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What Is Intuitive Eating and How It Can Transform Your Eating Habits

Yo-Yo dieting is one of the big reasons why people can’t maintain healthy body weight. For anyone to keep up with a healthy diet, they need to find ways in which they can sustain and maintain an eating plan.

Authors of Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, created a new way of eating. The two dieticians describe intuitive eating as “a self-care eating framework, which integrates instinct, emotion, and rational thought. Intuitive Eating is a weight-inclusive, evidence-based model with a validated assessment scale.”

Here are the first steps you should take to get you started on being a more intuitive eater.

Ditch the Diet

There is no quick way of losing weight and sustaining it. Yes, you may jump onto a fad-diet train, but the chances are that eating a few crackerbreads a day won’t be sustainable over time. 28-day diets or diet plans that cut out essential food groups is not a long-term solution to losing weight.

You don’t have to be on a set menu to lose weight. Your first step to becoming a more intuitive eater is to ditch the diet. Let go of the idea that you have to follow a meal plan set up by some expert. Following a menu where you have to buy ingredients that are almost rarely available in your own home, won’t be maintainable.

Hunger Evaluation

When it comes to eating, you should ask yourself the question, “Am I really hungry?” We have been taught that we should finish all the food on our plates, and if we leave any food on the plate, it could be seen as rude. This is an external influence that we have been following for decades.

Another phrase you should get rid of is “I could eat” – you’re either hungry, or you’re not. Before you have a meal, evaluate whether you are truly hungry? Do you really need to eat because of hunger, or are you eating because it’s lunchtime?

While eating, you should check in with yourself to see whether you are full. Take smaller bites and eat slowly, use your intuition to inform you whether you should continue eating or wrap it up for later.

It may seem unclear at the beginning. Most of us are not used to listening to our bodies. Don’t give up, and try to be curious about it. In time, you’ll intuitively know exactly how hungry you are at any given moment.

Get In Touch With Your Internal Food Police

Stop being so hard on yourself when you eat “forbidden” foods. The food police are basically your thoughts about eating and food. These thoughts are influenced by external advice from dieticians, exercise gurus, and healthy habit chefs.

It could be anything from telling yourself you are ‘bad’ when you eat a donut to saying to yourself ‘well done’ when you have a salad for lunch. Your internal food police give you the ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ of eating.

Be aware of what your internal food police are saying to make better choices and to evaluate whether these thoughts are right or wrong. The most crucial part is that you don’t allow the food police to make you feel bad.

Criticism and guilt will discourage you over time and make you frustrated. If you don’t beat yourself up every time you indulge in some sugary treat, it’ll be easier to get back on track and make better choices.

Mindful Eating

You can have a healthier relationship with food by practicing mindful eating. It’s important to respect your body and, therefore, consume mainly foods that hold nutritional value. Make better choices when it comes to eating by thinking about the foods you prepare for yourself.

When there are two pieces of cake in front of you – one is smothered in chocolate while the other is a carrot cake, which one should you choose? Yes, the chocolate-covered one is more alluring, but the better choice is the latter.

You don’t have to deprive yourself of chocolate and other sweets, but be mindful of what you choose to eat. Ask yourself what your body needs, what will feel good in your belly.

Make sure to choose foods that make you feel satisfied. This will decrease overeating and cravings. If you really like chocolate, find its alternative – Dark chocolate is healthier than light chocolates.

The idea of intuitive eating really makes sense when you put it all into perspective. Use your intuition when choosing foods and when to eat, to become part of the revolutionary intuitive eating movement.

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