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Intuitive Eating summary

Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach

4.3 (306 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch is a self-help book that encourages readers to trust their bodies' signals and eat for satisfaction rather than external factors. It offers practical tools for building a healthier relationship with food and body.

Table of Contents

    Intuitive Eating
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    Dieting is counterproductive.

    Balanced meals built around vegetables, legumes, and lean proteins. Moderate amounts of fats, sugar, and carbs. Regular exercise and occasional treats . . .

    In theory, eating healthily is pretty simple. In reality, it’s anything but. And no wonder! Food and what it does to us are fraught, emotional topics. 

    Think about being thin, for example. A slim figure is not just about health – we also associate it with moral and aesthetic concepts like self-control and beauty. We overeat when we’re stressed or anxious. We punish overindulgence by denying ourselves “sinful” foods: the things we actually like eating. 

    In short, we’re pretty neurotic when it comes to nutrition. The whole diet industry is built on the recognition of this simple fact. Unfortunately, dieting usually only makes things worse.

    The key message here is: Dieting is counterproductive. 

    Dieting is big business. In the United States, the industry is worth around $60 billion annually. In the mid-’70s, commercials for dieting products were rare; today, though, over five percent of all ads are for diet-related products.

    Today, there are thousands of diets to choose from. Browse a bookstore and you’ll find volumes that advocate eating like carnivorous cavemen or, on the other end of the spectrum, following the apostles of veganism. Both camps promise weight loss, health, and, ultimately, happiness. 

    And that’s not all: there are also people who promise that you’ll achieve the same results by putting butter in your coffee, or reducing your daily fat intake to zero, or drinking grapefruit juice with every meal.

    But while the industry rakes in cash, people aren’t getting slimmer. On the contrary, obesity rates are skyrocketing. More people are dieting than ever before, but the majority of Americans are overweight. So what’s going on? 

    Well, dieting actually appears to increase your risk of gaining weight. That’s the conclusion a team of nutrition scientists at UCLA reached in 2007. They reviewed 31 long-term studies of the effects of dieting in adults, and the results were staggering. Sixty-six percent of people regained more weight than they’d lost.

    But perhaps these people were predisposed to weight gain? Nope – the researchers checked that. At the beginning of the studies, the dieters weighed the same as their non-dieting peers. So it wasn’t genetics that made them overweight. Instead, it was dieting.

    If people took an asthma medication that improved their breathing for a few weeks but undermined their long-term health, we’d be crying foul. And yet, when it comes to dieting, we blame ourselves and our lack of “willpower.” 

    But it’s not us that’s wrong – it’s the product that stinks!

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    What is Intuitive Eating about?

    Intuitive Eating (2012) has two aims: to expose the broken promises of the diet industry and to lay the foundations for a saner approach to healthy eating. It argues that we shouldn’t blindly accept the often screwy constraints of faddish diets – instead, we’d be much better off listening to our own bodies. Unlike our minds, which are far too receptive to irrational ideas about food, our bodies intuitively know what’s best for us. 

    Intuitive Eating Review

    Intuitive Eating (1995) unveils a refreshing approach to food and the body, presenting an alternative to traditional dieting. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With eye-opening insights and practical tools, it helps readers break free from the diet culture and develop a healthier relationship with food.
    • By encouraging self-compassion and body acceptance, the book empowers individuals to honor their hunger and satisfaction cues, leading to long-lasting well-being.
    • Through wisdom from nutrition experts Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, the book offers a comprehensive guide that goes beyond diets, providing a path to intuitive eating and a more joyful relationship with food.

    Who should read Intuitive Eating?

    • Would-be slimmers tired of always feeling hungry
    • Gastronomes seeking a healthier relationship with what they eat
    • Nutritionists and doctors interested in alternatives to traditional diets

    About the Author

    Evelyn Tribole is a dietician and award-winning author based in California, where she runs a food counseling practice. She previously represented the American Dietetic Association and was the house nutrition expert on ABC’s chat show Good Morning America

    Elyse Resch is a private nutritionist based in California with over 30 years of experience. She specializes in eating disorders, intuitive eating, and preventative nutrition.

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    Intuitive Eating FAQs 

    What is the main message of Intuitive Eating?

    The main message of Intuitive Eating is to listen to your body and trust its signals to guide your eating habits.

    How long does it take to read Intuitive Eating?

    The reading time for Intuitive Eating varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Intuitive Eating a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Intuitive Eating is a valuable read for anyone seeking a healthier relationship with food. It provides insights and practical strategies to cultivate intuitive eating habits.

    Who is the author of Intuitive Eating?

    The authors of Intuitive Eating are Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.

    What to read after Intuitive Eating?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Intuitive Eating, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Why We Eat (Too Much) by Andrew Jenkinson
    • Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price
    • Burn by Herman Pontzer
    • Allen Carr's Easy Way to Quit Emotional Eating by Allen Carr
    • The Obesity Code by Jason Fung
    • Fast. Feast. Repeat. by Gin Stephens
    • Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman
    • Head Strong by Dave Asprey
    • Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink
    • Why We Remember by Charan Ranganath