Following strict meal plans and fad diets is often a slippery slope. Diet plans adapted by the masses are often reflective of just that – a large population. A lot of diets publicized to the masses are not personalized to your body’s very personal needs.
Strict diet plans can cause frustration and regression in those looking to take control of their eating and lose weight. Many times, diets have a fixed focus on weight loss and do not consider the unique emotional and psychosomatic needs of someone looking to lose weight.
That’s where intuitive eating comes in. Intuitive eating is a wellness program based on scientific evidence. Intuitive eating is not a diet, but instead a way for people to reframe eating and physical activity. Intuitive eating focuses on nurturing your body, getting the physical activity you genuinely enjoy, and allowing your body to settle at a weight that is natural for you, with no scales involved.
The Principles of Intuitive Eating
Developed in 1995 by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, intuitive eating quickly became an attractive non-judgmental mind-body approach to health and weight loss.
The principles of intuitive eating can be summarized into 10 key components:
- Honor your hunger. Your body relies on nutrition to keep you alive, as such, you should honor your hunger as a signal that your body needs fuel to survive.
- Challenge the inner “food police”. Intuitive eating asks followers to ditch their ideas of “good” and “bad” food, and simply see all food as neutral.
- Make peace with your food. Coming to food as if it is the culprit in your weight gain will perpetuate negative behaviors and ideals.
- Reject the mentalities of fad diets. Intuitive eating stresses that there is no “quick” or “easy” way to weight loss, and weight loss is a long-term commitment rather than something that needs a quick fix.
- Find satisfaction. Eating what you want, where you want, can help you feel more satisfied with your relationship with food.
- Learn to recognize your fullness. Intuitive eating promotes the ability to feel your fullness and stop when you are full and resist the urge to overeat due to boredom, stress, or other factors.
- Respect your body. A key component is to love and respect your body, regardless of its shape or size.
- Find new ways to cope with negative emotions. Often, emotions like sadness or anxiety are quelled with food. Intuitive eating asks you to recognize when you are eating out of emotion and replace this with healthier coping habits.
- Participate in exercise that’s fun for you. If you don’t enjoy going to the gym, you’ll never be motivated to go. Finding activities and physical activities you genuinely enjoy will help build motivation.
- Honor your health. You don’t have to eat perfectly all the time, instead, intuitive eating asks participants to eat what feels right for their needs.
Intuitive eating offers many healthy and holistic approaches to weight loss. Intuitive eating is not a diet. It is a holistic well-being mindset that can change someone’s exercise, eating, and thinking habits into something more positive, resulting in a healthier self.