If you’re traipsing around (sometimes aimlessly) in the depths of the body-positivity and health and every size movements online, you’ll find yourself coming again and again across the term, “intuitive eating”; the notion that you eat when you are hungry, and stop when you are full, and choose to eat the foods that your body feels like.
Intuitive eating is not a diet, or a weight-loss plan, it is not the miracle diet you have been hopelessly searching for, and have come to find after years of trying hundreds of other yo-yo diets that have done more harm than good. What it is, is a cure to dieting, but you might be surprised that the cure for your chronic dieting, does not in fact result in weight-loss.
Let me say that again, INTUITIVE EATING IS THE CURE TO CHRONIC DIETING HELL – BUT IT MAY NOT RESULT IN WEIGHT LOSS.
Why? Because intuitive eating believes that to be healthy you don’t need to CHANGE your body, you just need to LISTEN to it. And once you start practicing listening to it, you’ll be very, very surprised at just how well it can look after itself and it’s needs, without your interference.
And by interference, I mean calorie counting, weighing food, weighing yourself obsessively, over exercising, and using compensatory behaviour – as much as you hate to admit it, all of those things I just listed are interfering currently with your ability to be truly happy and healthy. I kid you not.
We restrict our food in the hope of losing weight, and what eventually happens is we come back to consciousness when we’ve eaten a loaf of bread, block of chocolate and half a jar of peanut butter, and then what happens? You tell yourself that you’ll start your diet again tomorrow, but almost instantaneously fall off the wagon into a tub of ice cream, because you’re feeling so deprived with your rice crackers, low fat yoghurt and poached chicken.
You want to know why you “binge”? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH! No, I’m kidding. Of course you can. You binge because your body is almost gasping for air, and gasping for survival. Starvation (dieting/calorie restriction) starves the brain of nutrients it’s needs to function properly, and when push comes to shove, your brain will shove your diet-mentality out of the way to survive – and consequently, you’ll eat everything in your pantry. Sound familiar?
So what’s the solution?
Well, the solution is to embrace intuitive eating. To start teaching yourself to listen to what your body wants, or more importantly, what is NEEDS.
If you’re hungry EAT.
If you’re not, then don’t.
If you want a donut, EAT IT.
If you want a salad, EAT IT.
If you feel hungry just after you ate, YOU PROBABLY NEED MORE.
Listening to your body is the solution to solving the chronic dieting problem, although the one thing you have to come to terms with is that it may not, and probably will not, lead to weight loss. What it will lead to however, is a happier, freer life, and a mind that isn’t constantly stuck of calories, grams of fat, and steps walked.