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To wonder why people don’t seem to know about intuitive eating?

(178 Posts)
sunshineonmywindow20 Fri 10-Jul-20 08:11:35

I keep reading the plentiful diet/weight loss threads on Mumsnet - a range of approaches come up - low carb, fasting, calorie counting, WW, slimming world etc

But no one ever mentions intuitive eating, and I wonder why? I’ve been on numerous diets and for me it’s BY FAR the best way I’ve found to reconnect with my body, improve my relationship with food and -yes - lose weight.

I guess it isn’t always explicitly directed/marketed as a diet/weight loss tool, but for me that’s why it’s so good! It’s about enjoying food more (!) and moving towards your natural set weight, which might not be skinny, but for many people will mean they lose weight by eating in tune with their bodies (eating when hungry, eating slowly/mindfully, stopping when full).

But there are no banned foods, no rules beyond the above, it’s a happy process that encourages self acceptance and a healthy, life long change. Books wise there is a wide range - Susie Orbach, Paul McKenna, Beyond Chocolate, many more.

Diets are scientifically proven not to work long term and trap people into a cycle of misery... AIBU to recommend this to others looking to change their relationship with food? I promise I am not connected to it commercially or otherwise in any way grin

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onwheels Fri 10-Jul-20 08:16:41

i know about intuitive eating but other aspects such as stress, acute anxiety, feeling hopeless and other emotional eating come into play for a lot of people.

i'm not overweight (in fact underweight most of my life) but i've put on 2 stone in the last 5 years.

reasons for sustained and permanent over eating are very complex.

0blio Fri 10-Jul-20 08:21:18

It would be great to eat this way but most people have routines they have to stick to so it's not really possible.
I have to eat breakfast before I go to work, I'm not really hungry at that time but know I can't eat another meal until lunchtime. Likewise if I don't cook dinner at 6 or 7 and have it later I'll be up half the night with indigestion.
It's especially difficult if someone has to cook family meals so not really feasible for a lot of people.

sunshineonmywindow20 Fri 10-Jul-20 08:22:18

@onwheels thanks for the reply, totally agree and sorry you’ve been through this. I agree reasons for overeating are complex and I’m not saying intuitive eating is a magic solution, really - but it seems a better way to start to deal with the pain of overeating that dieting, which just makes it worse. It’s more an anti-diet post than an anti overestimated ating post, sorry if that wasn’t clear enough in my post.

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sunshineonmywindow20 Fri 10-Jul-20 08:23:12

Sorry that was meant to say overeating not overestimating!

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LuxuryWoman2020 Fri 10-Jul-20 08:23:54

Because the diet industry is worth millions. No money to be made from intuitive eating.

sunshineonmywindow20 Fri 10-Jul-20 08:24:17

Ok I wish I’d called it ‘AIBU to think diets suck and maybe try intuitive eating instead’ ... but sadly there’s no edit button sad

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sunshineonmywindow20 Fri 10-Jul-20 08:24:49

Yes @LuxuryWoman2020!!

x post, totally agree flowers

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Timeforabiscuit Fri 10-Jul-20 08:26:35

I'm afraid intuitive eating is for the privileged.

The people who would most benefit from being able to access this are working the night shift and grabbing a petrol station sausage roll on their way to their next shift.

You can argue everyone can make changes in their life to support this kind of eating, and I fully agree that our"modern" notion of fixed meals and snacking is horrendous for alot of people - but let's not pretend that it's out of reach for the majority of people.

Timeforabiscuit Fri 10-Jul-20 08:29:30

sunshineonmywindow20 fully agree with you, diets are shit, intuitive eating should be promoted - as long as it's not used as another stick to convince people that being overweight "is all their fault" - it's a fuckload more complicated than that!

MairzyDoats Fri 10-Jul-20 08:30:00

Problem is that I intuitively want to eat cake...and pastries. So I consciously have to tell myself that actually that's not what's good for me and choose to eat healthily. My weight is under control and I'm happy with it at the moment (mid lock down I just decided enough was enough and I've lost a stone) but I can't just eat what I feel like, I'd be the size of a house!

snowybean Fri 10-Jul-20 08:30:05

I've been down with intuitive eating since half way through lockdown and have slowly but surely lost 10lbs. It's way better than any fad diet, and I can eat anything. I just pay attention 👌

TheBitchOfTheVicar Fri 10-Jul-20 08:30:59

I have seen some who practise what they call IE and say that their natural body weight is overnight (or bigger) when in reality they are in denial about how much they eat and what constitutes a healthy diet.

TheBitchOfTheVicar Fri 10-Jul-20 08:31:31


Heismyopendoor Fri 10-Jul-20 08:32:31


Diets really don’t work. People who are like ‘oh I’m back on SW/WW/keto/etc on Monday’, don’t they wonder why they keep having to go off and back on their chosen diet? If it worked you wouldn’t fall off the diet wagon.

I will never diet again and came to this realisation earlier this year. Diets make me unhappy, moany, hungry, cut out entire food groups, miss out on good times, take up too much mental space, make me become obsessive and make me crave everything and anything.

Now that there are no banned foods or nothing is off limits, the cake/crisps/baked potato/pasta/steak/pizza/fruit that I was desperately craving whilst on a diet, isn’t actually that enticing any more. If I want some crisps I go and have some crisps, if I want pasta for dinner I have pasta for dinner. There are no massive binges, no falling of the diet and going wild for a day/week/month/half a year until I get back on any diet.

I’m free and it feels wonderful.

sunshineonmywindow20 Fri 10-Jul-20 08:32:45

@Timeforabiscuit I take your point. But diet foods, clubs etc cost a huge amount - and create a cycle that is very very rarely broken

I’m not sure whether intuitive eating is harder than diets to fit around life generally ? In fact in my experience (yes I have a family and a busy work life) it’s much easier. But no I don’t work shifts and accept what you’re saying, it’s food for thought (pun unintended!)

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tiredanddangerous Fri 10-Jul-20 08:36:30

Well my body intuitively wants to live off junk food and Sauvignon blanc. I don't think it would work too well.

Nighttimefreedom Fri 10-Jul-20 08:36:45

It wouldn't work for me because binging on sweet things in the evening is my problem. I have no problem making healthy meals which are the correct size. And I don't continue eating a meal when I'm full.
I need an allowance of some sort so I'm on ww and will probably need to track forever. Without that sort of structure I'll eat 6 kitkats in an evening.
But on the whole I agree with your point.

Silvercatowner Fri 10-Jul-20 08:37:37

My body and my psyche regarding eating are completely screwed from a childhood that revolved around food as an incentive and a reward. If I ate intuitively I would be the size of a house.

GetUpAgain Fri 10-Jul-20 08:40:36

Most people I know who (tell me they) diet, don't do very well in the long run. They cheerfully tell me they lost x stones last year but then put it back on so are restarting their diet 'because they know it works'. Its such a shitty industry.

Intuitive eating doesn't really work brilliantly for a family but it's probably better to fit in than stupid fucking keto hmm

zingally Fri 10-Jul-20 08:40:48

I'm also an advocate for intuitive eating and generally follow it myself.

However, it requires a thought and engagement with your body AND your feelings that many people just don't/can't/won't have.

I think you have to be really in tune with yourself, and honest, to practise it successfully.

Littlepond Fri 10-Jul-20 08:42:11

I tried the paul McKenna I can make you thin book years ago which is the same theory.

It didn’t work for me. I have such screwed up eating habits.

I need to be told what is healthy and what I should eat. There is nothing intuitive about my need to stuff myself with cake when I’m sad.

NoIDontWatchLoveIsland Fri 10-Jul-20 08:47:01

1. Very few people make any money out of intuitive eating so there's no one to market it.

2. Many people (like me) struggle with self restraint or sugar addiction and NEED rules to help us control the volume we eat.

3. People often WANT to be skinnier than their "natural set weight" hmm so intuitive eating doesnt help them be the size they want to be.

ohthegoats Fri 10-Jul-20 08:49:17

They do mention it on here - there was a thread on WeightLoss only a couple of weeks ago, in fact there were two.

ohthegoats Fri 10-Jul-20 08:52:58

You want to read:

The Intuitive Eating Workbook by Evelyn Tribole
Just Eat It by Laura Thomas
Eat Up by Ruby Tandoh

Also some stuff by Pixie someone, but the ones above are my favourites. The workbook was particularly interesting.

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