How To Get Started With Intuitive Eating

Diets inherently require people to restrict themselves from consuming a certain type and amount of food. This is normal, but it can be difficult to find something that works for the individual; something that works for one person won’t necessarily work for everyone.

Because of how different every person is and all the different reactions that happen in the human body, this makes it a challenge to find a proper diet to keep you healthy while losing weight.

However, there are some diets that don’t have specific restrictions for individuals but instead offer a more flexible dietary plan. Intuitive eating is a rejection of traditional dieting, offering people more freedom and alleviating the stress that comes with maintaining a strict diet.

For your own benefit and to provide yourself with an alternative dietary plan, be aware of how to get started with intuitive eating. It’s not as hard as it may seem; it simply requires some moderation and a change in perspective about food and dieting.

Reject Traditional Diets

Intuitive eating starts with understanding the traditional idea of a diet and putting it aside. Regular dieting techniques restrict people from eating certain types of food, whether that means cutting out fats, carbs, or meats.

It can be hard for individuals to give up their favorite types of foods for the sake of a diet. Denying yourself your favorite foods runs the risk of cravings; these cravings can negatively affect your mentality, potentially sabotaging your diet.

With intuitive eating, nothing is necessarily off-limits, but you need to understand your limits; we’ll get into these limits in the next point. Dieting requires strict adherence to a certain routine, and deviating from that routine is seen as a negative.

It’s important to ignore the conception that some foods are bad while others are good; that concept depends on the specific diet you follow. For intuitive eating, reject the idea that foods are a binary thing and that there are good ones and bad ones.

Have a Healthier Relationship With Food

As mentioned, you need to understand your limits with food in order to have a successful time with intuitive eating. It’s common for people to assume that intuitive eating is consuming whatever you want, whenever you want, but that’s not the idea.

In essence, intuitive eating is having the foods you love in moderation; you maintain healthy eating and consume nutrients while treating yourself to the foods that aren’t necessarily ‘diet-friendly’. The individual needs to recognize that having a few cookies won’t cause them to gain weight overnight, but if continued, unlimited consumption can result in weight gain.

Don’t be afraid to eat treats if that’s what you really want, but you need to understand that it cannot be an everyday occurrence.

Recognize When Your Body Is Hungry

The most essential part of intuitive eating is understanding when your body craves food and when it doesn’t. It’s easy for people to eat snacks; it’s something many people do without ever really thinking about it. Foods like chips, soda, cookies, or noodles are easy to consume, don’t necessarily fill you up, and taste good enough to make our tastebuds feel good, but that isn’t always good.

This scenario can cause over-eating, leading to subtle weight gain over the course of weeks or months. With intuitive eating, you need to recognize when your body needs food and when you simply eat food to eat it. Boredom eating is a very real thing, and it can cause people to inadvertently gain weight.

Pay attention to the hunger patterns of your body, know when you get hungry, and eat when your stomach truly needs food to sustain itself. Knowing how to identify hunger is one half of the equation when it comes to intuitive eating; the second half is knowing when to stop.

Understand When Your Hunger Is Satisfied

Knowing when you’re hungry is one thing but knowing when you’re full is an entirely different feeling to deal with. It’s common to hear to only eat until you feel full, but that type of satiation can be hard to determine as you eat.

Eating until you’re completely stuffed is not being full; that’s over-eating and filling your body with more food than it can process, eventually converting it to fat to store for later. You need to understand how much food it generally takes to fill you up and sticking to that metric; the body can be somewhat unreliable when it tells you you’re full.

It takes time for the food you eat to register in your stomach; the process takes time to tell you that you’ve had enough; this is what commonly leads to overeating. You must take your time when eating and allow your body to start registering the food you consume; typically, it can take about 20 minutes for the body to feel full after eating.

Make sure you know how much you generally need before you feel full. This can take some trial and error at first as you navigate your hunger.

Allow Yourself Room for Flexibility

Knowing how to get started with intuitive eating gives you the flexibility you need to construct your own eating and dietary plan based on your needs and wants. It still holds the general principles of dieting, such as calories in and calories out, but lets you determine how to best do that. It requires you to listen to your body, practice moderation, and allows you to reward yourself without feeling as though you failed in your diet. Improve your health, both physical and emotional, and don’t think you have to stick to any one diet forever, even intuitive eating.

When it comes to weight loss, it can be a difficult thing to navigate through eating right and exercising. Dr. Philip Rabito is a
weight management doctor who specializes in assisting people with making necessary lifestyle changes. Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation; your personal health is something you need to maintain and leveraging the aid of a medical professional allows you to take control of it.

Philip Rabito, MD

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