Do you find yourself dieting frequently, feeling guilt after eating certain foods, or setting up rules for yourself surrounding eating patterns? Do you often feel like you’ve failed when it comes to eating and weight? If you identify with any of these concerns, you may want to consider intuitive eating. It’s not a diet, rather it’s a way of eating that encourages you to make peace with food. Intuitive eating can help you achieve the natural weight that is the best fit for you. There are 10 “rules” that will help you to ditch diets and start enjoying your food, your body and your life.
- Reject the Diet Mentality: Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. They don’t work.
- Honor Your Hunger: Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat.
- Make Peace with Food: Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing.
- Challenge the Food Police: Scream a loud “NO” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re ‘good’ for eating under 1000 calories or ‘bad’ because you ate a piece of chocolate cake.
- Respect Your Fullness: Listen to the signals from your body that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that you’re comfortably full.
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor: When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conducive, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content, likely with less food.
- Honor Your Feelings without Using Food: Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve your issues and emotions without using food.
- Respect Your Body: Accept your genetic blueprint. A person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six. The same is true for body size. Learn to feel better about the body that you have.
- Exercise and Feel the Difference: Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Focus on how it feels to move your body, instead of how it “feels” to burn calories.
- Honor Your Health With Gentle Nutrition: Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters; progress not perfection is what counts.
If you’d like more help with planning a healthy well-balanced diet, make an appointment with a dietitian at by calling 814-863-0461 or by visiting our website. Nutrition visits are free for all Penn State students.
Source: Resch, E, Tribole, E. Retrieved from Intuitive Eating.