Have you Heard of Intuitive Eating?!
What is Intuitive Eating?
Intuitive eating is a mental approach to eating in response to your body’s signals. Intuitive eating should help you break away from the cycle of chronic dieting and re-build your relationship with food. Ultimately it is a behavior-based concept rather than a restrictive rule following concept when it comes to nutrition interventions.
Intuitive eating will help you get back to your roots before you were told to “finish everything on your plate or you won’t get dessert.” We were all born intuitive eaters, we cried when we were hungry and stopped eating when we were full. As we got older and rules and restrictions were put in place around food we lost our intuitive eating abilities. We were taught that certain foods are good, and others are bad causing us to feel guilty after eating that ice cream sundae. Therefore, intuitive eating should not be considered a diet but a way of accepting all foods and allowing yourself to eat them without guilt. Intuitive eating focuses on internal cues such as hunger satiety and cravings rather than food rules and restrictions.
7 Principles of Intuitive Eating
- Eliminate the Diet Mentality. Focus on rebuilding your relationship with food without constantly thinking about calories, macro-nutrients and restrictions.
- Respond to Your Hunger. Eat if you are hungry! It’s as simple as that. Do not deprive yourself of food and fuel your body with your hunger cues.
- Make Peace with Food. Allow yourself those delicious cookies and savor every bite. Do not feel guilty for eating something in moderation that was worth every single bite.
- Feel the Fullness. Remember to pay attention to satiety cues and stay comfortable while eating. Eating should feel pleasurable and satisfying. Enjoy your favorite foods and listen to your body’s signals to stop when you feel full and satisfied.
- Deal With Your Emotions Without Relying on Food. Eating out of emotions leads to over indulging and guilt. Think of different ways you can comfort yourself without relying on food to provide that temporary comfort. Go for a walk or hit the gym and sweat it out. You will release endorphins and start to feel better immediately!
- Practice Gentle Nutrition. Being healthy isn’t “eating clean.” It’s eating a variety of tasteful foods consistently. Erase that all or nothing mentality and eat a wholesome diet that involves nutritious food and dessert in moderation.
- Respect Your Body. Your body is your greatest gift, you should accept it at any moment and always fuel it with healthy foods and favorite foods; balance is everything.
Mindful Eating vs. Intuitive Eating
Both concepts are very similar however, Intuitive eating goes a step further focusing on the importance of rejecting the dieting mentality, respecting your body and coping with emotional eating, and gentle and nutrition without judgment.