Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D., the author of Intuitive Eating, gives us 10 Principles to keep in mind while we are fueling our bodies to work their best.  These Principles are not meant to be a diet, they are meant to be an internal control over your relationship with food as opposed to an external force coming in and telling you what you can and can’t have.  The goal is to create a healthy relationship with your body and with food, no more warring with your body and no more mental battles over what foods you consume, this is about honoring yourself and your needs without beating yourself up.  Intuitive Eating is another tool you can take home with you from your stay at Unite to meet and exceed your fitness goals!

1. Reject the diet mentality
Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.

2. Honor your hunger
Keep your body fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise, you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating become fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for rebuilding trust in yourself and food.

3. Make peace with food
Call it a truce and stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build up to uncontrollable cravings and, oftentimes, bingeing. When you finally give-in to your forbidden foods, you will experience your hunger with such intensity, it usually results in overeating, followed by overwhelming guilt.

4. Challenge the “food police”
Scream a loud NO to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” when you eat less less, or “bad” because you eat a piece of chocolate cake. The food police monitors the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loudspeaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the food police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.

5. Respect your fullness
Listen to your body’s signals that tell you when you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you’re comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or snack and ask yourself how the food tastes and what your current fullness level is.

6. Discover the satisfaction factor
Japanese culture promotes pleasure as one of the goals of healthy living. In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence: the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conducive, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you’ve had enough.

7. Honor your feelings without using food
Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom and anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food won’t fix any negative feelings. It may comfort you in the short term, distract you from pain, or even numb you. But food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You’ll ultimately have to deal with the source of your emotions as well as the consequences of overeating.

8. Respect your body
Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to squeeze into a size six, it is equally as futile and uncomfortable to have such expectations with body sizes. Respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It’s hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body size and shape.

9. Exercise – feel the difference
Forget militant exercising. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus on how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie-burning effects. If you focus on how you feel after working out – such as energized – it can make the difference between jumping out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm. If your only goal is to lose weight, it’s usually not a motivating factor in that moment of time.

10. Honor your health
Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of overeating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters. Progress not perfection is what counts

– See more at: http://www.timigustafson.com/2013/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/#sthash.TxbAefPv.dpuf