VOS: Trust Your Gut: Intuitive Eating

Trust Your Gut: Intuitive Eating

Physical wellbeing

November 2023

Trust Your Gut: Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Eating is a non-dieting approach. It means listening to your body's hunger signals and eating accordingly, rather than following external dieting rules. It's about trusting your body to guide you to what, when, and how much to eat without guilt or judgment.

Benefits of Intuitive Eating

Recent research highlights the significant benefits of intuitive eating:

  • A study published in PubMed showed that people who eat more intuitively experience less depressive symptoms, low self-esteem, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating behaviors, especially binge eating.
  • Another research found intuitive eating to be related to positive body image, self-esteem, and well-being.

The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality: Reject diet culture and its false promises, and embrace your ability to trust your body and intuitive eating.
  2. Honor Your Hunger: Keep your body well-fed with adequate energy, particularly carbohydrates, to avoid a primal urge to overeat.
  3. Make Peace with Food: Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. Restricting certain foods can lead to intense cravings and binge eating.
  4. Challenge the Food Police: Dismiss categorizing food between 'good' or 'bad'.
  5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor: Eating what you want in a pleasant environment helps you feel content and can determine the right amount of food for you.
  6. Feel Your Fullness: Listen to your body's signals of hunger and fullness. Take moments during eating to assess how the food tastes and your level of hunger.
  7. Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness: Recognize that food restriction often triggers loss of control, which may seem like emotional hunger. Find non-food kind ways to deal with emotions like anxiety, loneliness, and boredom.
  8. Respect Your Body: Accept your genetic makeup and respect your body, avoiding unrealistic expectations about body size or shape.
  9. Movement—Feel the Difference: Engage in exercise for the joy of movement rather than calorie burning. Focus on how physical activity makes you feel.
  10. Honor Your Health—Gentle Nutrition: Make food choices that respect both your health and taste preferences. Understand that occasional indulgences won't drastically affect your health.

Intuitive eating is not a diet. It's a shift in mindset, from viewing food as an enemy to embracing it as a source of nourishment and joy. It's about breaking free from the cycle of dieting and guilt, and moving towards a more peaceful relationship with food.

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