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Gentle Nutrition

Among the 10 principles of Intuitive Eating, Gentle Nutrition is often the one clients are eager to

embrace sooner rather than later. Gentle Nutrition involves considering the nutrient density of

the foods we consume and ensuring that we prioritize our body's needs for those nutrients. It's

understandable that someone would want to jump to this principle as we all want to make

healthy decisions for our body. However, it is crucial to recognize that without embracing the

preceding 9 principles, the concept of Gentle Nutrition can inadvertently transform into a rigid

set of food rules instead of trusting our body's wisdom to help guide our food choices.

To fully benefit from the principles of Intuitive Eating, it is highly recommended to work through

the initial 9 principles and save the exploration of Gentle Nutrition for the final phase. The

Intuitive Eating principles include:

Reject The Diet Mentality

Honor Your Hunger

Make Peace With Food

Challenge The Food Police

Feel Your Fullness

Discover The Satisfaction Factor

Cope With Your Emotions With Kindness

Respect Your Body

Movement: Feel The Difference

Gentle Nutrition

Even with saving Gentle Nutrition for the last principle, implementing it can still present

challenges. We must remain cautious not to allow old food rules to gradually creep back into our

lives. Instead, we can approach Gentle Nutrition by considering its opposite: Harsh Nutrition.

Harsh Nutrition symbolizes diet culture, incessantly dictating what we should eat, what we

should avoid, when we should eat, ad nauseam. If we find ourselves feeling guilty for not

including vegetables in a specific meal, not eating fish at all one week, falling short of the

recommended calcium intake for the day, or any other goals we may set, it serves as an

indication that we are slipping back into the realm of rules and restrictions. Eating should not

leave you feeling like a failure. Instead, eating should provide energy, satisfaction, pleasure, and

be a way to connect with others.

If you don’t know where to start or want someone to walk alongside you as you rediscover

Intuitive Eating, reach out to a Mood Balance Nutrition Registered Dietitian.

Melissa Stitt, RDN and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor


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