Are you tired of yo-yo dieting and weight loss
books that contradict each other? Intuitive eating may be the strategy you need
to teach you how to love your body and your food.
Intuitive eating is based on listening to your
body so it can guide you in making food choices. The term is often associated
with a 1995 book by the same name, but the concepts are much older and
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
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
- Exercise regularly. An active lifestyle helps 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.
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.