If you are looking to lose weight and have already tried all kinds of diets and techniques, but kept losing self-control, then intuitive eating is probably not for you.
But the good thing is that intuitive eating is a philosophy that can change your entire relationship with food, if you’re ready for it. It can help you on many levels and allow you to get on the path to weight loss, naturally and without suffering.
However, it is a method that goes in a totally different direction from what you might know about diet culture. The only difference is that it does not have a weight loss approach.
Read on and find out everything about intuitive eating!
What is intuitive eating?
First of all, it is fundamental that you understand the concept of intuitive eating before we can delve into the philosophy.
The concept of intuitive eating was developed and presented in the book called “Intuitive Eating: a Revolutionary Program that Works” by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.
Although it might seem like a new concept for you, the authors launched the book in 1995, and since then, much research and studies have been done to create data to support the approach scientifically.
The idea behind the practice shows that you can make peace with food and establish a healthy relationship with it by identifying and listening to your body signals regarding food.
The evidence-based model follows 10 fundamentals and focuses on a mind-body approach. On the official website, the authors describe the practice essentially as “a personal process of honoring health by listening and responding to the direct messages of the body in order to meet your physical and psychological needs.”
What are the principles of intuitive eating?
The 10 principles that guide the intuitive eating method are:
- Reject the diet mentality. This principle establishes that you must get out of diet culture and let go of quick. Easy, and permanent methods that seem to work at first but eventually make you feel worse about yourself, are the worst!
- Honor your hunger. The second principle says that you should learn to understand your body signals and give it what it needs to function, rebuilding trust in food and in yourself.
- Make peace with food. In this fundamental, you should learn to cut the idea of “forbidden foods” from your life and allow yourself unconditional access to every food you desire without feeling guilt.
- Challenge the food police. Stop the thoughts that say there are good and bad foods or the idea that eating little is a way of life and that your urge for sweets is wrong. Letting go of the diet culture rules is a crucial step in the intuitive eating practice.
- Discover the satisfaction factor. Discovering (or rediscovering) the pleasure in eating as an experience. This mean you can eat what you desire just for the sake of pleasure. It is an essential part of the process. You might find out what you really like to eat and what makes you feel good, at the same time.
- Feel your fullness. This principle is a constant exercise of listening to your body signals regarding fullness. When you take a minute to listen to it, you will learn when to stop and understand if you are comfortably full.
- Cope with your emotions with kindness. This principle establishes that you must learn how to deal with your emotions in ways other than through emotional eating. After all, this can become a problem, as it will not solve your issues, and it will eventually make you feel frustrated by eating out of emotions.
- Respect your body. Learning how to respect and honor your body type is an exercise that you should do when practicing intuitive eating. Being aware that all bodies are different and deserve dignity.
- Feel the difference. Shifting your mentality about exercising and moving your body is another principle of intuitive eating. When you get conscious about moving your body just for the pleasure of feeling energized or active and not for calories-burning, your relationship with physical activities can change completely.
- Honour your health with gentle nutrition. The last principle establishes that you must honor your health by making food choices that will make you feel good and healthy. And that this is a process that requires consistency and focuses on progress and not on perfection.
What are the pros and cons of intuitive eating?
With all that said, you must be wondering: Are there any ups and downs to this practice? Check some pros and cons of intuitive eating!
-It provides you with a better understanding of your body’s exact needs.
-It allows you to have a healthy mind-body connection and practice mindful eating. This way, you can become more aware of the effects of food on your body at the present moment;
-It improves your relationship with food, as you become free to make food choices without feeling guilt.
-It does not provide directions to follow, making it hard for people who don’t have any notions about nutritional aspects;
-You can easily overeat. Once there are no rules or forbidden foods, this can lead to guilt and frustration.
-It can be a long adaptation process. As it is not a diet approach, intuitive eating is something to adopt for life. However, the process of adaptation can be long and hard for some people.
Now that you know everything about intuitive eating, it’s more than clear that this evidence-based approach is not about weight loss but establishing a better relationship with food, identifying your body’s signals, and providing it what it needs when it needs it.
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