Food is not the enemy. It’s just food – a source of energy and nutrients for your body. By listening closely to what your body is telling you, you can forever change your relationship with food. Intuitive eating works for everyone since it is as individual as you are. While is seems simple to just listen to your body, it can be tough since you probably have years of food myths ingrained in your mind.
So what is intuitive eating?
It’s rejecting the whole ‘diet’ mentality. There are no quick fixes, just long-term solutions. Being healthy really is a lifestyle, not a blip in your timeline. By allowing yourself to eat when you are hungry, you will naturally choose foods that make you feel good. This means eating before you reach that starving/excessive hunger stage. When you get to that point, it is difficult to eat consciously.
Eating consciously is paying attention to not only what you are eating, but how you feel as you are eating and what the portions are. You probably already know how your body feels when you’ve eaten a healthy meal – you’re full, but not stuffed and you have energy to get on with the next part of your day. Conscious eating is paying attention to your choices and knowing how they will make your body feel as you choose them.
Enjoy the foods you choose. Yes, you will still want to eat foods that don’t necessarily make you feel healthy or powerful, but that’s okay. The key here is to enjoy eating all the foods you choose. If you don’t feel guilty for eating certain foods, you are less likely to overeat these same foods. Its all about listening to your body and making the right decisions for yourself.
According to a study by the National Institute of Health, people who ‘health at every size’ type of program versus people who were on a strict diet enjoyed long-term changes to their health, with many participants able to maintain weight loss. Those on strict diets also experienced initial weight loss, but many were unable to maintain that loss after a year.
As it turns out, the best diet counselor may just be you. After all, you know your body better than anyone else does. Listen to your body; give it what it needs in the forms of nutrition, exercise, work and fun.