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Intuitive Eating For the Win

Intuitive Eating For the Win

I don’t know about you, but in January, my social media feed was filled to the brim with two things: politics and pictures of people’s lunch.

The first one is probably self-explanatory, but let me tell you about the second one: I know some people who are doing some “challenges” related to food. In other words, they’re dieting.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I’m pretty anti-diet. To me, a diet is anything you can’t do for the long term. Sure, for 30 days you can definitely give up all grains, or all processed foods, or all foods that rhyme with Meat-za. But that’s for 30 days, and when your time is up, it’s very likely that you’ll eat all the oatmeal, doughnuts, and pizza you can get your hands on.

Intuitive eating

What’s the alternative? I always have to throw intuitive eating into the ring for your consideration.

Intuitive eating is based on ten principles that sort of boil down to: Stop doing crazy diets, eat in a way that feels right for you, make the healthiest choice possible that’s also satisfying, and let your body be the shape that it’s going to be.

And there’s research to back this method up—studies over the years have shown that practicing intuitive eating is associated with less disordered eating and a more positive relationship with your body, among other things.

I know, you’re probably wondering about weight loss. Well, intuitive eating wasn’t specifically designed to help with weight loss, it was designed to help people create a better relationship with food and their bodies. The thing is, research has indicated that intuitive eating can lessen binges and emotional eating, so that seems to me a very positive step in the direction of eating well, and in a way that will help your body get to its healthiest weight.  Also, some studies have shown an association between a lower BMI and intuitive eating, so there’s that.

How to have a peaceful relationship with food

Basically, if you’re interested in having a more peaceful relationship with food, rather than fighting with it for the rest of your life, you might want to give it a whirl. Here’s how to get started:

  • Check out resources available online. There’s a website created by the founders of the program, so that’s a great place to start
  • Read the book (it’s just called Intuitive Eating) so you know exactly what this process entails
  • At least for a while, let go of the idea of weight loss. Yes, weight loss may come eventually, but right now your focus is on creating a peaceful relationship with food
  • Remember that nutritious food has a big place in intuitive eating, it’s just not the number one focus. You can still make healthy changes; in fact, eating intuitively will probably show you what foods aren’t making you feel great and help you move away from them
  • Exercise is a wonderful thing! This program emphasizes the idea of exercise for the joy of moving your body, as opposed to making it a painful, pressure-filled duty. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather feel like working out was fun, and do something I enjoyed, than force myself to do something I hate (and am thus less likely to keep up)

Do yourself a favor this year and pick a way of eating and exercising that is sustainable forever. Let go of fads and embrace the gift of listening to 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.