In the early months of each year, we can expect to see several ads regarding a fad diet or some new weight loss tip that influencers swear by. However, science has proven time and time again that fad diets do not work and are more detrimental than helpful. One term, Intuitive Eating (IE), has been becoming more and more popular. Intuitive Eating is a mind-body evidence-based health approach to eating. This weight-neutral model focuses on honoring your health via listening to your body and its needs. Two Registered Dietitians created Intuitive Eating, so it is backed by science and evidence-based data.
Intuitive Eating focuses on checking in with yourself and listening to your body to determine what you need. This doesn’t mean that it is free permission to eat less than nutritious foods every day; however, there are no restrictions, and you are free to eat what is best for you with no morality (good vs. bad) attached to the foods you decide to eat.
This type of eating considers that people are individuals, and everyone is different. It focuses on decreasing shame and guilt around eating certain foods, eating when your body signals you to eat, and not thinking of healthy eating habits as a “diet.”
If you choose to be vegan because you feel best as a vegan, then have at it. If you are not allergic to gluten, but you decide to eat a gluten-free diet because you feel better on that diet, go for it. If you see something that creates feelings of hunger, go ahead and have a bite or two without associating that food with guilt, then go back to your typical eating plan at the next meal. Shift the focus to how your body is feeling, not the timing of meals. If it is 10:30 in the morning, but your belly thinks it is lunchtime, eat lunch! Then adjust as the day goes on to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. It will take a bit to adapt, and it is crucial to be diligent and not overthink, but it will get easier and easier with practice.
So enjoy your meals, eat what you feel is best for you, eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full, and stop stressing or shaming yourself for eating what you think makes your body run the best it can!
To learn more about intuitive eating, visit https://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/