what is intuitive eating?
Intuitive eating is an approach to help you create a healthy relationship to your food, mind, and body. Intuitive eating allows you to know the difference between physical and emotional feelings. Basically, you learn to trust and master your body’s innate wisdom!
Intuitive Eating is an approach created from radical women in the 1970s. This approach is built on the principle that diets don’t work and lifestyle and self-care are the pillars to long-term health.
how do you learn this?
First off, your body already has all the answers, whether it’s about relationships, what to eat, or which corner to turn your body knows what is best for you. However, with the environment that we live in, our brain becomes inundated with what should be – and what we should eat is ruled by others opinions or marketing schemes. The term diet is now often seen as a lifestyle to lose weight --- restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.
Our ability to make decisions about food has been clouded. On the one hand we deprive ourselves of food because we are afraid of how it might affect our weight. On the other hand, we become susceptible to eating unhealthy foods because of how they make us feel short term.
With intuitive eating, you learn to respond to your inner body cues. To do so, implementing mindfulness, both outside and during mealtimes will be key. This will assure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs and also decrease the likelihood of using food as a mask for deeper emotional need.
Principles to Intuitive Eating…
Ditch the DIET mentality. Diets give you false hopes about quick and long-lasting weight loss. Diets tend to be strictly regimented, leaving a lot of room for making you feel like a failure if you stop the diet or you “mess up”. Constant dieting often creates a yo-yo affect on your metabolism causing it slow down, ultimately leading to more weight gain in the future.
Honor Your Hunger. Avoiding hunger can lead to over eating and all mindful eating may get thrown out the window. Achieve biological balance with adequate lean protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates. Keeping your blood sugar levels balanced will help you to avoid dips that take your rushing towards quick fuel from sugars and refined carbohydrates. This is the first biological step that helps you set the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.
Show food some love. Give yourself the permission to eat. Telling yourself that you cannot or should not have a particular food, can lead to deprivation and build uncontrollable cravings, which can ultimately lead to bingeing and self-shaming. Allow yourself to eat foods that enhance your life experiences.
Clean up your thoughts. This means no calorie counting and thinking you’ve been good for dismissing that brownie or following unreasonable rules. These are usually deeply ingrained limiting beliefs that are unconsciously holding you in negative space with food.
Respect fullness. Listen to your body’s cues when they tell you that you’re comfortably full. Pausing in the middle of a meal and setting down your fork between bites allows you to savor you foods, taste the flavors and slow you down. Ask yourself, are you full yet?
Discover satiety. Make your eating experience fun and enjoyable. Smell the aromas of your food. Feel the textures in your mouth. Eat food that tastes delicious to you. Show gratitude towards your food. These simple actions uses your senses to fully satisfy you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Tap into your feelings. If you find yourself eating out of emotions, ask yourself what is truly at the root of them? Do you need more pleasure in your life, need safety, need to express yourself but unsure how? What is it that you really need? Identify your root emotion and then look for other ways to confront them like taking a walk, meditating, deep breathing, calling a friend, journaling, or drinking a glass of water.
Respect your body. Instead of criticizing your body, recognize it as capable, beautiful and 100% yours.
Move. Discover how you love to move your body. Shift your thoughts and energy from needing to lose weight to desiring to feel energized, strong, and alive.