A question asked many, many times – can intuitive eating be used for weight loss?
I’ve also seen many nutritionists, coaches and all sorts of professionals use terms associated with intuitive eating to promote dieting.
If you’ve been researching about intuitive eating, you’ve likely seen terms as “no diet”, “no restrictions” etc., used freely, but when you dig a bit deeper in the content of those creators, it’s pretty clear that restrictions and dieting is still there – wherever the purpose of an eating change is weight loss, we’re talking about dieting. Simple as that.
It doesn’t matter what name it hides under.

So, let’s explore the topic of weight loss through intuitive eating and answer the question.

Spoiler alert: no. But why?

First of all, let us remind ourselves what intuitive eating is.
Because understanding what intuitive eating is will make it clear why it’s not a weight loss tool.
Intuitive eating is a self-care practice; non-diet approach to eating.
Intuitive eating helps you come back home to yourself – we were all born intuitive eaters. Practicing intuitive eating helps you heal your relationship with food, your body and your health. Also, it helps you break free from chronic dieting.
Eating in an intuitive way allows you to listen to your internal hunger cues, instead of relying on external dieting rules to tell you what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat.

The “goal” of intuitive eating is establishing a close relationship with your body, so that you can take care of your body in a way that feels emotionally and physically good to you – at that point in life.

Personally, I find flexibility of intuitive eating (and weight neutral approach to health) to be extremely important and comforting. We must honor the phases and seasons of our lives. Sometimes, more care is necessary, sometimes, less care is available. Flowing with what is, instead of desperately clinging on routines will allow you to feel much healthier.
After all, rigid routines and rules are what diets prescribe – they don’t work.

When you’re taking loving care of yourself with non-diet approach, your weight will naturally settle at its own happy spot.
Happy weight is the setpoint where your body wants to be, and functions at its best. This is the weight that you will effortlessly maintain with non-diet approach. When you reach your happy weight, you won’t experience any more of drastic weight fluctuations, like you used to with dieting.
Of course, our weight is not rigid; it will fluctuate a bit, depending on many factors, like where you are at your menstrual cycle (if you have one), time of the day etc. However, those fluctuations are minor and do not harm your health, unlike the drastic fluctuations dieters usually experience.

Our happy weight that we naturally settle at with practicing intuitive eating (although, it’s important to note that “settling” at any weight is not a goal of intuitive eating), may be lower than what we started out with. But it could also stay the same, or it could be higher weight than we started out with.
The truth is, nobody can predict what will happen to your body weight when you’re practicing intuitive eating.
And anyone who claims differently is promoting a diet. Simple as that.

In reality, human bodies naturally come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and colors. This is the beauty of humanity. We are a diverse, colorful bunch.
Although diet culture and current (and I say current intentionally – once upon a time, being fat was a beauty standard) beauty standards would like us to believe we’re wrong for not fitting their imaginary mold, we can choose to reject those standards and focus on our own mental, physical and spiritual health.

In reality, being healthy doesn’t come from reaching a certain “goal weight”. Health is determined by many factors – we cannot even control them all. But the ones we can control revolve around healthy behaviours, not being a certain weight.

Just imagine how much more health we would have if we accepted the infinite beauty in our diversity, and took loving care of our bodies, not for the purpose of weight loss, but for the purpose of living to the fullest.

So, you may lose weight by practicing intuitive eating. However, intuitive eating is never used for the purpose of weight loss.
But you can practice non-diet approach for the purpose of becoming emotionally, physically and spiritually healthy. In the body you have right now.
Because the body you have right now is worthy of love (even if diet culture told you otherwise!).

P.S. If you’re interested in learning everything there is to know about weight neutral approach to health, join my email list – I will release Health For All soon again.
It’s hands down my favorite program I’ve ever created. We talk about every single determinant of health, we uncover all the truths about health and bust all the myths diet culture made us believe.
With Health For All, you’ll learn what health is for you, how it’s flexible and how to lovingly nurture your physical, emotional and spiritual health.

You can learn more about Health For All here.
And join my email list here. You’ll also get a wonderful gift: Undiet Yourself Workbook, where you can explore your current relationship with food and take your first steps towards healing.

Loved this? There’s more where this came from:

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