The principles of intuitive eating don’t resemble any diet. They claim that limiting your food is an ineffective and unhealthy way to lose weight. Professor Steve Hawks of Brigham Young University lost more than 45 lb using the principles of intuitive eating. Since then, this approach to eating and dieting has become even more popular.
Principle 1: Reject the diet mentality.
In accordance with the renowned nutrition therapists Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, the authors of the book about intuitive eating, it is necessary to understand that all diets are ineffective and truly believe that there are no diets in the world that can help you.
The main thing is to reject any outer control over your eating and come to terms with the belief that there is only one inner control — your own sense of hunger.
Principle 2: Listen to your hunger.
In accordance with this principle, you need to eat as soon as you feel hungry. You don’t need to wait until your hunger becomes too strong because starvation can lead to overeating.
It is important to build a friendly and healthy relationship with food and to train yourself to use it only to satisfy your hunger.
Principle 3: Respect your fullness.
It is important to listen to your body during meals and stop when necessary. Your sense of fullness should be comfortable, and your stomach shouldn’t be felt too tight.
To hear this signal, try to make short pauses during meal. You need to stop eating even if there is still food on the plate.
Stop blaming yourself for eating a muffin or praising yourself for sticking to your calorie limit.
Forget affirmations from diets that food can be “low-fat,” “good,” or “bad.” You need to understand that food is not your enemy and that it’s your friend — it brings you energy and saturation.
Of all the criteria that you used to apply when choosing your food, leave only one — you need to eat exactly what you’re craving at that particular moment.
Principle 5: Become friends with food.
Don’t be afraid of food and don’t treat it as an enemy that is keeping you from getting the body you want. Allow your body to send you signals and listen to those signals by giving it the foods it wants.
Forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest. If you constantly force yourself to reject what you’re craving most, you may find yourself with an uncontrollable obsession. As a result, you can actually end up overeating what you’re not allowing yourself to even get a taste of.
Principle 6: Enjoy tasty food.
It’s important to enjoy delicious dishes and food. Pay attention to how the food is presented. Learn how to enjoy the aroma and taste of every bit of food that you eat.
When you eat something that you like, the satisfaction that you get from the food grows exponentially while at the same time, the feeling of fullness comes faster.
Many people who struggle with obesity treat themselves and relieve their stress by overeating. While logically, most people understand that eating won’t make problems go away, it does work as a sort of mental anesthetic which can lead to very serious health problems.
Don’t solve your emotional problems with food. Find other ways to raise your spirits and encourage yourself, for example, to take a walk, to go for a run, to watch a funny and uplifting movie, or to spend some time focusing on your favorite hobbies.
Principle 8: Accept your body.
This may be one of the most difficult things to do for someone who is determined to lose weight to look better. It’s almost impossible to go an entire day without coming across tips and suggestions on how to be slim and beautiful and it can be very demotivational.
It’s important to learn to not criticize and hate your body. Learn to accept it the way it is and respect it. It’s impossible to stop dieting if you are unhappy with your body. Love it genuinely and be grateful for it because, in the end, you only have one body for the rest of your life and it’s important to take care of it.
Principle 9: Choose physical activities that you enjoy.
When choosing intuitive eating, it’s important to stop treating physical exercises solely as a method of fighting excessive weight. Physical activity provides you with energy and lifts your mood. This is why it’s important to choose to spend your time doing what you enjoy so that you can burn fat without consciously focusing on suffering through muscle pain in order to lose weight.
You don’t need to go to a gym if you hate it and always look for a reason to avoid it while blaming yourself for it afterward. When you force yourself to do something, you begin to hate it. So, choose the activities that bring you joy — only in this case will they be effective.
The main thing about this principle is to generally take care of your body. There is no perfect diet to keep you healthy but you need to mind what you eat on a long-term basis.
Choose foods that are healthy for your body and tasty at the same time. There’s such a wide variety of delicious foods available nowadays that it should be simple and even fun to listen to your body’s signals and to eat what your body wants.