Absolutely. Because of the unfortunate body ideals of our industry, dancers are known to be three times more likely to struggle with an eating disorder. Dancers are vulnerable to overwhelming food rules, which increase a dancer’s susceptibility to feelings of food guilt and compensatory eating (a binge-and-restrict cycle). This limits both their physical performance and artistic potential.
Intuitive eating is a lifestyle approach that was created by two registered dietitians, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, in 1995. There are 10 science-based principles of intuitive eating, including:
- Reject the diet mentality
- Honor Your Hunger
- Make Peace with Food
- Challenge the Food Police
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor
- Feel Your Fullness
- Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness
- Respect Your Body
- Movement—Feel the Difference
- Honor Your Health—Gentle Nutrition
Instead of making food choices based on calorie goals or what’s “good” or “healthy,” you discover what foods satisfy both your body and your soul. Eventually, you build trust with yourself around “tempting” foods that either you or society has previously deemed off-limits. To learn more about how dancers can integrate Intuitive Eating alongside Performance-based eating, read this article.