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Intuitive eating

by Tosin Ajayi

Intuitive eating is not a “diet; it’s a way of eating that teaches you to eat based on your natural hunger and fullness signals. Basically, intuitive eating is a philosophy of eating that makes you an expert of your body and its hunger signals.

It’s the opposite of traditional diet, it doesn’t impose guidelines about what to avoid and what or when to eat, instead, it teaches that you are the best person to make those choices.

The Basics: Intuitive eating is an eating style that promotes a healthy attitude and behavior towards food and body image. The idea is that you should eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Though this should be an intuitive process for many people, it’s not. Trusting diet books and experts about what, when, and how to eat can lead your away from trusting your body and it intuition.

To eat intuitively, you need to relearn how to trust your body. To do that, you need to distinguish between physical and emotional hunger.

Physical hunger:

This biological urge tells you to replenish nutrients. It builds gradually and has different signals, such as a growling stomach, fatigue or irritability.  It’s satisfied when you eat any food.

Emotional hunger:

This is driven by emotional needs ;.sadness, loneliness, and boredom are some of the feelings that can create cravings for food, often comfort  Foods . Eating then causes guilt and self-hatred.

Intuitive eating is based on physical hunger rather than prescriptions from diet books and experts.

One important thing to note is that eating should satisfy physical hunger without causing guilt.

The Key Principles of Intuitive Eating:

In books on intuitive eating, Tribole and Resch lay out the basic principles of this philosophy.

1. Reject the diet mentality: the diet mentality is the idea that there’s a diet out there that will work for you. Intuitive eating is the anti- diet.

2. Honour your hunger: hunger is not your enemy, respond to the early signs of hunger by feeding your body. If you let yourself get excessively hungry then you are likely to overeat.

3. Making peace with food: call a truce in the war with food and get rid of ideas about what you should eat or shouldn’t eat.

4. Challenge the food Police in You: food is not good or bad and you are not good or bad for what you eat or don’t eat. Challenge the thought that tell you otherwise.

5. Respect your fullness: just as your body tells you when it’s hungry,it also tells you when you it is full. Listen for the signals of comfortable fullness  when you feel you have had enough . As you are eating, check within yourself to see how the tastes and how hungry or full you are feeling.

6. Discover the satisfaction factor: Make your own eating experience enjoyable. Have a meal that tastes good to you and eat it. When you make eating a pleasurable experience, you may find it takes less food to satisfy you.

7. Honor your feelings without using food: emotional eating is a strategy for coping with feelings. Find ways that are unrelated to food to deal with your feelings, such as taking a walk, meditating, journaling, or calling a friend. Become aware of the times when feeling that you might call hunger is really based on emotions .

8. Respect your body: Rather than criticizing your body for how it looks and what you perceive is wrong with it, recognize it as capable and beautiful just as it is.

9. Exercise: find ways to move your body and enjoy the shift in focus from losing weight to feeling energised, strong and alive.

10. Honor your health with gentle nutrition: The food you eat should taste good and make you feel good. Remember that your overall food patterns shape your health. One meal or snack isn’t going to make or break your health.

With intuitive eating, how you eat is just as important as what you eat. Letting your own internal cues of hunger and fullness guide your eating can lead to improved image and quality of life.

You can learn this principles, practice and make it part of the rest of your life.

I wish you a great health. Happy healthy eating!

Source: https://nationalaccordnewspaper.com/intuitive-eating/

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