Using Intuitive Eating Skills to Stop Compulsive Eating

Intuitive Eating is the nemesis of compulsive eating. Intuitive Eating is a book and program developed by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA. Intuitive Eating focuses on 10 principles designed to help us make peace with food. This book changed my life and I use it with every single client. It takes away the guilt and shame associated with certain food choices. It gives skills to start paying attention to hunger and fullness. So, how does this help stop compulsive eating?
1. No food is good or bad. By removing the concept of “good” and “bad” foods, nothing is off limits and there is no shame or guilt associated with eating certain foods. If we feel shame when we eat something, we feel like we have blown it and there is nothing to keep us from eating more and more. It keeps us in a never-ending cycle of sabotage.
2. You eat as soon as you are hungry. If you wait too long to eat, your blood sugar drops and we feel a compulsive need to eat as much as possible in a frenzied state. It is easy to overeat because we eat too quickly to recognize we are no longer hungry.
3. You stop when you have had enough. Intuitive Eating teaches you to respect signs of fullness. By the time we hit full, we have already eaten too much. If we strive for eating to the point where we are no longer hungry, we generally have had enough. You don’t need to eat enough for the whole day, you only need enough to get you to the next meal or snack.
4. Deal with your feelings without food. This is where I come in! By releasing the emotional connections to food, there is no longer a need to eat compulsively because you learn to sooth yourself in other ways. Emotions become more stable and life is simply more manageable.

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Weber State University and a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. She has been working in the mental health field since 2001.

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