The “Intuitive Eating” trend was born as a response to the fashion of diets. The principle on which it is based is that we humans instinctively know what to eat. Unfortunately, disturbed by dozens of diets tested throughout life, we went into chronic hunger, a recurring “lust” that causes us to make decisions beyond the voice of intuition.
The #intuitiveeating trend (a hashtag that I suggest you follow on Instagram, especially if you have or have had an eating disorder in the past) proposes a complete abandonment of diet rules and claims that slowly, slowly, the body will adjust and choose to food neither too much nor very very.
I agree with this principle in a vast but not total proportion. Beyond the “issues” that our diets have caused, some senses are further asleep by a rain of chemicals, taste enhancers, and addictive substances to a greater or lesser extent. Therefore, I propose that in parallel with the recovery of intuition, a process of nutritional education should take place so that the subsequent choices also pass through a filter of knowledge. Thus, we can make assumed decisions, such as eating a donut just because we want it and not because someone claims to have put a super-ingredient inside.
Beyond that, the dance between freedom and moderation is a ballet that everyone knows how to perform according to their bodies. For me, the release of intuitive eating overlapped with a health problem that limited me even when I was tempted to the second pancake. Or the fifth. So I had an extra reason to moderate quantitatively. However, qualitatively, I confess that I tested everything I did not allow myself to taste for years. I walked back and forth in the realm of guilt I put on and lost a few pounds. I tell you from the beginning, the path of intuitive eating has many ups and downs, but I see no other way to repair your relationship with food.
1. Quit dieting
This is a fact: diets do not work in the long run. A considerable percentage (between 80% and 95% depending on the statistics you read) of people on a diet is gaining weight again.
I remember the actual moment when I decided that I would never go on a diet again and the titanic relief I felt on the first Sunday when I realized that tomorrow, Monday, is not the time to punish myself for the excess over the weekend. Predictably, the surplus was gradually reduced to zero when the threat of restriction disappeared.
2. Eat if you are hungry
If you don’t eat when you’re hungry, you risk overeating when reaching the “wolf hunger” level. Plan if the next meal helps you; don’t be surprised: you will run towards the first fast food.
3. Make peace with food
Food is not your enemy. It’s not here to make you fat, and it’s not here to make your days a nightmare. Food is nature’s gift to us. We can’t live without this resource, and it is a blessing, not a pedestal. Understand its purpose. Respect her. And if we are still in the chapter “respect”, it manifests the same feeling towards your own body: it is another gift of nature, your “clothes” with which you go through life. Both instruments have been given to you and are in total harmony with each other.
4. Get the “Food Police” out of your life
The road to healing the relationship with food is not an easy one. Dark thoughts, guilt, the temptation to try the latest bomb diet come back. Keep them away. At some point, they will stop coming back. The food police monitor the unreasonable rules that diet culture has created.
5. Stop when you’re tired
You would be amazed at how much we overeat. This mental or emotional hunger or both causes us to over-eat. Eating when you are starving is good. It’s just as good to stop before you roll over before it hurts before it’s too late, and you realize you’ve eaten more than you needed to.
6. Discover the “satisfaction” factor
This point is closely related to the previous one. It seeks to satisfy each type of hunger without confusing them: desire for friendship, love, relaxation, and so on. Food is excellent, but unfortunately, it is not the solution for everything.
7. Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness
Dig inside yourself for real emotion: are you looking for relief after a hard day? Do you think you deserve to eat something high in calories after so much stress? You want to stop at the first fast food on the way home. Let’s be serious! I think you deserve a nutritious meal, even if you had a miserable day. You don’t even need junk food (have you ever translated junk food? Aha, that’s exactly how it translates!).
8. Respect your body
There are so many arguments for respecting your body that I don’t even know what to start with. Because I am anchored in spirituality, the idea in this spectrum works: the body is your living garment, the vehicle with which you fulfill your mission. You don’t want to break down ahead of time, do you?
9. Be active
Physical activity is an absolute necessity for health. The fact that it burns some calories is its slightest benefit!
10. Respect your health
Food means more than the calories that come in and energize you and possibly make you fat. Food is pure health if you choose it correctly, and when you eat, you should consider that the food is active both in one direction and in the other direction.
If you want to read more about this topic, you can find more information about the 10 principles of intuitive eating here.