Your Guide to Intuitive Eating

Most of us are familiar with one fad diet or another. Maybe you’ve tried (or known someone who has tried) the low-carb diet, or you’re familiar with the idea that fruit is somehow “bad.” The point is: As a society, we don’t have the healthiest relationship with food. But, that’s where intuitive eating comes in! Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

What Is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive eating simply means you make peace with all kinds of food. It doesn’t involve banning certain foods, and it requires that you stop looking at foods as “good” or “bad.” When you eat intuitively, you are letting go of the idea that you’re eating to lose or gain weight and instead eat to fuel your body and mind. And fuel means healthy, right?

Benefits of Intuitive Eating

There are both mental and physical benefits to intuitive eating, including:

  • Improved cholesterol levels
  • Healthy weight maintenance and BMI
  • Improved body satisfaction
  • Decreased depression and anxiety
  • Lower levels of restrictive and disordered eating

Intuitive Eating Tips

Forget the Idea of a “Diet”

Diets tend to promise big results in a short amount of time by cutting out nutrients that your body needs. You may lose weight on a diet, but it doesn’t stay gone, and the process typically isn’t healthy. Before you commit to intuitive eating, understand that it’s not a diet and let go of the idea that a diet is more effective.

Listen to Your Body When It Feels Hungry (& Full)

When you dismiss the feeling of being hungry, you’re depriving your body of something it may need. Plus, when you ignore your hunger cues instead of eating moderately and consciously, you are more likely to overeat when you do decide to eat.

Intuitive eating means tapping into your body’s natural ability to tell you when you’re hungry or satisfied.

Repair Your Relationship With Food

Give yourself permission to eat what it wants. Does that mean having a snicker bar every 5 minutes? No…Does it mean you should eat a large pizza, then a cheeseburger, and top it all off with a chocolate cake? No! When you think about eating intuitively, you can’t drop the ball altogether and throw caution to the wind. What is healthy for your body? Does it make you feel better after you’re done eating? Eating intuitively means eating for full body health, and for the long run.

Drop the “Good/Bad” Mentality

We can collectively thank diet culture for drilling it into our heads that certain foods are “bad” or that we’re being “good” when we skip dessert. When it comes to intuitive eating, these ideas must be shut down.

The Name of the Game Is Satisfaction

Eating should be fun. When you eat what you want in an environment where you feel calm and comfortable, you’ll find that your body knows when it’s had “enough.” Pause throughout your meal to check in with your body, savor the experience, and stop when you feel full. There’s To-Go bags for a reason!

Respect Your Emotions

It’s important to feel your emotions, but it’s equally important to understand that no amount of food will cure anxiety, depression, loneliness, or boredom.

Get Moving

Part of living a healthy lifestyle is getting exercise. The routine doesn’t have to be intense (maybe early-morning yoga or an evening walk); just make sure you’re doing something active that feels good every day.

Do you have any tips for eating more intuitively? Share them with us in the comments below!


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