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Intuitive Eating Is the Opposite of Dieting-That's Why We Love It

Stop moralizing

Food isn’t good or bad. Don't fall for this 'black or white' way of thinking.

Health and nutrition exist on a gradient. Keeping your health in mind when making food choices is totally in line with intuitive eating, but being rigid about healthy eating isn’t.

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Intuitive eating
Intuitive eating

Rejects the diet mentality, promotes giving yourself permission to eat without labeling some foods "good” and others “bad,” acknowledging when you’re eating your feelings and accepting the body you have.

Making peace with food

It doesn’t mean giving in to every craving; it means getting rid of the idea of “giving in” to “bad foods” altogether. Eat that Oreo when you want it, without any negative emotion attached, and you won’t feel like you need to eat the whole bag.

Respect your fullness

Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Intuitive eating is about understanding what foods your body feels best eating, and how to make your own food choices based on your own hunger and fullness

Intuitive eating

It is a philosophy of eating that makes you the expert of your body and its hunger signals.

Essentially, it’s the opposite of a traditional diet. It doesn’t impose guidelines about what to avoid and what or when to eat.

The basics

To eat intuitively, you may need to relearn how to trust your body. Distinguish between physical and emotional hunger:

  • Physical hunger. This biological urge tells you to replenish nutrients. It builds gradually and has different signals, such as a growling stomach, fatigue, or irritability. 
  • Emotional hunger. This is driven by emotional need. Sadness, loneliness, and boredom are some of the feelings that can create cravings for food, often comfort foods. 
History of intuitive eating

Some of the concepts of intuitive eating have been around at least since the early 1970s, though the term wasn’t coined until 1995.

The program was built on the principle that diets don’t work and that lifestyle changes and personal care are more important for long-term health.

Mastering mindful mealtimes
  • Cook or prepare food yourself if possible.
  • Don’t scroll through social media when eating.
  • Turn off all streaming services.
  • Eat away from your desk, cubicle, or office.
  • Pay attention to the smell, taste, and texture of your food.
  • Analyze the flavors and why they go well together.
Intuitive eating
  • It does not approve the diet culture.
  • It respects all body shapes and sizes.
  • It helps you recognize your body’s cues for hunger and fullness.
  • It helps you evaluate habits you want to change, but without policing food.
  • It helps you liberate from food’s control.
  • It makes you see food as fuel rather than filler.