What is intuitive eating? In short, "Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach to health and wellness that helps you tune into your body signals, break the cycle of chronic dieting, and heal your relationship with food." -Alissa Rumsey. It's one of a few great ways to approach eating. If you decide to give intuitive eating a try, here are some great tips to get you started.
Stop Dieting: First and foremost, from this day forward, you are no longer “on” a diet. Sure, you’re eating a diet – a diet of colorful, delicious, nutritious, and fun foods. There’s no more “I can’t eat this,” mentality. Unless you’re allergic or intolerant to a specific food, now’s the time to reintroduce it back into your diet... If you want to!
Listen to Your Hunger: How long has it been since you’ve been truly hungry? And, to take it one step further, how long has it been since you responded to that hunger with a healthy amount of food? This is a two-way street, of course. Start paying to your hunger cues instead of letting your emotions dictate when you eat. Don’t starve yourself, but also learn how to push your plate away when you’re satisfied. It’ll be hard at first, but before long, you’ll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.
Eat for Pleasure: Wait, didn’t I just tell you to respect your hunger? And stop emotionally eating? Yes, but you’re not going to be happy living off a diet of salads and chicken, either. Having a healthy diet isn’t just about eating just nutritious foods. Instead, try to follow an 80/20 principle. That could mean eating a shrimp stir-fry over brown rice for dinner, but then following it up with a square or two of absolutely delicious dark chocolate. Reintroducing pleasure foods is a way to learn your satisfaction factor, which can ward off binges and prevent you from getting trapped in a “healthy diet” prison.
Know Your Body: Stop trying to starve yourself down to a size two or vice versa. Instead of trying to force yourself to be someone you’re not, embrace who you are and be kind to the beautiful body you were given... Petite, curvy, and anywhere in between.
Exercise for Fun: Fitness isn’t just for burning calories. You can work out and break a sweat just for the sheer joy of moving your body. If you hate running, then why force yourself onto the treadmill? Instead, find yourself a personal trainer who can help you learn how to lift weights and build lean, strong muscle. Working out should happen when you feel like it, not as a punishment for eating a slice of cake.
Learning how to eat intuitively can be like learning how to ride a bike; you may need training wheels at first, and you may have a few falls along the way. Instead of giving up, stand up, brush yourself off, and hop back on. Over time, just like any skill you learn, you’ll get better at it as you go.
If you’re looking for a nutrition and fitness coach in the Mount Pleasant and Charleston area, why not drop us a line today? We can help you become the best version of yourself as you work toward your healthy lifestyle.