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Intuitive eating

3 Simple Ways to Try Intuitive Eating Today

Ever heard of intuitive eating? The concept was written about in a book by the same name back in the 90’s by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, and contains 10 tenets by which to live (at least when it comes to food). Basically, the idea is that restrictive diets and obsessing about food lead to overeating and just overall bad juju with everything from carrots to cake, and that listening to your body will actually lead you to eat more of the healthy stuff, not less, and allow your body to come to its natural weight without the use of crash diets or hypnosis.

So how can you start to use the concept of intuitive eating today?

Throw the diet mentality off a cliff, and then go stomp on it, just to be sure it’s dead. 

Intuitive eating is the opposite of a diet. Instead of asking you to eat less food than you need to support your body or ripping entire food groups from your repertoire, it encourages letting go of all hope that another all-or-nothing diet will solve your problems. It also asks that you kick any lingering thoughts that dieting is the answer to all of your problems straight to the curb. Try this today: Pay attention to what you’re telling yourself about what you eat, especially if you’re holding out hope that eating only grapefruit and low-calorie cheese will help you achieve your dreams.

Have a warm and fuzzy reunion with your body’s true hunger signals… 

Intuitive eating asks you to listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry instead of ignoring your hunger, as some who have dieted in the past may have done. In order to do that, you may need to step back and take the time to relearn your body’s hunger signals. Two key things to remember? If it comes on suddenly it’s likely not true hunger, but rather a hunger triggered by an emotion. If you’re really physiologically hungry it will build slowly, and you’ll get hungrier and hungrier as time passes. Second, check in to see what sounds good—if a candy bar sounds good but an apple or carrot sticks and hummus don’t, it’s probably not real hunger. Try this today: Before your next meal, check in with your body and see what signs of hunger are apparent. A growling stomach is a classic sign of hunger, and a light-headed feeling or headache may be signs you’ve waited too long to eat. If you’re still unsure, just keep practicing, as it can take time to relearn these signals.

…and its fullness signals, too

Once you get the hang of eating when you’re hungry, learning how to tell when you’re full is the next logical step. It’s easier than you think to get out of touch with knowing if you’re full or not, and it’s also easier than you think to get back in the know. The idea isn’t to try to limit your food intake so you end up hungry 12 minutes later, the idea is to stop when you’ve had enough, but not so much that it’s hard to breathe. Try this today: After you finish eating, have a quick convo with your stomach. Does it feel uncomfortably full? Like it really could use another scoop of brown rice? Just right? Don’t give yourself a hard time for not doing this perfectly, either, the idea is to gradually get to know what works best for your body.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.