A week into reading and applying the principles in Intuitive Eating (Tribole & Resch). A great and frightening book. It turns our modern notions about “eating right” upside down. Its most basic premise is one of staggering proportions: The very act of wanting to lose weight by controlling food intake is what leads to weight gain. In order to lose weight you must first stop wanting to lose weight! The moment you restrict food intake, the body unleashes a host of biological and psychological mechanisms to make you eat more…and there’s nothing you can do about this because we are genetically programmed for it as a survival mechanism.

Even trying to shift your eating to “healthier” choices immediately triggers deprivation mechanisms that make you crave what you have eliminated! While restriction-based dieting works in the short term, it is simply not sustainable. Clearly this observation is fully supported by both myriad studies and popular folklore that have for all intents and purposes proven that dieting doesn’t work. Yet, we keep doing it, hope springing eternal that “this time it’ll be different”.

According to the authors (dietitian/nutritionists with many years of clinical experience), there is only one possible approach to achieving a sustainable healthy weight: Reconnecting with your body’s primal mechanisms of hunger and satiety and trusting your body to find its optimal weight. The leap of faith required to do this is enormous, especially for those of us who have been absorbed by North America’s orthorexia (obsession with right-eating) fueled by the food and diet industries and their desire to help us (read: themselves).

But this is no theoretical treatise. Tribole and Rechs provide detailed advice on how to do this. Their theories are strongly supported by the research evidence and their recommendations backed up by vast clinical experience. A must read book.

And I absolutely love their admonition: “If you don’t love it…don’t eat it. If you do love it…savor it”.