A common myth with intuitive eating is that nutrition doesn’t matter. The truth: anti-diet is not anti-nutrition. Nutrition is still a part of intuitive eating. However, unlike of diet mentality, intuitive eating takes a gentle approach to nutrition. This post provides 5 gentle nutrition examples so that you can practice nutrition without obsession.
What is Gentle Nutrition?
Gentle nutrition is the intersection of body knowledge and nutrition knowledge in intuitive eating. Let’s break that down using an illustration:
As you can see, body knowledge includes understanding and honoring your taste preferences, cravings, and hunger/fullness cues. In contrast, nutrition knowledge includes understating and applying nutrition science, academic research, and evidenced-based dietary guidelines.
On the one hand, if you were to ONLY eat based on body knowledge, you might miss out on critical nutrients to support your health. On the other hand, if you were to ONLY eat based on nutrition knowledge, you might lack satisfaction with meals and overlook your body’s inner cues. A blend of both is best!
Gentle nutrition is the sweet spot of eating what tastes good, makes you feel good, and supports your health goals!
5 Gentle Nutrition Examples
- Body Knowledge: A piece of toast sounds good for breakfast.
- Nutrition Knowledge: My doctor recommended high fiber to reduce LDL cholesterol.
- Gentle Nutrition: I could choose the whole-wheat bread and add avocado for more fiber.
- Body Knowledge: I’m so hungry after my workout! I need something to eat quickly.
- Nutrition Knowledge: Protein supports muscle repair post-workout.
- Gentle Nutrition: A protein shake is quick and easy while delivering key nutrients for recovery.
- Body Knowledge: I need a quick breakfast on weekday mornings.
- Nutrition Knowledge: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps protect against certain diseases.
- Gentle Nutrition: I’ll start my day with a fruit and veggie-packed smoothie that tastes good & makes me feel good.
- Body Knowledge: I’m craving a yummy drink from Starbucks.
- Nutrition Knowledge: Sugary drinks on an empty stomach spike blood sugar.
- Gentle Nutrition: I could ask for half the amount of sweetener and/or eat a balanced breakfast before I grab a coffee.
- Body Knowledge: I’ve noticed a pattern of feeling hungry at 3 pm.
- Nutrition Knowledge: Balanced snacks can be a part of a healthy dietary pattern.
- Gentle Nutrition: I’ll brainstorm 3 balanced snack ideas that I can shop for on my next grocery trip.
These examples still honor initial cravings while adding a nutrition boost!
Reflection: How could you blend body knowledge and nutrition knowledge to land in the sweet spot of gentle nutrition this week?
How to Apply This
I hope these examples help you see that nutrition doesn’t have to be black-and-white. There IS room to blend your preferences with gentle nutrition guidance. Remember, you don’t have to eat *perfectly* to eat healthy.
Looking for more support with applying gentle nutrition IRL? Schedule your free discovery call today for support in mapping out your next steps!