Intuitive Eating During the New Year and Beyond

We're a few weeks into January and still in the thick of "New Years resolution season." Most of the gyms and diet companies are still pumping out ads for their products like it's nobody's business. So if you've recently started working on your relationship with food, this can be a challenging time to continue on the road toward intuitive eating. Some major diet companies have even started using intuitive eating principles to help sell their weight loss products and brand. The temptation to fall back into old habits can be overwhelming.

But don't lose hope. It's normal and okay to feel that tension and to question what you're doing. Below I'm sharing a few tips on how to navigate the resolution hype and continue striving for freedom from diets and a healed relationship with food.

1. Remember that your reasons for pursuing a different route are still true, even during this season. Whatever it was that brought you to intuitive eating is still there. It's easy to second guess ourselves when we see what the rest of the world is doing and wonder if we should be doing that too. Consider keeping a journal to record your past relationship with food and what it has been like up to this point. Reference those notes to reflect when you start to feel like restriction is the better option.

2. Know that healing your relationship with food is not a fad. Unlike most of the products and plans being promoted right now, making peace with food is not simply a trend. The mindset shift can transform every area of your life. For most people, food is intricately linked to emotion and relationships. Healing the way you think about food can also help improve other areas of life. When we're not constantly worried about how many calories we're eating, we have time to spend with our loved ones, we can meet over meals without anxiety and spend brain power focusing on more important work.

3. Understand that taking the focus off of weight loss does not mean you're abandoning your health. You're simply giving yourself unconditional permission to eat all foods. And that doesn't mean you have to eat only desserts all the time to prove that you're doing it right. The point is that you're removing all the arbitrary rules that diet culture provides and instead putting the power back in your own hands. You have the power to eat foods that nourish you physically as well as emotionally whenever you want and need to. Health is so much more complex than sticking to a rigid calorie guideline and getting x amount of minutes of exercise/day. You're not a formula and following those guidelines doesn't automatically equal health.

Keep these tips in mind as you go forward in your journey to intuitive eating. It can be a long and challenging road, especially in January, but the reward is freedom and a fuller richer life. I'll be cheering for you!