Intuitive eating workshop: an overview

Reading Time: 3 minutes “Because of the way we were raised or what we see in the media, we have become disconnected from our bodies. Intuitive eating is a way that we can connect back and eat what we were designed to eat”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

On Oct. 11, Kayla Jacobson, UVU’s on-campus dietician, gave a workshop on intuitive eating. Normally Jacobson, “provides 1-on-1 counseling with students about all things nutrition, but … [she also] focus[es] on intuitive eating and disordered eating counseling,” she explained.

“[Intuitive eating is] a framework created by two registered dieticians in 1995, that gained a lot of traction in the early 2000s and has … got even bigger … in the last few years,” Jacobson explained. Unlike diets which place restrictions on what and when we eat, intuitive eating is a lifestyle which, “[brings] us back to how we were born, [since] … babies are intuitive eaters: They tell you when they are hungry, they stop when they are full, [and] they are very in tune with their bodies.”

“A lot of us get out of [intuitive eating] later in life because of the way we were raised or what we see on the media; we have become disconnected from our bodies,” Jacobson stated. “Intuitive Eating is a way that we can connect back to our bodies and eat what we were designed to eat.”

During the workshop, Jacobson briefly explained the 10 principles of intuitive eating and their significance in an intuitive eating lifestyle. The Review highlights the first three principles here, however, students who have questions about principles 1-3 or are curious about principles 4-10 are encouraged to meet with Jacobson to learn more. 

1. Reject the diet mentality.

According to intuitive eating, “diets don’t work.” Jacobson explained that, “A lot of research [shows] that when people diet, they’re not usually very sustainable, so people will go on and off diets which can cause frequent weight loss and weight gain. Over time, this [behavior] is very detrimental to our health.” Besides the physical effects of dieting, “Mentally, diets can cause issues with our relationships with food, and relationships with our bodies,” Jacobson stated. “The first principle is understanding [these issues] and realizing that there is a better way to eat and to live, which would be intuitive eating.”

2. Honor our hunger.

“[Honoring our hunger] is all about reconnecting to our body’s hunger cues. We want to make sure that … we are definitely allowing ourselves to eat when we are hungry. One of the things that dieting often teaches us is that we need to ignore our hunger for whatever reasons. In intuitive eating, we are now practicing to honor that hunger.” During the workshop, Jacobson explained the four different “types of hungry” and stated that, “none of these types of hunger are bad. All of them can be honored.” She then concluded that, “The thing that is really helpful [in principle 2] is being able to identify what is causing you to need to eat.” 

3. Making peace with food. 

“This step is all about understanding that all foods can fit into a healthy diet and lifestyle,” Jacobson stated. “When we say, ‘all foods fit,’ we legitimately mean all foods: pizza, candy, ice cream, fruit, vegetables, burgers, everything. Everything fits into a healthy lifestyle. When we allow ourselves permission to eat all of these foods, it puts them on an even playing field … where they are morally the same. You are not morally better or worse for eating a certain food or not eating a certain food … and [normalizing all foods] allows us to listen to our bodies’ needs,” Jacobson explained. 

The following principles presented during the workshop were: challenging the food police, discovering the satisfaction factor, feeling your fullness, coping with your emotions in kindness, respecting your body, feeling the difference of movement, and honoring your health with gentle nutrition. 

For more information about these points or to get started with intuitive eating, Jacobson asks students to reach out by messaging her or setting up by setting up an appointment. Additional health services are also available on the UVU Wellness website