Intuitive what? In case you haven’t heard about it, intuitive eating is an approach designed to help you improve your relationship with food by decreasing rigidity regarding foods and eating schedule by helping you be more aware of hunger and satiety. It follows 10 principles from the book with the same name. Be being an intuitive eater, you can eat all foods without having feelings of guilt!
Why should we eat intuitively?
We sometimes have the idea that the most important thing about nutrition is what we eat so that we can be in tip-top shape. Sure, it’s part of it, but HOW and WHY we eat can be equally important. If trying to eat perfectly affects your mental health (hello stress of finding healthy foods everywhere we go!), we’re not in optimal health.
FOOD AND EXERCISE AREN’T THE ONLY MEASURES OF HEALTH. Some studies show that social interactions and relationships have a bigger impact. This isn’t to say that we should eat junk all day every day and that foods aren’t important, but it’s only ONE factor in overall health. So why worsen our mental health by being obsessed by calories, fat, sugar, “clean foods”, and weight loss?
3 ways to eat intuitively this new year
There are 10 pillars to Intuitive Eating, but you can start to find peace with food and your body with these 3 tips:
- Step one is always rejecting the mentality. There will be a grieving process here – but 95% of people who go on a diet regain the weight and then some. We have shown this again and again. We don’t have evidence of any diet showing long-lasting weight loss (more than 5 years), whether it be the keto diet, Atkins, Weight Watchers, or Beach Body. The only thing you’ll lose following these diets is money. This also applies to any plan solely focused on reducing calories, such as tracking calories, eating only at certain times, and giving yourself a penalty for eating a “bad food”. Once you recognize the damage that dieting causes, focus on how good you feel rather than the number on the scale all while being compassionate towards yourself! Instead, choose another way to measure progress.
- Listen to your hunger. This may seem silly, but when we’re so used to having someone else tell us when, what, and how much to eat, we lose touch with our internal gauge – our hunger. And hunger isn’t something that needs to be suppressed. Hunger is our body telling us that it needs nourishment. Honor it! (this is actually more difficult, for more info, please contact me)
- Move for fun. Just like our food choices shouldn’t be pushed by our desire to change our body, the same can be said about exercise. If your reason to go to the gym is to lose weight, we need to reconsider our motivation. Instead, think of how moving makes you feel. Maybe it gives you more energy. Or improves your sleep. Or even helps with joint pain. Whatever it is, think of this when you move, whether at the gym or running after your kids.
For more info, check out the Intuitive Eating book and workbook.