What is Intuitive Eating and is it Right for You?

What is Intuitive Eating and is it Right for You?

Tya Waterman |

An issue that many of us face is succumbing to the pressures of society, telling us that we need to look a certain way and be a certain size. It leads to us following diet after diet, weighing every meal that we eat, feeling guilty and shameful after indulging. This mentality can have drastically negative effects on our mental health as well as our daily satisfaction with life.

If you’re ready to reject the diet mentality, feel comfortable and confident in your skin, and enjoy food again, we may have just the thing for you.

Intuitive eating is a relatively new term, but the concept has been around forever. You may have heard the terms intuitive or mindful eating being tossed around on social or used by friends at work, but don’t have a solid grasp on what they actually mean and how they could potentially work for you. So, let’s dive in and learn everything we can about intuitive eating and how it can help regain and retrain your natural eating habits.

What is Intuitive Eating

Intuitive eating is a non-diet practice that involves listening and responding to your body when it comes to food and nutrition. The premise of intuitive eating is that your body intrinsically knows what it needs and in order for you to reach optimal health and well-being, you need to listen to what your body is telling you. This means eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. It means that you eat not only when you want but also what you want.

When following intuitive eating, there are no restrictions or rules; no food is off limits. You give yourself unconditional permission to eat whatever you feel like without guilt, whether that’s a nutrient-dense green smoothie or a piece of triple chocolate cake.

Benefits of Intuitive Eating

Studies have shown a positive relationship between intuitive eating and higher self-esteem, better body image, lower body mass indexes, higher HDL cholesterol levels, lower rates of emotional eating, lower rates of disordered eating, and more satisfaction with life.

There is also evidence that demonstrates that whereas traditional dieting results in initial weight loss followed by weight regain, intuitive eating may assist in weight maintenance over time.

Not only is intuitive eating meant to help your physical health, but it also means breaking free from the diet culture and re-learning how to eat intuitively without guilt.

10 Principles

The 10 principles of intuitive eating are as follows:

  1. Reject the diet mentality – understand that dieting isn’t a sustainable long-term solution.
  2. Honor your hunger – eat when hungry.
  3. Make peace with food – when you label a food as forbidden, it makes it that much more tempting. Remind yourself that no food is off limits.
  4. Challenge the food police – stop listening to the voices in your head that tell you not to eat something or that make you feel guilty after eating something.
  5. Respect your fullness – don’t overindulge. When you feel full, simply stop eating.
  6. Discover the satisfaction factor – notice and appreciate the flavour and texture of your food.
  7. Honor your feelings without food – respect your emotions, but don’t try to solve them with food.
  8. Respect your body – give your body what it needs in order to perform optimally.
  9. Exercise: feel the difference – recognize the important benefits of exercising for your body.
  10. Honor your health with gentle nutrition – establish a healthy relationship with food and with your body.

Hybrid Approach

Here at Kaizen Naturals®, we believe in following a hybrid approach. There is nothing better than the freedom to eat when and what you want, to enjoy your food, and feel your absolute best. But we also know that when it comes to treats, we often have a hard time saying no.

In order to feel your best, its important to eat nutrient-dense food and to consume enough protein to support bodily functions.

We believe in the importance of tuning into hunger cues and we embrace the idea of eating without restrictions or guilt. However, in order to look and feel your best, we recommend a blend of intuitive eating with nutrition education. Ensure you are eating balanced meals filled with micronutrients, appropriate portions, and quality food.

By following these guidelines, intuitive eating can help you to live your best, most fulfilled, and healthiest life. With intuitive eating, you can have a green smoothie for breakfast and eat cake for dessert. Its all about balance and what could be better than that?