Which intuitive eating books are best?
Keto, Paleo, Mediterranean, low-FODMAP, DASH, intermittent fasting: every year seems to bring with it a new dieting acronym or system of eating. While doctors agree that lean proteins and plenty of fruits and vegetables are the key to good health, the agreement stops there. If you are sick of dieting and confused about how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, it might be time to look into intuitive eating.
If you want to know more about intuitive eating, including how societal factors influence how (and what) we eat, “Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating” is the best intuitive eating book to start with.
What to know before you buy an intuitive eating book
It seems like there are as many diets to choose from as there are foods to eat, so how do you know which one is the best for you? Doctors agree that a healthy diet means making permanent changes to the way you eat.
Intuitive eating — essentially eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full — means changing your relationship with food. There are no restrictions, forbidden foods or calorie counting. Instead, you reprogram any destructive ideas you may have learned as a child or developed as an adult and trust that your body knows what you need.
This deceptively simple process can be challenging, and an intuitive eating book can help guide you. You’ll need to pick a good one.
The people who write the book should have some qualifications. They don’t necessarily need to be a doctor, but they should have relevant experience in nutrition and diet.
Informational vs. how-to
If you are just in the fact-finding stage, you might want to start with an informational intuitive eating book.
For those who already understand the principles of intuitive eating but need help incorporating them into their lives, a “how-to” book in the form of a workbook or manual might be a better choice.
What to look for in a quality intuitive eating book
Backed by research
The best intuitive eating book is not just a compendium of anecdotes and opinions. There are studies that indicate the potential physical and mental benefits of intuitive eating, and authors should explore them in their writing.
For people who already know about intuitive eating but need help taking the steps to apply it, specific guidance in the form of a workbook can be invaluable,
Plan for starting
Even without a workbook, your intuitive eating book should offer a plan for incorporating the principles of intuitive eating.
How much you can expect to spend on an intuitive eating book
Intuitive eating book prices vary, depending on format. Expect to spend $12-$20 on a paperback.
Intuitive eating book FAQ
What are the 10 principles of intuitive eating?
A. There are 10 principles of intuitive eating. They are:
- Stop dieting.
- Eat when you are hungry.
- Stop restricting foods.
- Stop thinking of foods as “good” or “bad.”
- Stop eating when you are full.
- Enjoy your food.
- Don’t use food to cope with strong emotions.
- Recognize the beauty in your body.
- Eat to nourish and support your body.
If you are allergic to certain foods, can you still practice intuitive eating?
A. Yes. Intuitive eating stresses the importance of listening to your body. Allergies are the body’s way of telling you that the food you have eaten does not work.
Sensitivities act the same way. For example, if you eat a sugary dessert and your body flushes, your body may be reacting in an inflammatory way to sugar. This is a sign that your body does not want sugar (or can only process it in smaller amounts).
The key is to not only listen to your body for signs of hunger and satiation but to also really dial into how your body responds to the foods that you eat.
Is intuitive eating safe?
A. As always, whenever you are making dietary changes, talk to your doctor. They can help you to determine if eating this way is the best choice for you.
In general, though, because you’re not restricting calories or categories of food, intuitive eating is safe.
What’s the best intuitive eating book to buy?
Top intuitive eating book
What you need to know: This book is great for people who want to understand the larger causes behind their relationship with food.
What you’ll love: This book not only helps explain the principles behind intuitive eating but also digs into the ways that food is demonized or made racist, sexist and classist.
What you should consider: This book is more about diets and diet culture than it is a how-to.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top intuitive eating book for the money
What you need to know: This is one of the original intuitive eating guides, updated to be more inclusive.
What you’ll love: Written by a registered dietician and a clinical nutritionist, this book focuses on explaining the 10 principles behind intuitive eating and how they can be incorporated into your life.
What you should consider: The authors are dismissive of other types of diets, which can be alienating to some.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you already understand the principles behind intuitive eating but need some help implementing them, this workbook is for you.
What you’ll love: This workbook offers exercises for each of the 10 principles and guides you through the ways in which intuitive eating can help.
What you should consider: Some people found that the exercises were leading to one “right” answer. This does not address food issues related to body image or disordered eating.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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