Intuitive Eating in a Nutshell
If you are remotely familiar with the #fitspo or #fitfam world of social media, you have probably heard of this "intuitive eating." Instagram profiles often list one's style of nutrition be it iifym, flexible dieting, weight watchers, clean eating, vegan, balanced not clean, paleo, etc. One of these is intuitive eating, and although it sounds very granola and weird, I believe it to be the safest, most logical route to nutrition. However, there are many misconceptions about what it is and what it isn't.
Essentially, intuitive eating is a process of eating what makes your body feel good.
Ok, ok. But what if this banana split with 6 billion calories and a million grams of fat makes me feel good. Then, eat it. Yes, eat it. E.T. Trains say to eat it. However, only eat until you stop feeling good. Does that make sense? If you are craving that banana split, restraint is only going to lead to intense cravings and binging later on. If you want it, eat it, but don't make yourself sick. Rarely do people's bodies feel good after eating an entire banana split. So eat slowly and listen to when your body has had enough.
My definition also me ntions that this is a process. That is what makes intuitive eating so challenging and often discourages people. If you are used to restricting and yo-yo dieting, you will find yourself going overboard a few times before you get the hang of it. Diets like IIFYM and paleo are easy to start immediately, while intuitive eating requires patience, awareness, and absolutely NO logging or tracking unless it is in a diary form about how you feel.
The key is that over time, you will figure out what your body really needs and what gives you energy and fuel to conquer the day. You will feel adventurous with food and be able to eat without fear. There are no longer good or bad foods. Food is food. You eat what you want, when you want it.
Here are some disclaimers. You might not lose weight. Most people don't since they are typically at their natural weight. The human body is built to keep us at the natural weight. That is why dieters using IIFYM or MyFitnessPal calo rie restrictions gain the weight back. In fact, 95% of diets fail and most will regain the lost weight and more withing 1-5 years. Case in point, you really need to develop a strong relationship with your body throughout the process of intuitive eating. They go hand in hand.
This post is just a nutshell and is not enough information to get started. There are many resources out there, and I will be posting additional tips and steps too. However, I highly recommend the book, Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. You can get it used on Amazon for around $5, and it goes much further in detail about the science behind intuitive eating and how to shift habits in your own life. I read many books and consulted numerous resources in my journey, but this book was the most influential in my everyday life.