Intuitive Eating: The Dieting Cycle

A few months back, I discussed starting the Intuitive Eating book by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. Fast forward to now, I finished the book and ready to give you a brief summary of the main takeaways.

Chapter One: Hitting Diet Bottom

This chapter provides a background of what we are seeing more and more of… Dieting not working for someone and leaving them discouraged. The authors give specific examples from their clients. I like this perspective because it means they practice what they preach.  The chapter sheds light on how dieting labels food as good and bad and how dieting can often lead to disordered eating behavior. For most people, eating is more than the food in front of them. Food is associated with happy times and sad times, body image issues, and emotional and social issues. When we are focused too much on the current diet trend, then we lose sight of what is going on around us and actual purpose of food. Food brings people together. Hitting Diet Bottom is described as those who have tried all the popular diet trends and the weight is always regained.

Dieting Cycle:

Dieting Cycle

My favorite visual from the book is the dieting cycle. I believe this image of the Dieting Cycle relates to everyone at some point in their lives. For example, someone decides to cut out carbohydrates. First, we need to get rid of all the carbs in the house; so the “Last Supper” helps with eating all the carbs today because the “diet starts tomorrow” (sound familiar?) What happens a few days or weeks later? The “need” to have carbs sets in and leads to over consumption.  Telling yourself, a certain food is of-limits causing a greater craving.  This over consumption causes guilt. You may feel guilty because you didn’t abide by your food rules or feel uncomfortable because you ate too much. Guilt can be a negative and self-conscious feeling and thinking you failed. You did not fail, my friend, the diet failed you.

Principle 10: Honor your health with gentle nutrition: 

The last and final principle discusses nutrition. Once you start following the principles of intuitive eating, you will start feeling better, listening to the needs of your body and feeling confident in making nutrition and exercise decisions. Gentle nutrition means no food rules, eating mindfully, and following your intuition.

We are constantly so worried about food and the misconception that one unhealthy meal will make us gain weight, we forget about the other decisions that go into eating and overall health and well-being. The principles explain it all. Health is not just about diet, its about emotional health, body positivity, and respecting yourself. The way one goes about personal health is going to look different for everyone.

My challenge to you, is take time this week to assess your overall health. What areas can you improve on? What is one step that you will take toward this goal? Does this include making peace with food?


Peace, love, food,



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