Intuitive eating may sound like a new diet fad; however, it is pretty much the opposite of a trendy diet. Intuitive eating is essentially a philosophy that focuses on listening to your body and what hunger signals it is sending you. This brief guide will give you an overview of intuitive eating and let you figure out whether or not it is the dietary philosophy for you.
What is intuitive eating?
Intuitive eating is something of an “anti-diet.” Rather than telling you what to eat or when, intuitive eating is a philosophic and holistic approach to eating. A large focus for intuitive eating is respecting your body and what it has to say. Proponents of intuitive eating feel that by following strict, regimented diets and ways of eating, you are cutting your body off from its natural intuition of when and what to eat.
In order to reconnect to your body and its intuitions, you would first need to understand the differences between physical hunger signals your body sends out and emotional hunger signals. Physical hunger is the kind of hunger you feel when your body needs nutrients and fuel, and is marked by growling stomachs, fatigue or perhaps even irritability – we have all been hangry before!
Emotional hunger, on the other hand, is a hunger impelled by feelings we experience, such as anxiety, sadness, boredom or loneliness. There is a reason why foods like ice cream and mac and cheese are referred to as comfort food! However, oftentimes after indulging in comfort foods, we are left feeling even more empty and may even have feelings of guilt and regret, which spurs on further unhealthy eating habits.
How can I eat intuitively?
The concept of intuitive eating began in 1995 as the title of a book by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. If you are interested in starting to eat intuitively, the ten core tenants of intuitive eating are a great place to start.
The tenants of intuitive eating focus on stepping away from the stringent, limiting diet mentality and beginning to listen to the body and its signals before, during and after eating. The tenants also support honouring your emotions, respecting your body and revelling in the pleasure, joy and satisfaction that can accompany a delicious, nutritious meal.
Reading this, you would be forgiven for thinking that Tribole and Resch had only recently published their book – the themes of self-care, wellness and respect for oneself are just as popular now.
So, is intuitive eating right for you? If you are looking to have a more holistic, pleasurable relationship with food, and you want to listen to what your body is telling you, then yes, intuitive eating may be right for you.
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