3 Reasons to try Intuitive Eating
For starters, just to put real talk out there, I’ve tried a lot of diets. You could’ve considered me a diet fad connoisseur. This started pretty early on, like 7th grade early. So whatever diet you’re considering, I’ve probably done some variation of it. I can honestly say most diets work, for a short time, but the problem is they don’t fix the real problem so long term, they don’t work. They also have this nasty side effect of beating your metabolism down to a shell of its original existence, and that’s just what we need, a slower metabolism. Ya, no thanks! So if diets aren’t the answer, what do we do? Intuitive eating my friend, that's what.
Intuitive eating allows you to eat according to your body.
That’s right there’s no weighing foods, counting calories, or figuring out macro percentages. A central concept of intuitive eating is learning to listen to your own body for guidance. I know, after years and years of dieting, listening to your own body sounds like absolute madness. We’ve been taught to fear our bodies, we assume they only have our worst interest at heart. That’s simply not true. Our bodies are designed to keep us alive and protect us. When you learn the science behind hunger it becomes clear all those diets we used to control our weight is the very thing our bodies are fighting against. Not us, the diets. Have you ever watched a 3 year old eat? Imagine a little girl running around for a couple of minutes, she grabs a cookie, licks it and then puts it down. She goes back to her game, completely forgetting about the cookie. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to forget about a cookie? That’s intuitive eating. Learning to eat when we’re hungry and stopping when we’re full is so simple but yet incredibly foreign to most of us.
There are no food restrictions.
Did you notice how I used a cookie for that example? Yup, with intuitive eating you can have a cookie, or cake, or whatever suits your fancy, but we all know I love dessert. It’s life, and what would life be like without it? Real talk, it would be crappy. Imagine this...if you gave up seeing your favorite person in the whole world you could have a rock hard body with six-pack abs? Just imagine that for a minute. Would you make that trade? I sure as heck wouldn’t. There’s more to life than having that idea of perfection met. Food is fuel but it’s also culture, community, and comfort. All are equally important and with intuitive eating all foods are on the table and so are the reasons for eating them.
You learn to use nutrition as a tool instead of a weapon.
Just because all foods are on the table does not mean we give up on nutrition science. Science is there for a reason, it helps us learn to make healthier choices when faced with a plethora of options. It can also help us read our body signals more clearly. I love dessert but I also know if I go overboard I don’t feel very good. Not because I may gain weight but because the rush of sugar into my system spikes my blood sugar and drops it off super fast. This process increases my risk for developing migraines in the days immediately after a sugar binge, and long-term this increases my risk for diabetes. I use nutrition to make the healthiest choice most of the time, because I've found healthy foods I truly enjoy and I feel better after eating them. Intuitive eating allows you to truly see nutrition science for what it is, a tool and a guide, not a strict sets of rules. If there’s one thing I know for certain from all my years of studying nutrition science, it’s this… choosing nutrient dense foods most of the time is what works, and strict diets do not. It’s all about balance.
Science has also shown us that intuitive eating has the ability to reduce binge eating amount and frequency after a 3 year follow up and intuitive eating scores are associated with a lower BMI.
So if having your cake and eating it too sounds too good to be true, it isn’t, it’s very real when you learn to eat intuitively. If you’re sick of dieting and struggling with your weight there’s still hope, there’s still time to get it right. Not sure where to start? Download my 3 Secrets to Kicking Diet to the Curb, bye diets, bye!