Getting Started with Intuitive Eating: Starting the Unlearning Process


*Disclaimer: some of the topics covered in this blog post (white privilege, fatphobia) only skim the surface but are intended to raise awareness of a much larger systemic problem. These topics will be addressed in further detail in upcoming posts. It is also important to note that the individual writing this post is aware that this writing comes from a place of privilege being a white female. 



When starting your intuitive eating journey there are often misconceptions about how that takes place. Intuitive Eating is not as easy as allowing yourself to eat all the foods you want and stopping when you are full. Before we can begin to eat intuitively again, there is a large unlearning process that must take place. 

There are 10 principles of intuitive eating all of which can be found more in-depth in our blog however, before we can “learn” these principles there is an unlearning process that must take place. Diet culture often inflicts rules of eating onto us through all kinds of ways (social media, TV shows, family, friends, coworkers) it is EVERYWHERE! This is where the concept of unlearning comes in. 



Questions to ask yourself: 

  1. What influences your food choices? Do you feel the need to check the label first? Do eye-catching diet phrases catch your attention (low-cal, low-fat, low-sugar)? Are there certain foods you do not eat because diet culture has labeled them as bad? Diet culture promotes many disordered food rules that we learn and allow to guide our food choices. Unlearning and challenging these food rules is a huge first step in our intuitive eating journey.
    1. If you are having trouble figuring out your food rules, we have a great resource for examining your food rules. Send us an email at: if you are interested in trying this free resource. 
  2. Next time you are making a meal/snack for yourself, think about the portion size. Are you basing the portion size on your hunger or what diet culture has promoted as the “healthy serving size”? Are you basing it off on what you normally eat and denying yourself anymore even if that normal size portion does not keep your hunger away?

Often our food choices can be impacted by what we believe will help us achieve the ideal body that society favors. This generally means always trying to find the lowest calorie, carb, and fat product and being overly cautious of portion control (things that diet culture heavily enforces). All of this because diet culture heavily associates weight and appearance with health which we know and research knows is NOT true. There is no solid research that states that weight, including BMI, are indicators of health. Individuals in smaller bodies are not any healthier than those in larger bodies. 

We know that diets don’t work and although promoted for their weight loss benefits, the majority of the time cause weight gain and other metabolic problems especially when engaging in yo-yo dieting.  

In the unlearning process and letting go of the “ideal body” we uncover the racist and fatphobic roots of diet culture. Diet culture does not favor all bodies. That ideal body that our society often favors is a thin cis-gendered white woman.

The unlearning process includes rejecting the desire to shrink our bodies for another’s benefit. Public health campaigns promoting fighting the “o epidemic” only attempt to control bodies that do not conform to the thin norm. Rejecting the desire for thinness and accepting our bodies the way that they are is rejecting a socially accepted norm. Fighting diet culture can actually reduce racism and create a more equal society for people of all sizes, ethnicities, genders identities, and sexual orientations (CNC360, 2021).

The use of BMI as an indication of health also has deep racist roots. BMI was developed by a white male who primarily used other white males to figure out the equation of weight and height to equal the ideal weight ratio. The man who developed BMI was not a healthcare professional of any kind. Yet, BMI has been used as an indicator of health for YEARS now. Just let that sink in…

I know that this information can be overwhelming and shocking however it is important to discuss this topic and raise awareness as only recently are the racist and fatphobic truths about diet culture coming to light. 



If you are ready to take control over your body and begin the unlearning process of food rules and the “ideal body” norms the dietitians here at Food Ease Co can help. Send us an email at to schedule a FREE 15-minute discovery call to see if we would be a good fit for you!




CNC360. (2021, January 20). But how exactly does diet culture uphold white supremacy?

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