WHAT IS INTUITIVE EATING?
Intuitive eating is a simple idea. It means that you make peace with all types of food. Unlike traditional diets that restrict or ban certain foods, intuitive eating requires you to stop looking at food as “good” or “bad.” Instead, you listen to your body and eat what feels right for you.
You might think this means you just eat whatever you want, anytime you want. That’s not the case. Experts say intuitive eating means tapping into your body’s natural ability to tell you when you’re hungry or satisfied.
When you eat intuitively, you also let go of the idea that you need to lose or gain weight so you can look a certain way. The idea is to help you focus on foods that work best for your overall physical and mental health.
How to Eat Intuitively
Reject diets. Following strict rules around food may not help you lose weight over the long run. If the diet doesn’t work or you’re unable to keep up, you may look for a newer, better diet and start all over again. When you restrict foods, your body may not get the nutrients it needs to function at its best. And for some people, frequent dieting could lead to an eating disorder.
Respect your emotions. Eating to satisfy emotions like anxiety, loneliness, anger, or boredom won’t fix the problems that are causing these feelings. If you find yourself doing this often, talk to a therapist to sort out your feelings.
What Are the Benefits?
We need more studies on intuitive eating. But some research has found that while those who consistently eat intuitively may not lose weight, they tend to have lower BMIs (body mass indexes) and better mental health.
It may not be for everyone. For some health conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure, your doctor may ask you to cut back on certain foods to manage your condition. If you plan to try intuitive eating, tell your doctor about it first.
If you’re not sure how to start eating intuitively, see a registered dietitian or a nutritionist to come up with a meal plan that works for you