INTUITIVE EATING – IS IT A THING?

Let’s imagine a world without social media. Actually, let’s take it back even more – no media at all. No TV, no print, no advertisements. None.

Now, what would that do to everyone in terms of diet, nutrition, fitness, getting a six pack – the entire perception of themselves? Without any comparison to the svelte model in your feed, or the friend who has a stomach that a washboard would be jealous of, we’re willing to bet you’d be content, satisfied, happy with the choices you make.

This is the crux of intuitive eating. A philosophy that drives people to eat based on hunger and not by prescription or diet. There are 10 core principles behind intuitive eating, and once you read it , you will probably think “this is common sense.” Common sense or not, media has taken away the ability for us to think rationally, instead feeding us stories that gets us into the mentality of an appearance-driven diet.

Intuitive eating means:

NO DIETING

Rejecting that mentality that you need something better. That you need to lose weight, cut your food. Nope, you have enough. You are enough.

UNDERSTANDING HUNGER

Learn to know your body. Feed it when it needs food. It’s not feeding your brain signals (overeating, guilt), it’s feeding your body.

LOVING YOUR FOOD

Don’t create forbidden foods in your head. Give yourself permission to experience anything, and accept that you ate the foods you wanted to. Denying that want is what leads to a massive binge, and ultimately, shame

IGNORING THE NOISE (OF MEDIA)

Don’t listen to the food and diet experts. Firstly, psychologically it pulls you into doubting yourself. Secondly kale is not the secret sauce to a six pack.

BEING SATISFIED WHILE EATING

Pleasure. Have something that tastes good to you.

RESPECTING FULLNESS

Let’s be honest. We all know when we’re full.

UNDERSTANDING EMOTIONS

This is a tough one. For a lot of us the way we deal with emotions is with food. Emotional eating, anyone? Disassociate food from the emotions. Honor the emotions some other way. Understand the source. But treating it with food is the wrong way to go.

RESPECTING YOUR BODY

Be your biggest fan. Don’t criticize. If you have a healthy body, be thankful, and appreciate its capability.

EXERCISE

Movement is important. Food nourishes, exercise grows the body.

GENTLE NUTRITION

Some of you thought “What if all I love is cola and candy?” Slim chance, but the tenet here is to feed the body with food that tastes good, food that you love, but ultimately is also good for the body. A meal here and there is not going to determine your health.

Do you know who amongst us follow most of the principles of intuitive eating? Babies! Yes, babies eat with pleasure, don’t care for what others think, eat till they are satisfied and stops when full. And guess what they do when they’re hungry, they ask for food!

So that’s it. Common sense, yes? Not too hard. No rigid rules, very fluid, and goes with our inherent understanding of food and hunger. And, more importantly, if our babies can do it, so can we.