Book Review – Intuitive Eating by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole

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Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole is known as the “intuitive eating bible.” It was initially written in the mid 1990s when some elementary studies about dieting vs. intuitive eating were developed, and both of these dietitians realized just how effective this style of eating was.

Book Review – Intuitive Eating by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole

Instead of being about a brand new fad diet promising to shed the unwanted pounds and give you those body goals, Intuitive Eating does the opposite. It brings you back to the days of normal eating, where you follow your own body’s internal cues about when you are hungry, what you feel like eating, and putting the fork down when you are full.

Book Review – Intuitive Eating by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole

While this seems like an oversimplified concept, diet culture has made it almost impossible to do. Enter Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole, who already had years of experience with their patients and food issues, who then started to adopt an intuitive eating approach.

This book will guide you through the beginning stages of intuitive eating when you learn why dieting is bad for you and all the damage it has been doing. Beginning to eat intuitively and covering the ten principles that they believe make up an intuitive eating lifestyle. 

Overall, this is an excellent book that I highly recommend. It covers just about every question you have about intuitive eating, like why you should try it if it works for you and your situation, how to get started, and so much more. 

Naturally, I am also going to cover a few things that I didn’t necessarily dislike, but felt could use some improvements. 

The Book is Filled with Important Research

Many books have come out more recently about giving up dieting and why you should live more of an intuitive eating lifestyle, but not all of them have the research you need. Many essential studies are mentioned in this book, including the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, where healthy men were put on 1,600 calorie diets and then went through years of obsession with food and binge-restrict cycles. 

If you’re looking for the science about intuitive eating, this book has what you need. It’s nice to see that research is now backing up their claims. When the first version came out, only a few studies existed, but with the most recent updates, the authors have revised the book to include more studies and references. 

You Will Get a Lot of Examples and Personal Stories

Through each chapter of the book, the authors give a lot of examples from actual patients they have had. I loved this aspect since it gives you an idea of how many different people with different histories and different backgrounds all go through similar things. I found that any time I had some sort of doubt that intuitive eating was the right call for me, there was a story to prove that I was wrong.

They Go Through Each Principle in Detail

The bulk of the Intuitive Eating book is going through each of their ten principles. The principles include:

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality
  2. Honor Your Hunger
  3. Make Peace with Food
  4. Challenge the Food Police
  5. Feel Your Fullness
  6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
  7. Cope with your emotions without Using Food
  8. espect Your Body
  9. Exercise – Feel the Difference
  10. Honor Your Health – Gentle Nutrition

Each of these principles is discussed in great detail, with a chapter being designated to each of the ten principles. However, while there are some steps included in each section, I felt like it could use a few more specific, actionable steps. The steps seemed more like summaries to me. 

New Sections Have Been Added

I am so glad I got this book when the third revision was out – it was needed. The authors added a few new things, but these are the two that I think are the most important:

They removed numbers as they pertain to weight and BMI. 

These numbers are entirely unnecessary, triggering to many people trying to give up dieting, and science doesn’t back up BMI in the slightest.

The authors added a chapter about raising intuitive eaters. 

I love that they have a new section all about how to raise your children and teens to be intuitive eaters, instead of having diet talk around the dinner table.

What I Didn’t Love

I am a BIG fan of the Intuitive Eating book. Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole are among the founders of this concept, taking it to the next level and making it accessible to everyone. However, the book was initially written in 1995, and unfortunately, you notice the differences in a few sections.

First of all, there is no mention of the current body positivity and health at every size movement. While this isn’t necessary to be an intuitive eater and give up dieting, it does help tremendously if you are trying to do this right now. 

They also tend to reference “normal weight,” which I think can be a little troublesome. You need to take away all concepts of healthy or average weights out of the equation, trust your body, and trust the process of intuitive eating.

The Intuitive Eating Workbook

In addition to the original Intuitive Eating book, there is also a workbook you can get in addition to it. I love this workbook and feel like everyone starting their intuitive eating journey should get it. Like the book, the workbook is split up into the ten principles, but this time with just a little information about each principle, and a wide range of questions and prompts that you fill out.

The purpose of the workbook is to get you to know yourself a little better, find clarity, and work on your mindset shifts as you begin giving up dieting and eating more intuitively. 

The workbook has some insightful questions that get to the bottom of your food issues. For example, principle 3 is Make Peace with Food. In this section, they have questions and prompts about your fears around food, the foods you have been forbidding, last supper mentality, questions about weight and body image, checking in, and lots more, just in that ONE section. 

There is a lot to go through, so it makes a beautiful companion to the Intuitive Eating book.

Do I Recommend These Books? 

Yes! Anyone who wants to stop obsessing about food and give up dieting needs these books. They are a fundamental part of the entire intuitive eating process.

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