How Intuitive Eating Can Help You Quit Dieting For Good

If you’ve ever tried to follow any one of these fad diets like the atkins, paleo, or keto diets, then you know how difficult they can be to maintain long term; and how much work they require from counting calories to severe food restrictions.  Fortunately, there is a safer, more sustainable, and effective way of eating that promises all the benefits of fad diets, without the irritability and negative side effects. Intuitive eating is a new concept of aligning mind, body, and food to create better eating habits and a healthier relationship with food.

10 Principles of Intuitive Eating

This whole concept of Intuitive eating may seem a bit new age hippie and to good to be true, but following these core principles are sure to create lasting change and improve your physical, mental, and emotional health.

1. Let go of the diet mentality

Get rid of the diet books, cook books, magazine articles, and blogs that offer false promises of quick, easy, and permanent weight loss.  Instead, think back on how it felt every time you tried a diet that stopped working, you gained the weight back, and unhealthy habits crept back up. Memorising those feelings of diet failure and defeat will help you to release the truth that dieting, doesn’t in fact, work for you.

2. Make peace with food

Making peace with food, means giving yourself permission to eat food without guilt.  Stop telling yourself that you “can’t” or “shouldn’t” eat something, which creates intense feelings of deprivation, ultimately leading to binging, overeating, and remorse. Instead, allow yourself to eat, focusing only on how the food tastes, how it smells, and how it makes your body feel.

3. Acknowledge and satisfy your hunger

Pay attention and listen to your body when it is communicating to you that it is time to eat. Ignoring these signals from the body can result in excessive hunger and trigger a primal need to overeat. Learning to acknowledge this biological signal is crucial to developing and re-building trust with yourself and food.

4. Respect your fullness

Just as important to acknowledging your hunger, is paying attention to and listening when your body is telling you that you are full. It is okay to check in with yourself while enjoying a meal by taking a deep breath, asking yourself how the food tastes, how you feel, and what is your current fullness level.

5. Defy the Food Police

Let go of this self deprecating idea that you’re “good” for not exceeding your self imposed calorie threshold, or that you are “bad” because you had the one scoop of chocolate ice cream. The “Food Police” housed deep within your psyche, enforces the irrational rules that dieting and diet culture have created, by promoting guilt, and internally shouting negative and hopeless phrases surrounding food.

6. The self gratification factor

In a never-ending race to become thinner, busier, healthier, and have more, often times we forget the importance of reveling in the pleasure and gratification that can be had during the eating experience.  Eating what you want, in a space that is comfortable and inviting, will help you to realize the pleasure you get from eating. Creating this kind of self gratifiying experience will help you to feel more satisfied, content, and you will find that it takes much less food to decide you’ve had “enough”.

7. Feel your feelings without food

Allow yourself to feel your feelings and find ways to soothe, nurture, comfort, and resolves those feelings and issues with using food.  Food provides short term comfort and distraction, but will resolve the issues or emotions you may be feeling. Adversely, emotional eating will make you feel worse in the long run, by compounding your emotional issues with overeating and weight gain.

8. Honor your body

Learn to accept and respect your body and your genetic makeup.  Respecting your body, means accepting and feeling better about who you are.  It will be difficult for you to let go of the diet mentality and diet culture if you continue to be unrealistic and discriminatory against your own body

9. Exercise and the feel transformation

Whatever your preferred mode, yoga, pilates, running, walking, biking, just get moving and pay attention to how different your body feels, instead of how many calories your burning. Focusing on how good your body feels in motion, can make the difference between jumping out of bed for an energizing workout or hitting snooze. on the alarm

10. Honor your health

Choose foods that honor your health and your taste buds, while making you feel good. Perfection is not the goal, progression is. It’s what you eat consistently over time that makes the difference.

For tips to start eating intuitively, check out my other blog posts, 3 Mindful Eating Exercises Practices to Mindful Eating