Have you heard of Intuitive Eating?
Intuitive Eating has been growing in popularity, helping people build more positive and healthy relationships with food, leaving restrictive eating and judgement in its tracks. Intuitive eating shifts the focus from a deprivation mindset to listening to your body and internal hunger cues.
Why is Intuitive Eating so important right now? Diet culture has indoctrinated us with negative feelings around food and body image leading to ideals around thinness, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating.
It’s really common to struggle with your relationship with food and diet rules!
- feelings of guilt and shame after eating foods you see as “bad” or “unhealthy”.
- cutting out carbs from your diet in the hope of losing weight.
- counting calories and fixating on nutrition labels.
These are all common examples of a restrictive diet mindset that can be improved using intuitive eating practices. Intuitive eating prioritises inner health and feeling good over the societal pressure to look good. It promotes nourishing our bodies adequately and respecting them for the amazing things they can do.
Do you want to learn how to eat more intuitively, but don’t know where to start?
Here are my top 3 Intuitive Eating steps for beginners.
The first thing I recommend, is ditching the diet mentality! Dieting, the obsession with losing weight, and the idea that thin is better are ingrained within us from a young age. Think about how many diets you have tried in the past, have they made you feel better?
Most of the time, they “work” initially before you get tired of how restrictive they are and you miss eating your favourite foods. Start by working on rejecting diet culture and unfollowing social media accounts that promote diets, weight loss, or that just don’t make you feel good about yourself! Toss your diet-related cookbooks in the bin and start surrounding yourself with weight-neutral messaging about food and body image.
The next step is to learn to honour your hunger and start eating regular, satisfying meals. This is crucial to prevent a physiological and psychological response that can lead to restriction or binge eating. Making and eating balanced meals including carbohydrates, protein and a healthy fat source will give your body the nourishment you need to support your energy, and digestion, and keep cravings to a minimum, whilst also giving you the flexibility to enjoy the foods you love.
I hope this helps kick-start your Intuitive Eating journey so you can enjoy a healthy relationship with food.