What is intuitive eating...And why does it matter?
Intuitive eating is the antithesis of diet culture. Instead of constantly suppressing your appetite and eating foods that make you cringe like a diet would have you do, intuitive eating is about listening to your body and restoring a healthy relationship with food.
So should you give into every craving?
Well, not exactly. You should listen to what your body is telling you. If you are craving chocolate, it’s okay to eat chocolate (thank goodness am I right?!) Intuitive eating isn’t binge eating though, it’s paying attention to what your body needs and eating food that you want and need. It should satisfy your health needs and be something you can enjoy too. That being said, listen to your body when you are hungry, and stop eating when you are full.
Intuitive eating promotes mental and physical health without the pressure of a certain number on the scale.
Why is intuitive eating better than dieting?
- Everyone is different and no one specific diet or calorie number makes sense for everyone.
- Muscle tone, bone structure, health, and genetics can play a role in what a healthy weight is for you. You can’t rely on a number on the scale or BMI to measure health. (Vita offers weight-neutral counseling, focusing on building and sustaining reasonable lifestyle habits.)
- It encourages you to trust your amazing body, which can help restore a healthy relationship with food and body image.
It's hard to build new habits
Intuitive eating might seem simple at first glance, but it’s really hard to build new habits. It takes time and practice, especially after years of restriction or dieting. For instance, if you are used to a specific diet or calorie counting, it might feel unnatural to eat when you’re hungry, or eat things you wouldn’t normally allow yourself to. This is okay, and normal, but don’t give up! Caring for your body is worth the ups and downs of building new skills.
If you’d like to learn more about intuitive eating and how to implement it into your life, we’d love to be a part of your journey. Schedule your appointment with one of Vita Nutrition Service’s Registered Dietitians to start making a change.
The above is not medical advice, if you think you may have an eating disorder or have health concerns, schedule an appointment with a qualified healthcare professional.
We'd love to hear from you in the comments. How do you practice listening to your body and eating well?
Want to learn more about what intuitive eating looks like for you?
Schedule an appointment at our Collingswood, NJ location or online! We offer virtual dietitian care to residents of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Indiana, and California.