In the past few years, the perception of diets in our culture has changed significantly. Many nutritionists and bloggers began to talk about the dangers of food restrictions and that prohibitions do not help you lose weight, but only worsen our relationship with food. The concept of intuitive nutrition fully supports this idea. In this article, we describe what is intuitive eating and whether it is possible to lose weight by allowing yourself to eat what you want.
What Is Intuitive Eating?
Intuitive nutrition is a psychological approach to eating food, which is designed to eliminate the guilt associated with eating and dividing foods into “good” and “bad”. Nutritionists who promote intuitive nutrition are convinced that attention to your body’s signals of hunger or satiety will help regulate eating behavior more effectively than limits and constant calorie counting.
Although intuitive nutrition became especially popular in 2019, this term is far from new. Back in the 70s the Teima Weiler Women Center opened, which was based on an anti-dietary approach. The most fundamental work on the topic of intuitive nutrition was the book by Evelyn Triboli and Eliza Resh titled “Intuitive Eating”, published in 1995. This book became a bestseller and was reprinted many times.
A dozen studies confirm the effectiveness of intuitive nutrition in weight loss for men or women and regulating eating behavior. The most important thing is to understand that intuitive nutrition is not a diet. It is unlikely to lose weight in a short period of time, but it will teach you a healthier attitude toward food and help prevent compulsive overeating, which is the most important cause of overweight.
Where Did the Trend for Intuitive Eating Come From?
Clinical professor of nutrition Steinhardt Lisa Sasson calls Americans “a nation with an eating disorder”. However, this can be said not only about the inhabitants of America. As children, we all rely on hormones that tell us whether we are full or hungry. The eating disorder begins when parents come in, forcing you to eat what is on the plate, even if you’re already full.
Over easting, comes from turning vegetables and other wholesome food into punishment and sweets into encouragement. Under this pressure, a person gradually loses control over bodily signals and this feeling remains with you for life.
The second problem is that the world in which we live does not contribute to the intuitive perception of nutrition. We are constantly haunted by food advertisements, banner images, enticing promotions, flavors in a mall, or on the street. Because of them, it’s hard to understand whether you really want to eat it or just think you do.
The only way to take control of your eating behavior again is to give up diets and learn to listen to your body’s signals. In recent years, this idea has been increasingly promoted by bloggers, nutritionists, and celebrities. Although the idea of diets and restrictions is still strong in our culture, the intuitive nutrition movement can end this.
Basic Principles of Intuitive Nutrition
Here are a few general principles that will help you better understand the essence of intuitive nutrition. It is important to realize that these are not strict rules, but only recommendations because the basis of this system are the rejection of rules and restrictions:
- Learn the food culture and understand why diets don’t work. Give up the idea of losing weight and dietary behavior in order to stop thinking about what is good for your body and start to feel it.
- Satisfy your hunger. Eat only when you feel the desire while paying attention even to weak signals.
- Make peace with food. Allow yourself to eat any products except those that are banned due to medical purposes
- Challenge the rules. Leave aside everything that the culture of diets teaches us. Only you decide when to eat, what to eat, and how to eat.
- Feel your fullness. Eat slowly and listen to the signals in order to feel that you are no longer hungry. Leave the food as soon as you full, no matter how much food is left on your plate.
- Allow yourself receiving pleasure. Eat what you really want, not trying to replace it with something more useful that doesn’t bringing joy.
- Learn to cope with emotions without food. Try not to eat in moments of severe stress, calm down, put your thoughts in order, and start hearing your body again. Learn different ways to deal with emotions without food.