What is Intuitive Eating And Its Benefits (Go-to Guide)

What is Intuitive Eating And Its Benefits (Go-to Guide)

If you’ve ever heard about intuitive eating as a new approach toward effective weight loss, you’re not alone. Every day, more people are tuning in to this new eating lifestyle that has many benefits for physical and mental wellbeing.

But what is intuitive eating and where did it come from? Does it really work? How is it different from traditional diets?

If these questions have been on your mind lately, keep reading.

In this article, you’ll discover what intuitive eating is, what some of the benefits of this trending approach are, and if it is really effective for weight loss and wellness.

What Is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive eating is a behavior or approach that allows you to tune in to your body while enjoying various foods without guilt or shame. It is commonly known as the “no diet” diet.

Intuitive eating also helps you organically identify foods that work for your body and which do not. It also goes further by letting you embrace your hunger and fullness signals, developing a healthier relationship with food.

With intuitive eating, you won’t feel it necessary to measure or count calories and macros.

Intuitive eating is not a new thing. It was a behavior first promoted by two dietitians in 1995, and now many people are becoming more aware of it.

Moreover, more health professionals like me are using this approach to help people develop a healthy mindset around food and fitness, have realistic expectations around body weight changes, and enjoy the process more positively rather than restrictively.

Does Intuitive Eating Work for Weight Loss?

The good news is that intuitive eating works wonders for weight loss and fitness. The reason is simple: this approach becomes natural to you. Intuitive eating helps you get in shape.

Studies show that most people who learned to eat intuitively were able to develop a healthier relationship with food, had less food anxiety, and achieved a healthier weight.

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Your approach toward healthy eating positively changes. It’s a fact that the “dieting mindset” in which you constantly track calories, measure foods all the time, and obsess with portion control only leads to eating disorders.

More Facts About Intuitive Eating

Intuitive eating is the perfect strategy to get rid of the vicious cycle of chronic dieting. It is a fact that most people who have been on diets over and over again will gain their weight back. This is the infamous yo-yo effect.

Coupled with that is the toxic mindset around labeling foods as “good” and “bad,” the guilt and shame that traditional diets cause around certain foods.

Therefore, intuitive eating helps you experience freedom from food anxiety and embrace your body’s biological needs while making sound food choices.

Intuitive eating also promotes a mentality that is free from food deprivation. Usually, our bodies tend to crave foods that we are deprived of. Demonizing foods is a way of saying, “you don’t have a right to enjoy chocolate chip cookies because you’ll get fat!”

Guess what will happen: eventually, you’ll overindulge in those, causing you this sense of guilt and weight gain. Because of this, intuitive eating is more realistic in that it embraces the act of enjoying varieties of foods.

Believe it or not, this behavior is what helps you choose to balance and keep a healthy weight in the long term.

Ditching the “Dieting” Mindset

If one thing is true, it’s that there is no single food that will make you fit and neither is there one that will make you fat.

All you need to do is to make solid food choices based on what feels natural to your body.

It has already been proven that when you’re free from food obsessions, you make better food choices and are at peace with food in general. Then, you naturally start shedding those extra pounds and trimming your waistline.

It’s all about balance and the right mindset.

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Nutritionists have seen too many people fall into the trap of “fad diets.” Even though “dieting” may work for a short period, this fails in the long term.

To avoid frustration and body hate, you should prioritize eating in a way that works for you. There isn’t a “one size fits all” approach.

Everybody is unique. We all have different preferences and metabolism.

In fact, “dieting” without proper guidance and supervision from a nutritionist. does more harm than good. Trust me. That’s why many people have the infamous yo-yo effect.

So, instead of following the media cleanses, fasting methods, and quick fixes, you should start learning how to tune in to your body. It is also essential to identify how your body responds to your foods. You’ll notice better-lasting results.

Main Principles of Intuitive Eating

For the most part, some of the principles of intuitive eating have been already covered in this post. But let’s summarize some other important facts.

1. Honor Your Hunger and Fullness Levels

This seems to be a no-brainer, but we often overlook this behavior. When you eat intuitively, you eat when you’re naturally hungry and stop eating when you are full.

Remember that proper nutrition is key to keeping your body nourished at all times. In this way, you’ll avoid the deprive-binging cycle and keep your calorie intake in check.

2. Intuitive Eating Is Being at Peace With Food

This is one of the most important principles of intuitive eating. There’s no love and hate relationship with food that exists in your mind whatsoever. No food demonizing is done.

You understand that there are varieties of foods with their own nutritional value and benefits. Then, you develop a healthy relationship with food that allows you to make conscious decisions. You embrace balance.

3. It Allows You to Discover Your Satisfaction

Who doesn’t enjoy eating real food? That’s the principle behind intuitive eating.

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Even when you indulge occasionally, you can still stay healthy and in shape. There is that sense of pleasure when you eat that will automatically help you identify when “you’ve had enough.”

4. It Is About Respecting Your Body

Why hate your body when you can embrace your journey and have a good relationship with food?

Eating intuitively is all about having a judgment-free zone. The best thing is that you understand you’re on a journey to achieve a better version of yourself physically and mentally.

Plus, getting in shape takes time and patience. Therefore, we should love our bodies while enjoying the present moment.

5. Exercise According to Your Body’s Needs

Following the same train of thought, train according to your body’s needs. The fitness industry is booming, and we should take advantage of the different ways we can exercise.

Just as with food, there is no specific routine that works the same for all. Focus on learning which active lifestyle is good for you. Discover new workout routines that will give you results.

It’s your body; it’s about you. It’s essential that you find professional guidance in this area.

6. Cope With Your Emotions Without Relying on Food

It’s no secret that we’ve all gone through situations in which anxiety and stress are at their peak. However, you must identify those triggers and learn to cope with your emotions the right way.

Too many times, we tend to rely on food to make us feel better while the problems are still there. This will also keep you on the weight gain cycle and make you feel worse about yourself.

So, be more compassionate with your emotions and your body. Learn to deal with your feelings positively. Some good ways to not cope with food are exercising, journaling, or talking to a friend or therapist.

How to Eat Intuitively

Embracing intuitive eating all starts with the right mindset. It’s time to release the fears around eating healthy and food in general. This is the key to a healthier lifestyle.

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Intuitive eating is not a diet. It’s neither something that you develop overnight nor a quick fix. Instead, it is behavior that, over time, will make you develop positive emotions around eating, food, and preparation.

Intuitive eating is a natural way to nourish your body to stay in constant balance and harmony. You will be able to get lasting results without fear of “falling off track.”

Start with baby steps. Don’t follow what others are doing. Just go with what works for you. Educate yourself on the importance of eating a variety of foods.

Stop labeling foods as “good” or “bad”. Identify that each food has its unique value and nutrients. If you listen to your intuition, your body will accept nutritious foods in more proportion to others.

The same thing happens with exercise. Eating and exercising should not be a burden or punishment for your body. You should enjoy both as ways to achieve better health.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking to improve your health naturally, eating intuitively might be a good strategy for you. Set realistic goals. Get into the habit of pampering and loving yourself more

Also, make sure you look for proper guidance from a certified nutritionist.

Featured photo credit: Muhammad Ruqi Yaddin via unsplash.com

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