What Is Intuitive Eating?
Learning To Trust And Love Your Body And Food
How’s your relationship with food? If you’re like me, it’s sometimes a love/hate thing. I love it at the moment, but when I over-indulge, I hate the way I feel after. That’s why I decided to try intuitive eating for weight loss and a healthier relationship with my body and food.
From childhood, many of us are programmed to eat 3 meals a day, plus snacks, and to finish our plates. But what if you’re full? Or what if you’re not even hungry in the first place? Or you don’t really like what you’re eating? No wonder many of us grow up to become mindless eaters!
I’ve never been overweight, but I struggle with my body just like any one else. I’ve got a little bulge here and some bloat going on. I’ve tried the fad diets that never last and read all the weight loss books that seem to contradict each other yet all I ended up with was- confusion.
One thing I know is that food and your body both need to be loved and treated with care. Intuitive eating can help you love both your body and food! Loving your body means nourishing it, not stuffing it full of unhealthy garbage and mindless eating. A healthy body, is a happy body!
I try to live intentionally and intuitively every day. I’ve always had a strong intuition and trusting it, rather than ignoring it, has helped me live the life I’m meant to. But one area many of us tend to struggle with is food. I have had sort of a love/hate relationship with it because I LOVE food but the mindless eating was making me feel awful inside and out. So I am making an effort to become a more intuitive eater!
Have you heard of intuitive eating? It involves paying attention to what your body needs instead of mindless eating!
It’s not only good for your body, but your mind too! Studies show that following your inner cues can enhance your mental and physical health. However, the process can be confusing if you’re unsure about where to begin. Learn how to separate fact from fiction when it comes to intuitive eating.
Myths about Intuitive Eating:
- Avoid extremes. There’s a difference between enjoying your food and eating anything you want without regard for the consequences. When you give up strict diets, you’ll need to invent your own guidelines.
- Clarify your goals. The desire to lose weight can make you lose sight of other important objectives. Intuitive eating encourages you to think about your body being strong and fit rather than just a smaller size.
- Do your research. While your body possesses great wisdom, it can use a little help. After all, you probably don’t instinctively recognize and avoid cookies containing trans fats. Use medical studies and product labels to guide you in making informed choices.
Recognize True Hunger:
- Rate your symptoms. Eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full is a basic principle of intuitive eating. However, it may be difficult after years of dieting. Increase your awareness by assigning a number from one to ten, based on whether you’re peckish or ravenous.
- Fuel up. It’s easier to resist junk food when you’re slightly full. Carry nutritious snacks around with you. Use an online calculator to figure out how many calories you need each day to meet your basic needs.
- Slow down. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that you’ve eaten enough. Pause during meals to avoid becoming stuffed.
- Stay hydrated. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Before you head for the refrigerator, drink a glass of water to see if your cravings will disappear.
- Examine your feelings. Your emotions can also make you vulnerable to overeating. Find alternatives to comforting yourself with cheesecake. Go for a walk when you’re bored and call a friend when you’ve had a rough day at the office.
Other Truths about Intuitive Eating For Weight Loss & Health:
- Exercise regularly. Intuitive eating for weight loss and healtb includes an active lifestyle to help you to connect with your body. Make your workouts fun by varying your routine and inviting family and friends along to join you.
- Learn to cook. You’ll look forward to eating your vegetables and other fiber-rich foods if you learn how to prepare them. Watch food channels on TV and browse online for quick and easy recipes.
- Be patient. It takes time to change your eating habits. That’s especially true if you’ve been losing weight and putting it back on over the years. Give yourself credit for taking the first steps toward restoring balance.
- Honor your body. Intuitive eating involves your attitude as well as your menu. Appreciate your body and its capabilities. Focus on your positive features instead of dwelling on your thick ankles.
- Think long term. Work towards changes you can sustain instead of crash diets that you’ll probably abandon within a few weeks. The choices you make today can help you live longer and lower your risk for diabetes and other serious conditions.
How To Eat Mindfully
Allow yourself to enjoy the foods you love, mindfully. Food is meant to nourish and be enjoyed!
Create a more positive body image and eat the foods you love without feeling any guilt. Intuitive eating is more fun than any restrictive diet and helps you to develop healthy habits that you can practice for the rest of your life.
One of the reasons so many people are overweight is that people tend to eat mindlessly. They eat when they’re stressed out for comfort or when they’re bored and don’t think about what they are eating, when they are eating, or why they are eating – much less how!
Eating mindfully requires planning, paying attention. The great thing is that when you do it, you tend to eat higher-quality food that contains more nutrients, but less of it, so you consume fewer calories and end up losing weight or maintaining healthy weight loss.
Let’s look at some of the best tips on how to eat mindfully.
- Eat Only When Hungry – This seems simple enough, but we’ve been trained since birth to eat during meal times. Meal times are arbitrary times that are designed for people who had to go work in the plant or the office and could only eat at these certain times. However, if you plan to eat only when truly hungry, you’ll be a lot more mindful about your meals. I skip breakfast because I intermittent fast and by lunch time, I am actually hungry! I’m never actually hungry at breakfast time, it was just drilled into my mind since childhood that we should eat breakfast when the truth is, I didn’t need it.
- Make Eating an Event – Even if you eat in the living room around the coffee table, you can make eating an event by always planning what you’ll eat, where you’ll eat it, and how you’ll eat it. Plus, you should know why you are eating something too. ‘It tastes good’ is a fine reason, just know when to stop.
- Plan Your Meals – Take the time to plan healthy and good-tasting meals that you know you can prepare easily. If you can’t take the time to do that and can afford it, hire a personal chef or sign up for one of the meal plan boxes that have either done all the prep work or that allow you to just heat it up. Don’t put roadblocks in your way.
- Set the Table – Put some flowers on the table, your nice plates, and add some ambiance to your meals. It doesn’t take long to just add a few little touches to make the meal feel special. After all, it is special to be able to eat so well.
- Turn Off Distractions – When you eat a fine meal, you don’t want to be distracted by television and other outside influences. Instead, try turning on some good music low enough that conversation will not be stopped.
- Prepare Only the Best Food – Don’t pick food that just stops hunger. It should taste delicious and be healthy. Most people think this is impossible but it’s not. Good food tastes good and yours should be no different.
- Enjoy the Food – Don’t bother preparing food that you don’t like. You want to take the time to enjoy every single bite. Notice the way it looks, the vibrant colors. Notice the way it smells, the fragrant spices. Notice how it feels in your mouth; the texture is divine. The more you can enjoy all those aspects, the better.
- Eat and Chew Slowly – When you are eating, don’t rush through your meals. Instead, enjoy each bite on its own and chew and eat slowly. Take the time to actually really enjoy it. It should take you at least 20 to 30 minutes to eat a normal meal.
If you want to practice intuitive eating for weight loss, start with paying attention to your body’s needs. Listen to when your body is hungry and fuel it rather than just feed it. Enjoy your food and stop when you’re full rather than mindlessly shoving food in because it tastes good and there’s more left. Intuitive eating is about creating a mind-body connection for overall health and happiness!