Say the phrase "intuitive eating" and most people will give you that nod. You know, that nod that means, Oh dear, I did not realize you were a crazy person, but I don't want to be rude. Please, tell me more about chemtrails. And, I get it — really. At first blush, intuitive eating sounds like choosing your meals using psychic powers. But, in fact, it's the opposite. Intuitive eating means eating like a normal, rational human being.
Of course, a lot of us don't act that normal and rational around food.
Unless you were raised in some food-neutral Utopia with absolutely no outside influences on your eating habits or body image, you're probably going to develop some unhelpful habits and attitudes around eating. The naysayers cry, "So, snap out of it. Just eat normally — it's that simple!"
But, for the millions of us who've dieted all our lives (and/or grappled with eating disorders) it's not simple at all. We need help to break the cycle. We need guidance and baby steps and a lot of practice. For us, it's a real challenge to eat food like it's just food. That's why intuitive eating exists.
Still, the naysayers seem to have a lot of opinions on this topic. They say intuitive eating means eating junk food all day, ignoring your health, and generally giving up and giving in. I cannot imagine why they say these things except perhaps they don't know what the fuck they're talking about. Could that be it?
If so, I'm happy to help! Here, I'd like to provide a little basic myth-busting on intuitive eating. If you want more info, there's a whole book on the subject (get this: it's called Intuitive Eating). But, for now, let's start with these 12 myths about intuitive eating that you should know the truth about before you try it — or judge it.
The Anti-Diet Project is an ongoing series about intuitive eating, rational fitness, and body positivity. You can follow my journey on Twitter and Instagram at @mskelseymiller or #antidietproject (hashtag your own Anti-Diet moments, too!). Got a question — or your own Anti-Diet story to tell? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.