Intuitive Eating Tips

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Intuitive eating is a dietary approach that's based on the premise that we have individual food preferences and hunger cues and that the optimal way to eat is to become attuned to them.

The earliest proponents of the intuitive eating approach include Gwen Shamblin, author of The Weigh Down Diet, and Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, authors of the book, Intuitive Eating. Although this approach has been used mainly for weight loss, it's also considered a general philosophy for eating.

One of the main reasons people have lost touch with what our bodies really need is because the standard American diet is full of damaged fats, sugar, processed foods, and chemicals. Proponents believe the following factors contribute:

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  • Being caught up with diet fads. Animals instinctively know everything they need to live and they do it. We have the same instinct, but it gets lost in what we are told we should ea.
  • Focusing on weight loss. By focusing on weight loss rather than eating healthful foods, people may eat foods that are low-calorie but lack nutrients.

  • Chronic stress or emotional eating. People who are under chronic stress may have a loss of appetite or eat even though they aren't hungry. They may also eat for other reasons rather than hunger.

Tips on Intuitive Eating

1.  Paying attention to how different foods make you feel.

  • What foods leave satisfied?
  • What foods give you energy?
  • What foods make you tired or unable to concentrate?
  • What foods make you anxious or edgy vs. calm and content?
  • What foods make you bloated, constipated, uncomfortable, or cause pain?

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2.  Forget about dieting.

Intuitive eating is about allowing your body to guide you, rather than imposing strict rules about what to eat.


3.  Allow yourself to make your own food choices.

Although it can be difficult to give yourself permission to eat whatever you want without judging yourself or feeling bad. Don't think of food and being "good" or "bad". 

4.  Eat mindfully.

​Be fully present when you eat. Notice whether you feel hungry while you are eating. Eliminate distractions at meal times and avoid reading, looking at a phone or computer, or working. Chew food carefully and thoroughly without rushing through meals.

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5. Nourish yourself.

Intuitive or mindful eating is not about seeing foods as "good" and "bad".

However, if people are not accustomed to eating fresh fruits and vegetables and have sweet cravings, they may want to experiment and explore new ways to add sweetness to food. For example, the spices cinnamon and cloves have a sweet taste, even though they don't contain any sugar. Try making chai tea, or adding cinnamon to drinks, sauces and desserts for a sweet flavor.

Finally, be patient with yourself. If you let your body guide you, it may feel hard at times and it may take a while to find a balance.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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