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Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works Paperback – September 11, 2003
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About the Author
Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A., has been in private practice in Beverly Hills, California, as a nutrition therapist for over twenty years, specializing in eating disorders, Intuitive Eating, and preventative nutrition. A certified child and adolescent obesity expert, she is a fellow of the American Dietetic Association and is also on the advisory board of "Healthy Dining" publications.
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After losing a lot of weight (about 100 pounds) after years of Weight Watchers and strict calorie/marconutrient counting, I'd completely lost touch with my body's hunger and fullness cues, nutritional needs and any food intuition whatsoever. I ended up developing an eating disorder. I tried other books to help me get out of the diet rat race and get my life back, but this was the only one that seemed to make sense.
Before reading this book, I was binge eating and purging anywhere from twice a week to 5-7 times per day. I binged and purged so much that my chest and throat hurt almost all the time. My teeth hurt. I had terrible acid reflux. I was going out of my way to binge eat, spending about $20 per binge at all hours of the day and night. I also exercised so much that I developed chronic tendonitis and stress fractures in both shins, requiring expensive doctor's office visits and 8 weeks of physical therapy, twice a week for 90 minutes at a time. My entire life was ruled by my eating disorder.
Now, after reading this book and going to about a year of therapy, I feel like I'm starting to get my life back. I eat whatever I want, when I want. I know that sounds crazy and people often interpret that as me saying "I eat pizza and ice cream all day." But, when you listen to your body and turn off the food police, it's amazing what your body tells you. Of course no one wants to only eat pizza and ice cream. You'd feel awful.
As it turns out, about 80% of the time I want foods that make my BODY feel good (tons of fruit, veggies, some dairy - I'm vegetarian). The other 20% of the time, I want things that make my SOUL feel good (dark chocolate, baked goods, chips, pizza, ice cream). I eat those whenever I want and feel zero guilt or zero pressure to consume as much as I can, because I know I can have these foods whenever I want them.
The best part? I was terrified of how much weight I'd gain on Intuitive Eating, but I am only about 10 pounds heavier now than when I was restricting heavily, dieting, weighing every scrap of food I ate and exercising myself to the point of injury. I eat what I want, enjoy life, don't count any calories and it's only a 10 pound difference from when I was so hungry that I'd drink Nyquil just to be able to sleep through the hunger cues at night.
IMPORTANT: The book alone was not enough to guide me into recovery (and the authors say as much) so I also saw two therapists once a week for about a year. This is crucial. If you have an eating disorder, this book will not be enough. You need to talk to a professional. I was embarrassed to admit I needed help, but it was worth it!
This book opened my eyes to the chronic dieter I’ve become and the reasons why it didn’t matter how hard I restricted foods and exercised hard, I was continually putting on more weight on my body.
Very easy to read with down-to-earth examples and stories. It has changed my relationship with food for good, it has strengthened my self-esteem and has made me value and honor my body. I have stopped all bingeing episodes like magic, and my anxiety has disappeared.
Intuitive eating is a self-love process, this is the anti-diet and I love all the transformation it’s brought to me. I’ve never felt better before! Super recommended reading
The thing I really enjoyed about this book was the first section. Get rid of the idea that there are good and bad foods. Eat what you want when you are actually hungry (not emotionally craving). If you want ice cream, eat ice cream. If you want brownies, eat brownies. Once you do this for a period of time, these once "bad" foods lose their appeal. When you actively think about how you feel after eating these foods, you realize that healthier foods make you feel significantly better.
This book has changed my life for the better. For the past year and a half I have been dieting far below my recommended calorie intake. I decided to try this book and method because I was constantly tired, cranky, and generally unhappy. It took about two weeks of eating intuitively and I started to notice how much better I felt. My cravings changed and my interests outside of food have come back. I look forward to living with this style of eating for the rest of my life.
What have you got to lose. If it works for you, it will be the best $10 investment of your life.