How does it work:
Sessions are held (usually weekly) in our East London clinic, or via Skype. We spend the first few sessions really getting to know how your relationship to food has evolved and how you feel currently about food and your body. We then help guide you through the principles of Intuitive Eating, building skills along the way that help you get out of your head, and into your body. We start by ditching diet mentality and diet tools that disconnect you from the experience of tuning in your body. We then help you figure out what signals for hunger feel like in your body. Once you’ve nailed that we’ll help you give yourself unconditional permission to eat all foods (yup, even gluten, dairy, and sugar!) and help you remove the restrictions that can make us feel BANANAS around food. We’ll help you move away from food guilt and get you to tune in to how food tastes, as well as how it makes you feel! We’ll help you decipher what emotional eating means, help you feel better in your body, and figure out a sustainable approach to movement and nutrition.
Improved body image and self-esteem
Eat the foods you love without guilt or shame
Learn how to eat in tune with your body's needs
A sense of balance (no more falling off the bandwagon, because there isn’t one!)
Understand emotional eating
What do packages include?
Our packages are available in blocks of four sessions each (although this is variable, most clients need more than one block of sessions). Introduction Package: 1 x 80 Minute Consultation 3 x 50 Minute Consultations Intuitive Eating Workbook Intuitive Eating Assessment and Health History Email/phone support between sessions Between sessions homework, activities, and relevant resources Follow up package: 4 x 50 Minute Consultations Intuitive Eating progress assessment Email/phone support between sessions Between sessions homework, activities, and relevant resources
I have a health condition – can I still see you?
Absolutely! We can help you manage your medical or health concern using the principles of intuitive eating. We can help with the following:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome + Digestive Discomfort
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- High Cholesterol
- Insulin resistance/ Type 2 Diabetes
- Eating Disorders*
- Women’s health (including fertility + pregnancy)
- Sports nutrition
We can also help support you with navigating feeding your family (e.g. weaning, fussy eating) and help you to raise intuitive eaters. * If you have an active eating disorder, we can work with you as part of a multidisciplinary team (i.e. GP, therapist). Please keep reading to learn more about our ED recovery support package.
At LCIE we have taken the original principles of Intuitive Eating and developed them to give our clients a sustainable way to care for their bodies that also supports their mental health.
The first step is to recognise that diet culture has done a number on us and begin to undo the damage by calling out diet BS when you see it and get MAD AS HELL about the lies we’ve been sold. Recognise that diets don’t work long term and are associated with negative health consequences (mental and physical). If you feel up for it, get rid of all the tools that are keeping us tethered to diet culture and diet mentality (see ya, FitBit). And if the thought of that makes you break out in a cold sweat, dw, we’re here to guide you through the process.
Self-Compassion and Self-Acceptance
This is a critical step in the Intuitive Eating process – we are often so critical and judgmental of ourselves that we get stuck in a loop about how awful we are when the slightest thing doesn’t go our way. Self-compassion allows us to break that loop and be more understanding and accepting of the fact that we’re not perfect. Learning skills around self-compassion is helpful in Intuitive Eating because when shit inevitably hits the fan, we can pick ourselves up and keep going instead of spinning our wheels over how much we suck. We can take set-backs in our stride and move forward instead of percolating and over-identifying with our inner critic.
AKA, eat when you’re hungry. Sounds pretty obvious, but we’ve worked with a lot of women who skip meals and consider it an accomplishment to go to bed hungry. This is about respecting your normal biological drive to eat; for energy, for nourishment, and for pleasure. This principle is about learning to recognise what hunger feels like in your body (not just a rumbly belly!) and not feeling afraid or guilty for feeding your body.
Weight + Body Neutrality
This is the part where you learn to stop determining your value based on what you’ve eaten, how much you’ve moved, or a number on the scale. We uncover all the messages you’ve received about your body not being good enough that lead to body dissatisfaction and help you slowly and gently develop gratitude (not just for your body, but all the other cool shit in your life), which has been shown to help improve body satisfaction. We’ll also build other strategies for moving towards body neutrality like embodiment and positive self-talk.
Unconditional Permission to Eat
This principle is about letting go of ‘food rules’. Legalising ALL FOOD. Yup, even gluten, dairy, and sugar. This is a scary principle for a lot of people, but so important for learning to trust your body again; learning to trust you aren’t ‘addicted’ to a food, learning that you won’t only eat pizza and cookies for the rest of your life! This doesn’t mean that eating becomes a free-for-all – we’ll give you guidance for how to approach previously restricted foods with a sense of curiosity so you can determine if you actually really like those foods, or whether they’re not such a big deal as what you thought.
Neutralising Your Inner Food Critic
You know that voice in your head that says ‘you shouldn’t eat that’ or bargains with you to work out in order to ‘earn’ a meal. That’s your inner critic and he’s a little bitch. This step is all about neutralising your attitudes towards food and learning that no food is good or bad; it’s all just food!
Mindful Eating + The Pleasure Principle
Food (or lack thereof) is not punishment – it’s meant to taste good and be enjoyed. Sad rice crackers, zero calorie noodles, and other diet foods are probably not going to leave you satisfied. You know yourself that if something says it’s low calorie/fat/sugar you probably eat 10x more. If you just had the real deal, you’d feel satisfied with a lot less. This is where we find the pleasure and satisfaction in the food we eat. Using mindfulness techniques can help us tune into our enjoyment and appreciation of food and help us discover that sweet spot – not too much or too little!
Another obvious sounding principle but when was the last time you stopped eating when you were comfortably full? If you’ve been in the dieting mentality for a long time it’s probably likely that you routinely overeat because you know it’s going to be a long time before you’re allowed to eat again. In intuitive eating, no foods are off limit and there are no rules to follow about when and what to eat, so you can stop eating when you’re comfortably full safe in the knowledge that if you begin to feel hungry again later on – food is available and it’s OK to eat.
Understanding Emotional Eating
By this point in your intuitive eating journey, you’ll begin to have more neutral feelings towards food and can start to get your head around the fact that eating your emotions isn’t actually the worst thing in the world and can sometimes be a useful coping mechanism or your body’s way of letting you know that you’re in a funk. This is where we’ll start to develop more appropriate ways to soothe, comfort, and care for ourselves, without face planting into a bucket of Ben & Jerry’s (although if you do, that’s OK too, think of it as a clue that something else is going on for you!).
In the same way that we’ve been disconnected from eating, we rely more and more on workout programmes, fitness trackers, and weight to determine how we feel physically. Intuitive movement is about finding joy in activity – whether it’s taking a low impact yoga class, going for a walk, or training for a marathon – finding activity that doesn’t leave you drained and exhausted is a critical part of the process.
This is all about nourishing your body with foods that taste good and leave you feeling awesome. We also reinforce the idea that you don’t have to eat a ‘perfect’ diet to be healthy and that nutrition isn’t all or nothing. Dichotomising foods as good or bad isn’t helpful; being gentle and kind and understanding that play foods still have nutritional properties – and even when they don’t they still nourish the soul!
What do eating disorder recovery packages include?
Our eating disorder recovery package is tailored to each individual based on where they are in their treatment. However, there are a few key characteristics that we aim to provide everyone.
- 4 x weekly 50 minute sessions focussed on menu planning, developing coping strategies, food exposures, and body image healing. Integrating Intuitive Eating skills where appropriate.
- Weekly email session summary to you and your therapist.
- Letter(s) to GP/specialist requesting tests, recommendations for medication, and advocating on your behalf for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
- Regular communication with therapist conveying significant clinical observations or important health, cognitive, social, trauma related concerns and information discussed in session.
- Monday – Friday support via Recovery Road app.
- Workbook, worksheets and other resources to support your recovery.
- Ongoing clinical supervision with more senior nutrition counsellor to discuss your case.