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3 More Great Ways to Start Eating Intuitively Today

Recently I wrote about intuitive eating, the concept originated by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. They wrote a by book by the same name, and it contains 10 principles to follow in order to have a peaceful relationship with food for life. Tribole and Resch posit that restrictive diets and obsessing about food lead to eating too much, feeling bad about oneself, and just overall ickiness with everything from bok choy to barbeque , and that listening to your body will actually lead you to eat more of the healthy stuff, not less, and allow your body to reach its natural weight.

So, without further ado, 3 more ways to incorporate intuitive eating into your life today.

Emotions are for feeling, not eating

One of the tenets of intuitive eating is to learn to honor your feelings without using food. Not to get all mushy on you, but In order to do that, you have to actually be willing to be aware of, feel, and process what’s going on in your life. I’m talking to you if you’ve ever eaten because your boss yelled at you, you want to avoid a money talk with your spouse, or you’re bored on a Sunday afternoon and don’t know what to do with yourself. Try it today: As soon as you notice yourself feeling angry, anxious, or stressed, try some quick problem solving: Jot down what the issue is, some ideas for dealing with it, and what would happen if you dealt with it that way. Next, pick whatever idea sounds best, try it out, see if it helps to keep your hand out of the cookie jar later, and either way, assess if you’d do anything differently next time.

We can’t all look like Gisele

One of life’s hard truths is that we cannot all look like a supermodel. Or a football player, or whatever physique guys aspire to have. The reason this principle is important is that being unhappy with your shape, size, or weight can lead to extreme dieting, and that type of eating nearly always ends in rebound eating (and possibly a three-pound bowl of onion dip). As you can imagine, that is not the best way to support your health.  This principle is not asking you to stop actively trying to achieve a healthy weight, it’s simply asking you to respect the nature of your body type. Try it today: Think about your genetic blueprint. Are you pear-shaped? Broad-shouldered? Tall? Short? There are certain things that cannot be changed, and taking an inventory of those items and making peace with the fact that, yes, you’ll always be 5 foot 3 and have really long toes, can help you to respect your body as it is (which means no more punishing it with extreme dieting).

Get active on your own terms

No need to bike across the States or take up the javelin, this principle simply asks you to move your body in ways that feel good to you. A brisk morning walk, a gentle yoga class after work, shooting hoops in the driveway. And the purpose of this movement? To get the benefits of increased energy and overall well-being. No need to force it upon yourself because you think you have to, this is something for you to enjoy. Try it today: If it’s been a while since you were active, consider some things that will get you moving but also sound fun. A weekend hike with the family? Throwing the Frisbee around? Jump rope in the basement? It’s up to you, but once you find an activity that sounds appealing, go do it!

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