Intuitive eating is merely a process of ignoring the negative association of diet culture and trusting in your own ability to eat well.
Working on your own wisdom, this centres around the fact that we, as individuals, are fully capable of selecting the best food and diet. We’re also considerably able to monitor and manage our overall health.
A credible concept created by expert dieticians in the mid-nineties, incorporating intuitive eating into your life, may be much simpler than you may think.
Here are 5 essential principles of intuitive eating that will help you get to grips with this inspiring mindset.
- Banish that negative diet mentality we have all been exposed to for far too long now
Unfortunately, for too many of us, the term ‘diet’ is shrouded in a cloud of negativity.
It’s so easy these days to associate diets with strict, rigid, and boring rules. What more, when certain celebrities jump on the bandwagon, a culture of toxicity is created.
Each time we read about diets, we see misleading headlines that claim to offer some new quick way of losing weight.
In reality, they are mostly generalisations, as experts on the internet don’t know much about your unique situation, so they are serving nothing other than to make you frustrated. This, in turn, may even make you pile on the pounds.
To welcome intuitive eating, you’ll need to disregard such magazines, articles, and celebrity endorsements. This means removing that draining, negative dieting mentality.
2. Learn to build some positive associations with food
Intuitive eating becomes more natural when we learn to respect and make friends with our food. This means making it a positive association, not a negative one, and eliminating those phrases such as naughty, bad for you, temptation, and giving in.
Often harder to work on, the rhetoric that many of us are raised with as children, unfortunately, finds it was way into our adult years.
When labeling food as good or bad, we immediately create harmful feelings around certain food types. Then when we eat these foods, we always find ourselves feeling guilty afterward.
Building positive associations with our food removes permission regarding whether we can or can’t eat specific food types. Above all, it changes how we perceive food overall while allowing us permission to eat sensibly without guilt.
3. Recognise and learn to respect your hunger
One of the most incredible ways to finely attune to intuitive eating is realizing and accepting what our body needs from us to thrive. This can be done effectively by listening to and responding to our biological needs.
Some people greatly fear that by eating when they’re hungry, they’ll continue to overeat. But, by honoring our hunger instead, we offer it a level of respect.
Thus, if you pay attention to those signs that your body needs energy and carbohydrates at specific times, you can fuel it correctly.
Often, it’s those feelings of excessive hunger that trigger a primal need to overeat. By working with and responding to your body’s signs of hunger, you make a conscious decision to moderate your food intake as needed.
4. Learn to spot the signs that your body is full
While working to honor your hunger, it will also become easier to recognize those signs of fullness. By listening for and observing the signs that your body is fulfilled, you’ll be able to further work on intuitive eating.
The human body will send out certain signals when it is comfortably full. However, developing the ability to spot such signs and tune into them will take a little practice!
This step is all about trusting yourself and your ability to work to your body’s needs. One way to attempt this is to habitually pause in the middle of a meal and consider your hunger level.
One of the more obvious ways here is your stomach feels fuller, and you, therefore, feel such fullness. Another factor is that your food doesn’t quite taste as satisfying.
For those more observant and in-tune with their body, blood sugar levels can be a good indication here. This can present itself as sluggishness, headaches, or even hyperactivity.
Though monitoring your fullness may take some time, it’s highly effective for successful intuitive eating.
5. Recognise and respect the link between food and emotions
Finally, linking all these principles together, intuitive eating demands dealing with potential emotional eating. Unfortunately, emotional eating can be triggered in almost all of us, especially when faced with dramatic events.
Emotional eating is a lack of control and a short-term solution to those emotions we natural encounter on an ongoing basis.
For this reason, it’s crucial to remember that food is not the solution to such problems. In fact, long-term, it will only serve to heighten such emotions.
But, if you can find a solution to such emotions and deal with the source without food, you’re on the way to intuitive eating! This can be anything from distraction techniques to discovering ways of comforting or nurturing during such times.