What Is Intuitive Eating?

A trend that is growing in popularity throughout the health and nutrition industry is something called intuitive eating. Not to be confused with mindful eating as they are to completely different ideas which has led to some confusion among those trying to control their eating habits.

To better understand the concept of intuitive eating, we need to know the definition of both intuitive and mindful eating as well as the differences. Mindful eating is “the practice of cultivating an open-minded awareness of how the food we choose to eat affects one’s body, feelings, mind, and all that is around us.” Whereas intuitive eating can be defined as “a form of attunement of mind, body, and food or eating in response to physical cues rather than for emotional reasons along with unconditional permission to eat when cues are present.

Intuitive Eating Is Guided By 10 Principles:

  • Reject the Diet Mentality
  • Honor Your Hunger
  • Make Peace with Food
  • Challenge the Food Police
  • Respect Your Fullness
  • Discover the Satisfaction Factor
  • Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food
  • Respect Your Body
  • Exercise–Feel the Difference
  • Honour Your Health

The Basics Of Intuitive Eating

With intuitive eating, we are taught to listen to our body as it will tell us when we are hungry, when we are full and when we are satisfied. This breaks from traditional eating habits where, hungry or not, we eat because it is breakfast or lunch time, or because it is time for dinner and we automatically begin cooking food because that is what we have been taught. Intuitive eating puts you back in control of your eating habits while still providing your body with the nutrition it needs.

Eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full should be an intuitive process, but for many people it’s not. We have been trained to eat at mealtimes, hungry or not, and to eat everything on our plate. Traditional dieting and nutritional methods often push this on us even though it is an unnatural method of eating. We need to start trusting our bodies and that means distinguishing between physical and emotional hunger and using mealtimes as only a guide.

Physical And Emotional Hunger

Physical hunger is a biological urge telling us to replenish nutrients in our bodies. Signs of physical hunger include fatigue, irritability or a growling stomach. Emotional hunger is driven by emotional need including sadness, loneliness or boredom.

By following the 10 principles of intuitive eating, your body will look and feel better and brain function will be increased. Intuitive eating can take some time to get used to, but once you do, it will feel completely natural because it is!

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