Ways Intuitive Eating Apps Help Eating Disorders
Learn how Healthie's intuitive eating app can help clients on their food journey. Find out about our eating disorder tools.
Backed by scientific research, the intuitive eating method of counseling is quickly gaining momentum and favor among nutrition professionals. Turning the wellness industry on its head, intuitive eating calls for clients to ditch their “diet mentality,” and instead, pursue a deeper, more meaningful connection with food.
Through a non-diet approach to nutrition, intuitive eating experts work with their clients to relearn what hunger and fullness cues are. As a result, clients learn to accept their bodies, respect their hunger cues and let go of the guilt they feel while eating.
Based on these 10 guiding principles of intuitive eating, clients embark on a food journey to finally be free to eat, and enjoy food.
- Reject the diet mentality
- Honor your hunger
- Make peace with food
- Challenge the food police
- Respect your fullness
- Discover the satisfaction factor
- Honor your feelings without using food
- Respect your body
- Exercise – feel the difference
- Honor your health
Supporting clients in an intuitive eating practice requires a highly customized approach to care. Hence, the right technology, allows providers to reinforce intuitive eating principles and provides client engagement tools that create an added layer of support.
5 Ways Intuitive Eating Apps Can Help Eating Disorders
1. Prompt clients to track hunger and fullness cues at each meal
At the fundamental core of intuitive eating, is teaching clients to re-learn what hunger and fullness feel like. Intuitive eating challenges clients to think and connect with their body’s cues, before, during and after meals. Becoming in-tune with these signals, allows clients to feel when they are hungry, eat when their body needs and stop when they are comfortably full.
Learning to gauge these tools takes time, and consistency. With a customizable photo-based food journal, intuitive eating practitioners can activate pre and post-meal hunger scales to allow clients to easily track their cues. Through the mobile app, clients have the ability to snap a picture of their meal, and toggle between 1-10 on the hunger scale, both before and after their meals.
- Strong signals to eat, hungry
- Slightly hungry
- Slightly satisfied
- Fully satisfied
- A little overfull
- Painful, sick
Over time, as clients select a number (or sensation) from the scale, they can begin to make the connections between what they eat, how much they eat and how they feel, physically.
2. Provide support via chat between sessions
Taking the first steps in intuitive eating can be an emotional process for many clients. Shedding a life-time of guilt and shame related to food is no easy feat. Therefore, having a way to connect with their provider between sessions can be a powerful way to reassure clients that they are supported.
Through Healthie Chat, providers can message directly with their clients. For more support, a Community Chat can be created, add a level of group support amongst clients. This HIPAA-compliant feature will allow providers to send motivational messages, answer general questions, share relevant videos, documents or resources and so much more. Also, the community Chat creates a safe and secure space for clients to engage. Group members will be able to see the first name and last initial only of other members, and all other information is kept private.
3. Encourage clients to draw the connection between their emotions and their food
Another driving principle of intuitive eating, pushes clients to find ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve their issues without using food. By drawing a connection between the emotions they feel, such as anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and anger, clients can learn to reflect on these emotions, and appease them in other, healthier ways.
Another customizable feature within the Healthie Food Journal allows for clients to log their emotions surrounding their meal. They can select from the suggested preset moods, or choose to free-type within the “reflection” box within the journal. Also, providers will be able to view clients food journal entries remotely and give direct feedback by commenting on posts.
4. Create an intuitive eating program, to distribute valuable content over time
Providing clients with educational resources and handouts is a great way to reinforce the intuitive eating principles discussed during the session. Healthie’s Program tool allows intuitive eating practitioners to customize a program and automatically distribute pre-loaded content like videos, quizzes, surveys, handouts, and emails to enrolled clients.
A customized program will feel like an extension of a counseling session, and can be the support clients need to continue to make progress towards their goals.
5. Track goals, custom metrics and physical activity for each client
When counseling clients to make real, long-term change, creating ways to measure their progress helps to maintain motivation. It’s especially important for intuitive clients to see their success defined in terms that do not include weight.
The Healthie Goals and Metrics platforms allow intuitive eating providers to define what progress means for each individual client. As every person is unique, the Healthie platform allows providers to customize the goals and metrics set for each client. From their own Healthie portal, intuitive eating clients are able to:
- Receive notifications to complete their goals
- Mark off completed goals
- See upcoming goals to help them plan for next steps
- Log metric entries
- Track their workouts or log basic activity
Intuitive eating is more than a trend, it’s an evidenced-based nutrition approach that here’s to stay. More and more clients are looking to finally be free of diet culture, and truly learn how to enjoy food again. By providing modern ways of supporting and engaging with clients during their journey, Healthie helps champion the success of intuitive eating practices.
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