What is intuitive eating, or IE? Essentially, this form of eating encourages people to use their body’s signals to eat the things their body needs, rather than trying to be too restrictive.
The best part about this?
You eat what you want, when you want it. However, you also only eat whatever you really want, when you really want it.
Understand the difference?
A common misconception with IE is that you can eat anything and everything without limits. While this sound like great, at least at first, common sense should tell you that this isn’t the path to a healthier body. Instead of eating whatever you want, you’re instead trying to eat what makes your body feel its best.
For example, while following an IE approach, you’ll quickly figure out that eating candy all the time makes you feel tired and sick, while filling up on a salad with protein and vegetables veggies gives you loads of energy. The heart of IE is changing your perspective on “bad” and “good” foods. No food is necessarily “bad”, but certain foods make you feel good, while other do not.
IE: How to Get Started
1. Eat with Zero Distractions. Sit down at the table to eat. No TV, no laptop and, at least at first, no distracting conversations. The idea right now is to pay attention to everything you eat. Note how it tastes, how it smells, how you feel when you eat it.
2. Eat only when you are hungry and stop when you are full.
While these two rules sound easy, many people find them to be rather difficult, at least at first. Why? Because it’s often difficult to eat in a healthy way when you’re surrounded by distractions, and filled with ideas that “finishing” your plate is the goal (especially when one average American plate is filled with at least three servings of food instead of just one healthy portion). However, these two steps will make a huge difference in how you think about food, and how you learn to appreciate food as a gift, not something to abuse.