to your next meal or snack?
Pretty much, I’m the queen of curiosity questions 👸🏻
Everyone has a different journey, but in general, I like to work with clients this way:
- Deep dive into their past relationship with food, body and exercise
- Current relationship with food, body and exercise
- Start to deconstruct beliefs they have around food, body and exercise (this part takes a while!)
- Practice unconditional permission to eat foods you enjoy (there’s a process to this and while it can be scary, every client always has a phenomenal result of find food freedom – like those chips you may think you can’t have in your house – you can!)
- Start to add more intentional joyful movement and food choices
We can’t start adding movement or think about the nutrition behind our food choices too much because we first have to break down our beliefs and thoughts that have been shoved down our throats from diet culture.
One important thing to remember is that this is not a diet plan or a 12-week fix. While I like for clients to work with me for a minimum of 3 months, ideally it’s longer. Just like therapy, it takes time to truly deconstruct and relearn how to be in touch with our bodies so we can provide nourishment and movement that works for us.
Are you still curious?
If you’re curious about Intuitive Eating, want to develop a healthier relationship with food and your body, or are struggling with disordered eating, I encourage you to reach out for help. There are dietitians who specialize in intuitive eating (🙋🏻♀️), and we can help guide you on your journey toward healing.
Intuitive eating is not a “quick fix” by any means, but it is a sustainable approach that will allow you to live your life feeling happy and healthy – both inside and out. So what’s holding you back? Submit an inquiry for nutrition counseling today.