In effect, the diet industry is very influential, and many people have had the experience of following a weight loss diet during their lifetime. According to the 2013-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 49% of American adults have tried to lose weight in the last 12 months. Despite the fact that this data is not the most recent, we can believe that there is still today a good part of the population who are concerned about their weight and/or who are trying to control their weight.
On the other hand, more and more studies question the long-term success of weight loss interventions, and point to the risk of cyclical or “yo-yo” dieting. Weight fluctuation is potentially a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and cancer prevalence, but more research needs to be conducted on this. In addition, undertaking repeated diets can negatively affect the mental health of individuals, and contribute to the development of eating disorders.
So how do you adopt a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle habits without falling into the vicious cycle of weight loss diets? Intuitive eating can be a helpful and kind alternative.
This concept was popularized in the 1990s by American dietitians Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole. Intuitive eating relies on listening to one’s body for signals of hunger and satiety, as well as the pleasure of eating and moving. It is important to mention that unlike weight loss diets, this approach is not aimed at weight loss, but rather seeks to help people develop a healthy relationship with food in a caring way.
Intuitive eating is based on the following 10 principles (from the book by E.Resch and E.Tribole):
It is wrong and simplistic to think that this means that we can: “eat whatever we want, when we want”. Eating intuitively is something that can be learned, and the process can be facilitated by the accompaniment of a qualified dietitian.