One of the best things about intuitive eating is that you get to enjoy all types of food without guilt. However, getting to this spot in your journey takes a lot of time and effort. You must be willing and ready to work on the relationship you have with different food items, which can be very challenging. A common “bump in the road” occurs when you start to tackle diet foods or foods items that you would have chosen over other food when dieting. This could be anything from Diet Coke to kale to veggie burgers, and because there is nothing wrong with these foods, I’ve created a few different questions to help you navigate this situation – ultimately we want to find out if these are foods you truly enjoy.
So, when you find a food item that makes you feel like you are “giving in” to diet culture pause and ask yourself the following questions (start in the blue box).
If you end in a box that says “give yourself permission to try something else” this shows that the food you picked is not something you truly enjoy or might be something you have tricked yourself into liking (a side effect of long-term dieting), and that’s ok! The intuitive eating journey is all about finding foods that you like to eat and that feel good to eat. In this situation, it is best if you give yourself permission to try other foods items so repeat this process as many times as you need.
If you end in the box that says “this is a food item you truly enjoy” this shows that regardless of what diet culture might tell us, you enjoy this food! Celebrate, silence the food police, and give yourself full permission to eat this food item without feeling like you are “giving in” to diet culture.
Hopefully, these questions help you navigate the feelings and emotions that come up when allowing all foods into your diet but as I said before, this is a very challenging process. If you would like to connect with a group of like-minded women who are also on their own intuitive eating journey I invite you to join the Thoughtfully Fueled Community on Facebook. This inclusive and supportive community is perfect for those looking to improve their relationship with food, movement, and their body using the 10 intuitive eating principles.