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A Beginner's Guide to Intuitive Eating

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.

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A Beginner's Guide to Intuitive Eating

A Beginner's Guide to Intuitive Eating

https://vitals.lifehacker.com/a-beginner-s-guide-to-intuitive-eating-1832765380

vitals.lifehacker.com

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Key Ideas

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 and weight fluctuation

Intuitive eating does not guarantee weight loss. 

Dietitians who work with intuitive eating often talk about the “set point” – the range (sometimes as wide as 10-20 lbs) of weight that your body naturally leans toward over time, whatever you do. Research into this theory is ongoing. 

Understanding hunger

Intuitive eating means learning the difference between what is eating for emotional need versus physical need, and also really understanding that foods can be emotionally equal. It’s about learning how to challenge your food rules and give yourself permission to eat when you’re hungry.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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 wha...

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.

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Intuitive eating

This is not a diet. Intuitive eating is an approach to health and food that emphasizes learning to give your body what it needs.

It doesn't involve rules related to how or w...

Quiet your inner food police

Recognize and silence your inner critic.

An example of your inner food police: if you're scanning a restaurant menu and you catch yourself saying "That’s not healthy. That’s too many servings. That’s too high fat, " that voice is not yours, although it feels like it. It's only fueled by external messaging.

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 involves coming to peace with your body’s needs, letting go of the guilt associated with eating and ending the struggle of rules.

Intuitive eating and mindful eating

With mindful eating, there is no explicit rejection of dieting. 

Intuitive eating rejects the diet mentality altogether—that’s the biggest difference.

Principles of intuitive eating
  • Honor your hunger. Reject the diet mentality, make peace with food and challenge the food police.
  • The act of eating. Respect your fullness, and discover the food delight factor.
  • The emotion of eating. Honor your feelings without using food, and respect your body.
  • Exercise—feel the difference.
  • Honor your health.

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Reject the diet mentality

Dieting isn’t sustainable. Quick-fix plans cannot deliver lasting results.
T
he first principle of intuitive eating is to stop dieting—and to stop believing societ...

Honor your hunger

Eat a sufficient amount of calories and carbohydrates to keep your body “fed” and satiated. Once you learn to recognize these signals in your own body, it becomes much easier to trust your instincts and repair unhealthy relationships with food.

Make peace with food

Give yourself “unconditional permission to eat.”

People realize they don’t really want that food that was forbidden before; they just got caught up in society telling them they couldn’t have it.

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Mastering mindful mealtimes
  • Cook or prepare food yourself if possible.
  • Don’t scroll through social media when eating.
  • Turn off all streaming services.
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.
Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting
It's not a diet, it's a pattern of eating, a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. It doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you e...
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
  • It makes your day simpler: fewer meals= less stressing about what you'll eat.
  • It helps you live longer: you get the benefits of a longer life without the hassle of starving.
  • Still up for debate, but intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of cancer.
  • It is much easier than dieting, once you get over the idea that you need to eat all the time.
Different Fasting Schedules
  • Daily Intermittent Fasting: 16–hour fast followed by an 8–hour eating period. 
  • Weekly Intermittent Fasting: One of the best ways to get started with it - do it once per week.
  • Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting: incorporates longer fasting periods on alternating days throughout the week.
The sensation of hunger

Hormones get released when we are hungry: NPY and AgRP from the hypothalamus, and ghrelin from the stomach.

Ghrelin levels tend to be higher in lean individuals and lower in peop...

Feeling sated
About a dozen or so hormones are responsible for making us feel full. 
  • GIP and GLP-1 are responsible for stimulating the production of insulin to regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates.
  • Other hormones are involved in slowing down the movement of food through the stomach.
  • CKK and PYY are vital in reducing the feeling of hunger. (Increased PYY causes a loss of appetite and is particularly high in patients who have a gastric band fitted to reduce the size of the stomach.)
Overeating is a habit

Even though your stomach has a hormonal system for telling your brain it is empty, it can also raise your hunger levels at specific times by learned associations, even if you had a large meal.

If you repeatedly eat chocolate after dinner when you sit on the couch, your body can start to associate sitting on the couch with eating, and you'll experience a craving.

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People struggle to keep weight off

Researchers have observed weight regain following weight loss across a range of populations and types of weight-loss diets.

Why long-term weight loss is so hard

The brain’s response to caloric restriction tends to be to increase cravings for foods that are highly rewarding and reducing our perception of being full. 

Diets frequently fail because they have an endpoint and are not a real lifestyle change. Maintaining a lifestyle that promotes a healthy weight and metabolism is often a lifelong journey. 

Maintaining weight loss

The actual food you eat isn’t the main thing that enables you to keep weight off.

Maintaining a weight-reduced state is a lifelong journey and many dietary approaches can work to facilitate weight loss and keep it off.

What causes binge eating
  • You do a lot of cardio.
  • You have been on a caloric deficit for months.
  • Your diet is extremely restrictive.
  • You target a low amount of calories on a daily basi...
Go easy on the cardio

Cardio doesn't always necessarily lead to excess hunger or binging.

Some people are more sensitive to large quantities of cardio and are more binge-prone than others. Reducing the amount of cardio lessens the urge to binge or makes it disappear altogether.

Increase your total calories

Binge eaters tend to aggressively cut calories while leaning on willpower to deal with hunger and lack of energy. 

But willpower is limited, so this strategy will backfire.

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The reasons we crave junk food
  1. The sensation of eating the food: what it tastes like, what it smells like and how it feels in your mouth.
  2. The blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates t...
How craving are stimulated artificially
  • Salivary response: the more a food causes you to salivate, the more it will cover your taste buds.
  • Rapid food meltdown: this tells your brain that you’re not full, even though you’re eating a lot of calories.
  • Calorie density. junk foods are designed to convince your brain that it is getting nutrition, but to not fill you up.
  • Memories of past eating experiences: When you eat something tasty, your brain registers that feeling and will bring it up in the future.
Building better habits means changing your environment

Most people think that building better habits or changing your actions is all about willpower or motivation. But your environment has an incredible ability to shape your behavior.

Nowhere is this more true than with food.

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