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Nutrition

Top 10 Tips For Intuitive Eating

by valentino

What Is Intuitive Eating?

Rather than following a specific diet or eating certain foods, intuitive eating is a mindset that helps you listen to your body’s natural signals and cues. Intuitive eating allows you to remove distractions, listen to your body, pay attention to your environment, surroundings, and where your food comes from. 

What Are The Main Principles Of Intuitive Eating?

There are 10 main principles of intuitive eating. They all overlap a bit, and the main takeaway message is to be kind to your body, appreciate your food, and be confident in yourself. You can do this!

1. Reject The Diet Mentality

Forget about those diets that make you feel bad about yourself and make you restrict the foods you really want to eat. These may be diets like low fat, keto, juice cleanses, or anything that claims you will lose weight in a certain amount of time by only eating very specific foods. Those types of diets are not meant to work, they are not built for you to maintain weight loss even if you are able to lose weight. The weight loss from these diets is short term and is not conducive to long term weight maintenance. Stop feeling like a failure every time you start a new diet and try intuitive eating. 

2. Honor Your Hunger

Feed your body carbs and energy! Your body needs carbs to work, and it is important to give yourself this energy. If you restrict yourself too much it can lead to binge eating, overindulging, unhealthy weight gain, and leave you feeling tired overall since you do not have any energy. One of the first steps of intuitive eating is listening to your body’s natural signs and building a trusting relationship with food. 

Make Peace with Food: It’s okay to indulge in a cupcake now and then!

3. Make Peace With Food

Feed your body carbs and energy! Your body needs carbs to work, and it is important to give yourself this energy. If you restrict yourself too much it can lead to binge eating, overindulging, unhealthy weight gain, and leave you feeling tired overall since you do not have any energy. One of the first steps of intuitive eating is listening to your body’s natural signs and building a trusting relationship with food. 

When you are hungry, eat something! Not allowing yourself to eat something you really want to eat can lead to bingeing and overeating, which can lead to dangerous feelings of guilt. 

4. Challenge The Food Police

Shut down that voice in your head that tells you what you can and cannot eat. Do not feel rewarded for eating less calories or punished because you ate that extra brownie. These are negative thoughts and feelings that will push you further away from intuitive eating and a healthier lifestyle. 

5. Discover The Satisfaction Factor

Do not let yourself skimp on feeling satisfied with food. Food is supposed to satisfy you and make you feel good — it is fueling your body! When you eat food that tastes good, in a safe and welcoming environment, you will find that you enjoy your food and will be able to tell when you have had enough or are overstuffing yourself. 

Discover the Satisfaction Factor: Find what foods make you feel good and what satisfies you.

6. Feel Your Fullness

Gauge your hunger and fullness as you eat. Trusting yourself that you will eat the foods you want and stop when you are satisfied is such an important part of intuitive eating and eating healthy. As you eat, check in with yourself. Has your food lost its taste? Is it no longer satisfying to continue to eat? Does your stomach feel full or distended? Use a scale of 1-10 to gauge how hungry or full you are as you continue to eat. 

7. Cope With Your Emotions With Kindness

It is important to recognize that anger, anxiety, loneliness, and boredom are all normal emotions to feel, no one can go through life without experiencing these feelings. However, food will not resolve these feelings, and if anything may make them worse in the long term. Eventually, you will have to deal with the emotions and eating through those feelings may make that more difficult to confront. Try to find other ways to sift through your emotions that make you feel healthy and comfortable in your body.

Cope With Your Emotions With Kindness: Try to find other ways to deal with your emotions like yoga, talking to someone, or going for a walk.

8. Respect Your Body

Appreciate the body you are given and be kind to yourself. Rejecting the diet mentality is hard to do if you continue to fall into society’s expectations and have an unrealistic view of your body size and shape. All bodies deserve respect and to be treated well. 

9. Movement — Feel the Difference

Being active does NOT mean you have to run on a treadmill for an hour or use an elliptical machine for 30 minutes! Move in a way that makes you feel good, and focus on how it makes you feel, both during and after. Do your muscles ache the next day? Do you start to move a little more quickly and easily on a regular basis? A great place to start is a quick walk around the block!

Movement — Feel the Difference: Try biking, dancing or ice skating!

10. Honor Your Health — Gentle Nutrition

Choose foods that taste good and make you feel good. You do not always have to eat healthy and indulging every once in a while, will not cause serious health conditions or nutrient deficiencies. It is the overall food that you eat and how you feel that makes a difference. 

What Is The Takeaway Message?

Everyone has the natural body signals to accomplish intuitive eating, you just have to set your mind to it! Start by removing distractions when you eat, appreciating where your food comes from and being active in whatever way is meaningful to you! 

Written by Ayelet Portman, Dietetic Intern

Reference: 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. (2019, December 19). Retrieved from https://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/

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Author: valentino