What Is Intuitive Eating?

With Covid-19 keeping us indoors more and playing havoc with our emotional state, we have noticed significant changes in what and how we eat. In this time of stress, emotional eating has seen many of us putting not the greatest choices in our mouths and feeling it as we gain pounds and lose energy. One way to take charge of our nutrition health is with a system called Intuitive Eating. One of AFP’s nutrition experts, Amanda Mittman, RDN, LDN, is an Intuitive Eating instructor. She has graciously offered to talk a little about the Intuitive Eating model and her new Intuitive Eating Support Group that starts on August 11 at 11:30am.

Amanda Mittman, RDN, LDN, Instructor of Intuitive Eating Support Group

AFP: Can you talk a bit about the Intuitive Eating model?

Amanda: Intuitive Eating is a self-care eating framework consisting of 10 Principles with the goal of healing your relationship with food and your body. The first book, authored by two Registered Dietitians, came out in 1995, with the fourth edition of the book released a few weeks ago.  Rejecting the mainstream diet-mentality thinking is key to Intuitive Eating—it is absolutely an “Anti-Diet” paradigm.  A lot of people think Intuitive Eating is the “eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full” diet, or a mindfulness diet– and while honoring your hunger and fullness is PART of the journey, there is so much more to it. People who have been stuck in the dieting cycle for years,  or healing from disordered eating and eating disorders, and those looking to feel better about themselves often find themselves most attracted to Intuitive Eating. It’s important to know that Intuitive eating is not used as a weight loss diet. In fact, when working on the Intuitive Eating principles, it’s important to put your desire for weight loss on the back burner to truly heal your relationship with your body and food.

The Intuitive Eating Guide, 4th Edition (St. Martin’s Essentials)

AFP: Where did the idea of an IE Support/Discussion Group come from?

Amanda: I often hear from my clients when embarking on Intuitive Eating and rejecting diet culture that they don’t know where to find like-minded people for support. I experienced the same thing during my own journey. Sure, there are Facebook groups and Instagrammers to follow but it’s not the same as in-person (or “virtual” nowadays) support. After my first Intro to Intuitive Eating series the participants all told me that they wanted to continue the conversation and discuss challenges and celebrate “wins” with others. So this group grew from that need.

Intuitive Eating is an “Anti-Diet” paradigm

AFP: What kinds of topics will be introduced during the sessions?

Amanda: This is a weekly drop in group so I am assuming that most people have started practicing IE principles or at the very least have stopped dieting and/or working on rejecting the diet mentality. Each week I will bring a blog post, article, or short podcast to be listened to ahead of time to focus the discussion. But I also want people to have a safe space to be outside of diet culture. It can be rough out there! Being anti-diet is truly a radical act in our culture!

Intuitive Eating Support Group from the comfort of your home!

AFP: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about Intuitive Eating or the support group?

Amanda: Introducing Intuitive Eating to my clients, or anyone else, is my passion and I have seen firsthand how many lives this work has changed for the better.  It often leaves me so humbled to witness the growth that can happen.   Supporting people in their journey to feel better about themselves, their body, and food is such a gift and I am honored to do this important work. If you think this group (or my Intro to Intuitive Eating series) is right for you, want to work 1:1 or you have questions—don’t ever hesitate to reach out to me at amittman@doctorkate.net.

If you have any questions about the Intuitive Eating Support Group or want to register, contact events@doctorkate.net. The first session meets on August 11 at 11am. The sessions are free to AFP patients (through the end of August).

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