Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UA department hosts Intuitive Eating Tuesdays

CW / Natalie Teat
The Lakeside Dining Hall

On Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, a recurring online session on Tuesdays will take place at noon with Sheena Gregg, a registered dietitian with the UA Department of Health Promotion and Wellness, to help share information on an approach to dieting called “intuitive eating” and how to utilize it. 

In an email, Gregg described the approach as “an excellent way to eat for overall health.” 

Intuitive eating is a self-care eating framework invented by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, two registered dietitians who coined the term in 1995, that allows one to get in touch with one’s biological cues to determine hunger and fullness by eating in response to hunger and biological signals.  

According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, eating in response to triggers, such as cooking shows or feelings of sadness, may cause feelings of guilt, lack of self-control, or self-condemnation, and practicing intuitive eating may help prevent these negative feelings.  

However, the T.H. Chan School of Public Health said that for the intuitive eating approach, which doesn’t prescribe explicit dietary restrictions, studies conflict on whether it causes weight loss or not. 

Gregg wrote that intuitive eating allows one to build a healthy relationship with food and step away from using weight change as a parameter for progress.  

“Studies indicate those that are intuitive eaters have higher self-esteem, increased intake of food variety including increased fruit and vegetable intake, lower cholesterol and better blood sugar control and decreased disordered eating among other benefits which are not typically exhibited in other forms of ‘diets,’” Gregg wrote.  

Previous studies have found that intuitive eating is associated with lower odds of depressive symptoms and unhealthy weight control behaviors such as binge eating. A 2021 meta-analysis found that intuitive eating is also associated with positive body image and well-being. 

Gregg wrote that eating habits and beliefs about food built in college can be a foundation for eating behaviors later in adulthood. 

As well as these online sessions, a four-week workshop on intuitive eating will be offered by Health Promotion and Wellness in the spring starting in February both online and in person. Attendees will learn about the 10 principles of intuitive eating. Gregg said that the workshop is a great way to implement health goals for the new year and help break unhealthy thoughts toward food.  

“Intuitive eating is an empowerment tool,” Tribole and Resch wrote on their website. “It’s time to unleash it and liberate yourself from the prison of diet culture and weight obsession.” 

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