What is Your Stomach Telling You? Intuitive Eating Explained.
Hate dieting? Then this may be the best blog post you have ever read!
If you’re one of those people who has always had trouble maintaining a healthy weight — you are most likely also one of those people who has tried every diet known to man. And yet, none of those has worked.
Maybe none of these diets have worked because they are manmade diets instead of a nature-made diet. Maybe, just maybe, we are trying too hard when the answer to a healthy weight is to LISTEN to our body.
What is Intuitive Eating?
Simply put, intuitive eating is the practice of eating mindfully and without guilt or restrictions. There is no counting of calories or restricting certain foods. It is simply a commonsense approach to eating and living well.
What?! No calorie counting and eating whatever you want? How can that possibly help a person lose and/or maintain a healthy weight?
Well, because you’re not listening to your mind but your body. Your mind can lie to you but your body always tells you the truth.
Here are some of the basic principles of intuitive eating:
It is NOT a Diet
Diets simply don’t work because they are not sustainable. So the very first principle of intuitive eating is to completely throw away the idea of dieting.
Eat When You’re Hungry
Diets don’t work because they typically leave the person feeling deprived and hungry. This, in turn, usually triggers overeating.
Intuitive eating relies on listening to your body’s hunger cues. There will be a bit of trial and error at the beginning, as this is a new way of eating for most people. But once you begin to recognize your body’s hunger signals, it becomes easier and easier to trust your instincts and rebuild your relationship with food.
Respect Your Fullness
The first step to eating intuitively is to eat only when you are hungry. This means NOT eating when you are sad, stressed, happy etc.
The second step is to respect your stomach when it tells you it’s full. Eating slowly and chewing your food well will help you to stop eating when those fullness signals begin.
Many of us eat as if it’s a chore. We get hungry, we warm up food, and then we scarf it down as if we are in a race. Remember, we want to completely rebuild our relationship with food. We want to respect the food we put into our body. Taste it, feel the texture in your mouth. Feel grateful for the farmers and people who helped get that food onto your plate.
These are only some of the principles of intuitive eating, but they give you an idea of why this way of eating works so well. I encourage you to do a bit more research into this lifestyle and then try it for yourself. This may very well be the thing that helps you shed those unwanted pounds and keep them off FOR GOOD!
Written by Tomeika S. Leavell, LCSW
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