I am a certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor and bring this approach to clients who are interested in healing their relationship with their body and/or food and have committed to putting weight loss goals on the back burner. Whether you’ve struggled with body image and diet cycling throughout your life or are in recovery from an eating disorder, this approach could be just what you’re looking for.
What is Intuitive Eating?
Intuitive Eating is a compassionate, self-care eating framework which integrates instinct, emotion, and rational thought. It is weight inclusive and Health At Every Size aligned, believing in the dignity and respect for all bodies and rejecting the idealizing or pathologizing of specific weights.
So much of struggles with food and/or body are based on external factors: coping with trauma, diet culture, fat phobia, food rules, our family scripts about food and eating. Intuitive Eating is about turning the focus to internal factors to foster more positive relationships with food/body.
More than 150 research studies have been conducted on Intuitive Eating and its benefits. It’s a personal and dynamic process, which includes 10 principles:
Reject the Diet Mentality
Honour Your Hunger
Make Peace With Food
Challenge the Food Police
Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Feel your Fullness
Cope With Your Emotions With Kindness
Respect Your Body
Movement- Feel the Difference
Honour Your Health-Gentle Nutrition
Interoceptive Awareness is considered the “superpower” of Intuitive Eating. The 10 principles of Intuitive Eating work in two key ways:
Improve Interoceptive Awareness by helping you cultivate attunement to the physical sensations that arise from within your body to get both your biological and psychological needs met and;
Removing the obstacles/disruptors to Interoceptive Awareness which usually come from the mind in the form of rules, beliefs, and thoughts.
If the way you eat or think about food is significantly and negatively impacting your life, then you probably have some kind of disordered eating. We live in a world where “health” and “wellness” have been co-opted by toxic diet culture and where eating disorders can thrive in plain sight. Whether you are sick of dieting or are in recovery from an Eating Disorder, you deserve help.
Generally speaking, disordered eating is a spectrum of disordered behaviours that vary in intensity/interference in one’s life:
restriction (cutting out food groups, calorie counting, meal skipping, etc)
purging (compensatory behaviours like compulsive exercise, laxative use, vomiting)
bingeing (consumption of an unusually large amount of food during a relatively short period of time)
Read more about the different types of Eating Disorders here.
What is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor?
Someone who has completed the Intuitive Eating training program facilitated by The Original Intuitive Eating Pros: Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD, CEDRD-S and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, CEDRD-S.
Course requirements and completion include: Intuitive Eating Webinar, Intuitive Eating Group Supervision, Helm Publishing Intuitive Eating 4th Edition Self-Study Course, and passing a Helm Intuitive Eating Certification Exam. To maintain certification, counsellors must engage in a 3-part Intuitive Eating Group Supervision every 5 years.
Do I need an Eating Disorder diagnosis to access your services/Intuitive Eating counselling?
No diagnosis needed! The only thing you need is a desire to heal your relationship with food or your body.
How do I know if Intuitive Eating is right for me?
First, you may not be sure if Intuitive Eating is right for you and that’s okay— this is something we can figure out together early on. “Rejecting the Diet Mentality” (one of Intuitive Eating’s principles) is imperative to the Intuitive Eating approach, so goals of weight loss will get in the way of getting the most out of this approach. If you’re doubtful about your ability to put weight loss on the back burner right now, it may be helping to explore these self-help resources before committing to booking an appointment.
Second, it depends on where you’re at with your Eating Disorder or recovery process. Sometimes, folks’ satiety signals/cue (hunger, fullness) are so distorted or “offline” that first some nutritional rehabilitation steps may need to occur. We can work together on this. As satiety signals begin to slowly emerge and the anxiety becomes manageable, Intuitive Eating principles can then be more effectively applied.