What Is Intuitive Eating?
What is “intuitive eating”, and is it just another healthy lifestyle buzzword? If you dive a bit deeper, the idea of intuitive eating actually separates the arbitrary food dogma and gives way to a new, trusting relationship between your body and the food you consume.
What does the term “intuitive eating” even mean?
Intuitive eating is an approach to health that emphasizes tuning into your body’s signals and reactions around eating in order to free yourself from yo-yo dieting and establish a nonrestrictive mindset with food. Everyone is born with an innate understanding of when they’re hungry and full, what foods they enjoy and what doesn’t make them feel good. As we grow up, we’re bombarded with information about eating that can distract us from simply listening to how our bodies feel, and this can create a distorted and often negative attitude toward food.
To stop the diet madness, we have to regard our bodies as the first authority when choosing what to consume. Intuitive eating respects that every single body is unique, and since we all respond differently to certain foods, nutrition can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach.
What are the guidelines?
While intuitive eating focuses on unlearning the food rules you’ve accumulated over the years, there are some great general guidelines to support you along the way -
Say no to the “diet” mentality -
One of the key principles is to stop fixating on the diet mentality, and begin neutralizing foods so you can nourish, rather than deprive yourself. While restricting calories and food groups may produce quick results, it only hurts your mental health and metabolism in the long run. Switching your mindset to see food as your friend and incorporating this into a holistic approach to weight loss and health will create a much more sustainable and enjoyable lifestyle.
Honor your body and eat without judgment -
Intuitive eating teaches you to respect your body’s needs and cravings, and become observant about how your body reacts to foods. Give yourself permission to eat the things you enjoy without judgment or guilt, remaining present so you can feel the pleasure of those delicious foods. If along the way you find something that doesn’t make you feel good, why not try reducing that food and see what happens? Making peace with foods that were once deemed villains will bring a new sense of freedom, and as you pay attention to how your body reacts to them, you will gain the confidence to know how best to care for yourself.
Accept that food is only one piece of the puzzle -
Another important aspect of intuitive eating is letting go of the belief that food is the only solution to a satisfying and balanced life. Instead of turning to food for comfort or as a way to feel in control, there are definitely healthier, more manageable ways to cope with our various emotions. We’re all human and we all experience the ups and the downs. Incorporating mindfulness, meditating and sprucing up your self love routine are all great ways to practice and restore balance!
There is so much more that contributes to the sum of your health, from exercise to sleep to meaningful relationships, and having a holistic perspective will relieve the pressure of trying to find that “perfect diet”. Remember, it’s not so much a diet, it’s more of a lifestyle!
Intuitive eating is an antidote to the dissatisfying and ineffective diet culture, and a solution that promotes true food freedom and a holistic mindset for your health. If you’d like to chat more about intuitive eating, or would just like some guidance to help you find more balance in all areas of your life, I’d love to connect with you!
You can always schedule a complimentary consultation HERE.