Intuitive eating is a phrase that refers to the process of choosing what you want to eat without being influenced by food rules or weight-loss goals. When we are in tune with ourselves and our hunger cues, it is easier to find satisfaction with foods with minimal processing like; fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Intuitive eating helps people be more at peace with their body size because they listen to their needs for fuel instead of trying to achieve an unrealistic goal set by society or the media.

 

To eat intuitively, you might need to relearn how to trust your body. To do that, first distinguish between physical and emotional hunger

1. Physically hungry – your body craves nutrients. It builds up gradually and has different signals, such as a growling stomach or fatigue. This is when you need to eat something nutritious to promote well-being.

2. Emotionally hungry – you might find yourself eating when you feel lonely or bored. It is a way to fill the emptiness in your heart. This craving for food often stems from guilt and self-loathing. This creates emotional neediness that drives these desires further through its cycle of repetition.

 

Principles of intuitive eating

1. Recognize the hunger – eat when your body tells you that you are hungry, and stop eating when you are full. Respond to your early signs of hunger by feeding your body. If you let yourself get excessively hungry, then you are likely to overeat.

 

2. Feel your fullness – just as your body tells you when it is hungry, it also lets you when it is full. Listen for the signals of comfortable fullness when you feel you have had enough. As you are eating, check in with yourself to see how the food tastes and how hungry or full you may be feeling.

 

3. Respect your body – we are not all the same shape and size therefore we need to let go of unrealistic expectations of body image. When you accept your own physicality at every size no matter how big or small – it will be easier to make decisions about food choices based on logic rather than emotions.

 

4. Exercise and feel the difference – ensure that you focus on how exercise makes you feel rather than burning calories. If it is something like dancing or walking, which is just for fun and not necessarily working out as a form of calorie counter to be healthy with what matters more: enjoying your life.

 

5. Honour your health with light nutrition – the food you eat should taste good and make your feel happy. Remember that it is not one meal or a snack, but rather the overall patterns in which we consume these items over a period that shape our health for better or worse.

6. Honour and cope with your feelings without using food – emotional eating is a strategy for coping with feelings. Find ways that are unrelated to food, such as taking a walk or meditating. Become aware of the times where any emotion might take control over your appetite – including hunger- because sometimes these emotions have absolutely nothing at all to do with being hungry.

 

7. Reject the diet mentality – intuitive eating is the anti-diet. The diet mentality is the idea that there is a diet out there that will work for you.

 

8. Make peace with food – get rid of any ideas about what you should or should not eat. No foods are off-limits.

 

9. Discover the satisfaction factor – eating can be a pleasurable experience if we take our time and enjoy the meal. Make your eating experience enjoyable. Have a meal that tastes good to you. Sit down to eat it.

 

10. Challenge the food police – food is not good or bad, and you are not a failure for what you eat.