If you’re looking to maintain a healthy weight, try listening to your body instead of trying out various fad diets. Here’s an expert guide on how to do it.
We all know that in order to lose fat and gain muscle, one has to exercise and eat healthy. You might think about cutting your food intake, but drastically limiting your food choices can tire your mind and body out real fast.
Restrictive diets might help you lose weight quickly, but it is hard to keep the weight off when you resume your normal eating habits. One way to get around this? Learn to listen to your body, by practising intuitive eating instead.
(Also read: How to Eat What You Want & Still Lose Weight)
You eat what your body craves
In a video with fitness YouTuber Natacha Oceane, sports dietitian Renee McGregor shared that people are all born with the ability to know what their body needs. She’d call it instinctive eating if intuitive eating didn’t take over as a buzzword.
Understanding intuitive eating
There are 10 principles of intuitive eating that will help you to understand it better. It sounds like it will complicate the simplicity of intuitive eating, but they are really just ideas that will help you approach it with knowledge.
The 10 points are grouped into three different aspects.
- You should not fear food, according to the principles of “rejecting the diet mentality”, “making peace with food”, “challenging the food police”, and “feelings without using food”.
- Trust yourself and listen to the principles of “honouring your hunger”, “respecting your fullness”, “discovering the satisfaction factor”.
- You’ll also learn more about your body as you follow the remaining principles of “respecting your body”, “exercising”, and “honouring your health”.
Your relationship with food will improve
There is no such thing as “good” food and “bad” food – everything can be eaten in moderation. As you get a better understanding of food, you will be able to distinguish between what makes you feel upbeat and what makes you feel lethargic. You will naturally be more inclined to eat healthier, fresher, and more wholesome foods.
Junk food will be avoided not because they are seen as fattening, but because you know they will make you feel sluggish. Of course, you can treat yourself once in a while, and the next time you do, you won’t feel guilty about it.
In the same Refinery29 article, registered dietitian Evelyn Tribole said overindulging in a big family feast might not leave you feeling the best the next day, but if you’re eating intuitively and you feel like eating that yummy food, go for it. This is the type of thought process intuitive eating provides that will help you overcome the fear of food and measuring your meals.
(Also read: How This Foodie Stays Slim With Her Fitness Routine)
There are many more benefits
Refinery29 reported registered dietitian Kathleen Meehan saying that intuitive eating isn’t meant to be a weight loss tool, but rather, a way to have easier and more enjoyable meals. If you were under-eating prior to trying out intuitive eating, you could even gain weight from this. The main benefit of eating instinctively is that it helps you maintain your weight as you will be eating based on your body’s needs.
According to a review done on adult women who tried intuitive eating, this style of eating gave the ladies more body positivity, better emotional functions, and allowed them to eat more regularly. Another study published in the British Medical Journal of Eating Behaviours also found that intuitive eating resulted in less disordered eating and insecurities.
Managing your diet becomes incredibly easy
Gone are the days where you have to measure your food incessantly. There won’t be any yo-yo dieting, obsession with numbers, or sudden weight fluctuations. When you know what your body needs for energy, you won’t have to contemplate at the store forever because you feel and know what you need.
When you’re eating well, you will be able to focus on working out and living a healthier lifestyle, making your goals much more easily achievable as well. Sports dietitian Renee McGregor mentioned in the same video that if you are already eating intuitively to fuel your body well, you should not overthink and read too much into it; instead, just keep up what you are already doing.
(Also read: How to Make Healthy Eating Much, Much Cheaper)