Intuitive eating is a dietary approach that is becoming more and more popular nowadays especially among the people who have tried absolutely different diets and failed to achieve the desired results. The idea of intuitive eating seems to be highly alluring with allowing you to eat whatever you want wherever you need. Still, it is crucial to understand the basic principles of this type of a diet in order to be sure it really suits you.
What is intuitive eating?
On the one hand, intuitive eating is a brand-new approach to dietary plans which is working in the way opposite to strict diets. It is based on the idea of trusting your own body and listening carefully to its needs in food. On the other hand, this approach can be compared to the diet of our distant predecessors who had limited access to food and, thus, consumed it only when their body really needed it.
This means, that in order to make intuitive eating successful, one should first of all learn to distinguish the physical hunger from the emotional hunger.
The first one occurs when your body really needs to eat and it helps you to understand it with a range of physical symptoms including weakness, irritation or discomfort in your stomach. What is important about this particular condition is that you will feel that generally any food will be good for you right now, of course, if it is not the one you really dislike. The bottom line here is that you just want to eat and you will be happy to eat anything.
The emotional hunger is absolutely different. This one occurs when you need to get rid of some unpleasant emotion. Certainly, almost everyone knows how it feels when you are relishing something delicious while being rather stressed. Yet, many people are completely unaware of the fact they eat while they are bored, confused or feel offended as well. In such situations you are not experiencing any physiological symptoms of starving and your brain suggests you some particular types of food such as a piece of a cake or a portion of French fries. As you can imagine, the emotional hunger is the major culprit for putting on weight.
How can you switch to intuitive eating?
In order to start eating intuitively, you should create a healthy relationship with food. This needs understanding that food is your friend and you should absolutely get rid of feeling of guilt for eating. For that reason, you should forget about any possible diets which haven’t been prescribed to you by doctors based on your special medical condition.
It is recommended to stop dividing food into healthy products and unhealthy products. Try to look at it is considering whether your body need it or not. You are allowed to eat anything you want and the knowledge of this fact will help you to avoid situations in which you will find yourself guilty for consuming something which you have forbidden yourself to eat. When you know that you there are no limits on your diet and, at the same time, you will already be able to distinguish the physical hunger from the emotional one, you will find it easier to resign from eating unnecessary food in a natural way.
It is also crucial to start respecting your physical hunger. When you start feeling the physical symptoms of hunger, you should feed your body and never resign from doing it. Making your body starving will lead to a conflict and you will be risking to end up eating up all the products in your fridge in the middle of the night.
Furthermore, intuitive eating demands understanding of the feeling of satiation. Usually, people tend to eat too much which is can be a result of being distracted by checking your smartphone, watching TV or talking to others during the meal as well as eating in a hurry. The latter one usually leads to a situation in which you have already consumed an entire portion of food in a rather short time while your brain still hasn’t got a signal of satiation. That is why you should consume your food in a peaceful atmosphere whenever it is possible and pay your attention to the feeling of satiation. For convenience, you can use grades starting from 1 for a feeling of intense hunger and 10 for a feeling of discomfort which comes with overeating.
Should you try intuitive eating?
Undeniably, the nutritional approach of intuitive eating seems highly appealing. It is definitely a good alternative to strict diets which in the majority of cases so not allow people to get permanent results.
Still, for many people building a healthy relationship with food might turn out to be a rather difficult task since the majority of us adopted various eating patterns in childhood which have been deeply engraved in our consciousness since that time. For example, such popular practices as eating at exact hours rather than having your meal once you get hungry or feeling obliged to finish your meal even when you have already overeaten in order not to leave any food on your plate can turn into a real challenge once you decide to get rid of them.
In case you are one of the people with similar eating habits, you might experience especial difficulties with understanding the real needs of your body.