A quick google search for “diets” will give you endless results. We talked about that in the blog on intermittent fasting ( read it here ). Everyone wants to tell you what foods you should eat, how much to eat, and what foods you should avoid all together. But when you think about it, who knows best what your body needs? YOU! No other human is present in your body for a single moment. All the nutritional education in the world can’t actually compete with the knowledge you naturally have about the needs and wants of your body.
Enter intuitive eating.
Intuitive eating doesn’t involve counting calories, macros, “good” or “bad” foods, or even telling you when to eat like intermittent fasting does. It removes all of that and focuses more on your relationship with food, how it makes you feel, and really honing in on being able to identify and honor your body’s true hunger needs.
It might seem daunting. What if I wake up one morning and really feel like my body could use some chocolate cake? Well, it’s possible it does. But more likely, if you’re really in tune with your body and its signals for hunger, you’ll be able to dig deeper and see if what you’re actually feeling isn’t true hunger for chocolate cake but perhaps boredom, sadness, loneliness, or fear. OR simply wanting a piece of chocolate cake because it sounds delicious (no good or bad foods, remember?)
This type of relationship with your body won’t happen overnight. Psychologist and author of, When Your Teen Has an Eating Disorder: Practical Strategies to Help Your Teen Recover from Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating, Lauren Muhlheim says, “As with any relationship, it takes time to build your body's trust that it can really have what it wants and needs." You’ve got to trust the process.
So how does it work?
In their primer on rejecting traditional diet mentality and following our bodies (apply named Intuitive Eating) registered dietitian nurses Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch outline the 10 principles of Intuitive Eating to help give you a place to start.
1. Reject the Diet Mentality
Realize that any diet, whether scientifically sound for weight loss and health or not, is nowhere near as personalized for you as your own knowledge of your body. You have to completely reject the idea that there’s going to be some magic set of rules that will bring you life-long results.
2. Honor Your Hunger