The hunger to make intuitive eating known is real. Intuitive eating rejects diets. It treats food as a pleasure trip and not a guilt trip. It helps you recognise whether the body is hungry or full and to teach you how to use food as a fuel and not a filler for the body. It also respects the body for what it is.
Let’s take a deeper look at the core principles of intuitive eating.
- End of the diet
If you have tried a diet plan, you have certainly gone through the process of following it for a couple of months and then forgetting all about it, only to gain all that weight that you had lost. Intuitive eating suggests that you throw those diet plans out the window and rely on your intuition.
What’s the problem with diet plans—you might ask? Nothing, if you’re happily following it. But, the problem with most diet plans is that they require some kind of compromise on your end. Most diet plans are unlikely to include your favourite foods, which means, following them feels more like a torture. This kind of dieting takes away all the fun from eating, and is also primarily the reason why most diets don’t work.
- A little of everything
Eating a diverse set of food items in one meal will help you get the nutrition that is needed from that one meal. The Japanese have the lowest rate of obesity in the world, quite surprising for a rice eating nation, however their secret lies in small portions of 3 to 4 different dishes, intuitively eating and nourishing the body without over eating.
- Respect your hunger
Intuitive eating instructs to eat when one is hungry and not suppress that hunger, till it’s time for a meal. Eating when you are hungry is nourishing the body when it’s asking for food. However, one should not forget to keep the quantity of food you eat in check. Eat only as much as you need. Fuelling, not filling. Get intuitive about your fullness, that is, train yourself to learn when you’re no longer hungry, when you’re comfortably full.
Intuitive eating suggests that you pause between your meals to devour the taste of the food, and more importantly, to check if you’re full enough. Remember, this is not about eating as much as you can (because you can eat a lot!), but as much as your body needs. The difference in the two is much more than you think.
- Increase the happiness you get out of eating
Intuitive eating encourages one to go out there and eat the food items that make you happy. We all have those dishes that release the happy juices. There is no harm in brightening up your mood once in a while by eating your happy food, as long as you’re doing it in moderation. When you’re cherishing every spoonful of ice-cream you eat, you’re more likely to be content after eating even a small portion of it. Especially, when you know that you can always go back to it. The urge to cheat increases when the number of restrictions increases. Intuitive eating is all about respecting one’s freedom. Freedom to choose the food we eat, how much we eat and to trust our bodies to make the right choices about them.
Again, this post is in no way suggesting that you stop whatever form of dieting you are on. No. If you are on a diet plan that’s working and if you seem to enjoy that diet plan, please stick with it. However, if your diet plan has turned your experience of eating into a monotonous, boring activity, then maybe it’s time for you to look at other, more interesting ways of nourishing your body.
Eating food should be a pleasure. Not a punishment. The trick is to be more attentive to the cues of your body. Listen to what it says and let it guide you.