Nutritionist definition of intuitive eating

What is Intuitive Eating?

What is intuitive eating?  With so many different diets on the market right now, it can be hard to determine what is best for us. Something that we often forget is that we were born with the ability to know when we need to eat and when we are full. Do you ever feel like your kids want to eat all day long, until it’s time for dinner and they hardly finish their food? That is because children still have the ability to eat intuitively and that’s something that many of us have untrained ourselves. Our bodies are amazing systems that know exactly what they need and when, many of us just need to re-learn how to listen!

How to Eat Intuitively?

The first step to intuitive eating is to shut out the diet culture and stop labeling food as “good” or “bad.” Fad diets can really affect our mental health and leave us feeling defeated when they no longer work, or we regain the weight that we lost quickly. By sticking to whole foods and limiting processed foods, you will fuel your body with everything it needs. Next step is to listen; eat when you’re hungry and stop when you are full. By snacking when hungry or eating smaller meals, you will awaken your metabolism and keep your body fueled for the day.

It is also important not to cut out foods you love because they are “bad.” Granted, proportion sizes should always be taken into consideration. By allowing yourself to enjoy the foods you like, you will be less likely to over-indulge. Another thing to consider is learning to stop eating when you are satisfied.

Learn the body signals that tell you are no longer hungry. To start, pause halfway through your meals and focus on your fullness. Ask yourself, “Am I still hungry or am I finishing this meal because it tastes good and I don’t want to waste it?” The more you listen to your body, the easier this will become.

Other Intuitive Eating Considerations

Many of us lean on food for comfort. While it is important for us to feel our emotions and honor them, what’s most important is doing so in a healthy manner. We must remind ourselves that food will not fix our problems and it will not make our anxiety go away. Listen to your body, if you aren’t hungry find other outlets to manage your stress and anxiety. Some great ways to cope can be going for a walk, journaling, or talking to a friend.

Give yourself a break! We tend to over-complicate nutrition. Just remember to stick to whole foods 80% of the time and sprinkle in the foods you love the other times. Enjoy and take out the judgment! Be gentle with yourself and learn to accept your body, while fueling it properly.  Here’s to a diet model of intuitive eating.

Support is Key to Success

Making lifestyle changes all at once can feel overwhelming especially with all the conflicting noise on the internet.  Humans are hardwired to need support; seek it both personally and professionally.  Get a free 30-minute phone consultation.  See if this is the right match for you by addressing natural weight loss, cravings, emotional eating, balanced diet, disease prevention, nutrition, and getting to the root cause of what’s keeping you stuck.  See what others are saying on Google and Yelp.

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~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition Coach, Holistic Health Coach & Weight Loss Coach