Intuitive eating empowers you to become an expert on your body. In simple words, it implies that you are in harmony with all food. Normal or traditional diets limit the intake of a particular food, but intuitive eating ceases you to label food as “good” or “bad”.
Intuitive eating encourages a positive attitude regarding the food and your body. You would assume that it means eating anything you want, whenever you want without any limit. That is not the case.
The simple idea behind it is that you should eat when you are hungry and stop eating when you are full. When you eat intuitively, you are not concerned about gaining or losing weight. The purpose is to direct your attention to the meals that will benefit your general and mental wellness.
When eating, you must be able to differentiate between your actual hunger and emotional hunger. When your body tells you to restore nutrients, so do it. Your body gives a sign when it needs food, such as irritation or stomach pain.
You feel satisfied when you consume food. Emotional hunger is triggered by various emotions, such as sadness, boredom, and loneliness. People crave food and later feel guilty or self-hatred.
What Is Intuitive Eating?
Intuitive eating(IE) is sometimes called anti-diet because no food is forbidden. What to eat and when to eat is completely up to you. An anti-diet strategy puts more emphasis on healthy behavior.
IE is all about learning to respect your appetite and paying attention to your body. Eating intuitively is a habit that you won’t be able to pick up overnight. You have to unravel all the strict diet regulations and feelings you might wish to cling to.
The mending procedure for intuitive eating takes time. This dietary strategy also strives to strengthen a strong bond with your body. Eventually, you learn to accept your body’s natural signals for hunger and fullness.
History Of IE
The phrase ‘intuitive eating‘ was first used in 1995 in the title of a book written by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. Resch is a therapist who focuses on intuitive eating and eating disorders. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and an obesity expert.
Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch have shared their philosophy and concepts about IE through various seminars, blogs, workshops, etc. Additionally, they educate and certify coaches in intuitive eating. Because of all their work, IE plans have become widely popular. Many nutritionists now embrace intuitive eating, and many dietitians have created their variations.
Principles Of Intuitive Eating
Tribole and Resch have laid out 10 principles of intuitive eating for individuals who want to practice it.
1. Reject The Diet Mentality
When someone has a diet mindset, they always think about what to eat and how it will affect their bodies. People who have a diet mindset make decisions based on their attitude and ignore hunger signs, urges, and what their body needs.
2. Honor Your Hunger
Food restrictions may lead to a desire to overeat. People who practice IE should consume enough calories to satisfy their hunger and must include the right amount of carbs, proteins, fats, and other nutrients. Maintain a proper amount of carbs in your body. The motive is to notice hunger and fullness signs.
3. Make Peace With Food
Food is not a threat. Give yourself unrestricted approval to eat, and do not see any food item as forbidden unless you have any food allergy. Giving yourself unrestricted approval may help avoid unnecessary cravings, emotions, and the urge to overeat.
4. Challenge The Food Police
People who moralize food are said to have a mindset of food policy. They believe that eating well-balanced meals is good, and certain food items are bad. People are encouraged by intuitive eating to question these misconceptions because many of them are untrue.
5. Discover The Satisfaction Factor
Eating should be fun. We ignore one of life’s most fundamental gifts, which is the pleasure that comes from eating. By having food you like or sitting in a welcoming environment, you can make eating enjoyable. The pleasure that may be experienced will play a significant role in your life.
You should respect your hunger and fullness. According to the intuitive eating principles, you must check in with yourself during and after meals. You should be aware of the taste of the meal and how hungry you are. You must have faith in your ability to satisfy your cravings for food if you want to respect your fullness.
7. Cope With Your Emotions With Kindness
Emotional eating is using food to cope with unpleasant or difficult emotions. We all encounter feelings like stress, loneliness, and rage throughout our lives. You simply can not resolve these feelings by eating food. Food can take your mind off these emotions but it won’t fix them. To solve this, you must learn efficient coping methods or seek a therapist.
8. Respect Your Body
People have expectations, especially about how their bodies should look. However, if you want to practice intuitive eating, you should make an effort to value and respect your body. All bodies are worthy of respect, and you should feel better about yourself.
9. Movement-Feel The Difference
People may often concentrate on how many calories they burn during exercise rather than concentrating on how they feel. Put off egressive exercises and simply start moving to see the change. Instead of focusing on burning calories, you must focus on how your body feels when you move it.
10. Honor Your Health-Gentle Nutrition
What you eat regularly matters a lot. You need to make food selections that fulfill your nutritional values. Make healthy and delicious eating choices that can make you feel good. Remember that one snack won’t cause you to become unhealthy or nutrition deficient, so eat what you like.
Benefits Of IE
Various research studies have found IE to be beneficial. Some of the benefits are:
- Studies have shown that IE causes improved physiological attitudes and weight maintenance.
- Better mental health is one of the main advantages of intuitive eating.
- Researchers have also shown a low level of sadness and anxiety and high self-esteem in people who eat intuitively.
- IE treatments have retention rates that indicate that participants are more likely to continue practicing IE.
- It has also been found that women are less prone to engage in disordered eating practices after practicing IE.
- IE makes you feel more energized. You learn which meals boost your energy and which ones do not.
- Your connections with your friends and family strengthen. You will start appreciating the people around you when you are not stressed about eating.
- You can tell when you are full, so you don’t have to feel pressured to eat the leftovers. This way, you are not overeating.
Is Intuitive Eating And Mindful Eating The Same Thing?
Intuitive eating and mindful eating both promote awareness of sensations connected to food and have a lot in common. Mindful eating means being aware of all aspects of eating processes, such as the taste of the food, the feelings and thoughts you have while eating and how your body reacts to the food you consume.
While there are a few similarities, only a tiny portion of intuitive eating is covered by mindful eating. While mindful eating does incorporate satiation, nutriment, and other indications, it is often promoted and used as a weight loss technique. The main difference is that there are 10 principles of intuitive eating, and there is no specific diet culture.
Can Intuitive Eating Help You Lose Weight?
Intuitive eating weight loss is not the primary objective. The focus should be on paying close attention to your body’s requirements, preventing emotional eating, and providing your body with the necessary nutrition. It is a self-care philosophy that considers emotions while making dietary decisions and taking care of one’s health.
Some people have lost weight due to intuitive eating because they were able to cease certain behaviors like binge eating. Some people have put on weight because they have been dieting and exercising heavily. So IE does not always help you to lose weight, it helps you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself.
How Can You Practice IE?
When your body gives signals of being hungry, trust it and eat something. To ensure that you obtain the right amount of nutrients, eat a variety of meals. Take breaks between meals to check on your body.
Know how your food tastes and how hungry you are to determine that you eat the right amount and the proper food. You need to choose meals that suit both your taste buds and your body.
Are There Any Risks?
Not everyone should practice intuitive eating, especially those with medical illnesses, where they have to follow specific diets and avoid certain foods. They must follow the advice of their dietitians. People having heart conditions, diabetes, or blood pressure issues should not practice IE.
If you consume a lot of protein-rich meals and do weight training, you can build muscle. Exercise and a high protein diet promote muscle growth.
Intuitive eating can be beneficial for athletes as long as they are fulfilling their nutritional values. Studies have found that IE may help improve HDL cholesterol, control emotional eating, and helps to boost performance.
Instead of adhering to long-standing dietary norms, prohibitions, or other considerations, intuitive eaters make meal selections based on their hunger, fullness, and enjoyment. They can eat every kind of food that fills their body's needs.
IE is a non-dieting strategy for altering food habits. It simply implies that you are in harmony with all kinds of food.
IE does not promise to help you lose weight, but it can help you enhance healthy habits and concentrate on your eating behaviors.
You can start eating intuitively by simply following the 10 principles of intuitive eating that are mentioned above.
Intuitive eating emphasizes promoting body positivity and respecting hunger and satiety. People practice IE to have a better connection with their bodies and food. When it comes to IE, what and how to eat are important.