Time to ditch the diet? How intuitive eating could make for a healthier relationship with food

Intuitive eating can help stabilise weight and promote well-being. — AFP pic
Intuitive eating can help stabilise weight and promote well-being. — AFP pic

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NEW YORK, July 29 — Taking care of your body by eating what you want — how does that sound for a diet? According to the principles of intuitive eating, your body knows what it needs, you just have to know how to listen to what it’s telling you, in order to make the right choices.

Intuitive eating is all about rediscovering how to listen to your body. Gone are the restrictive diets and forbidden foods, as intuitive eating aims to reconcile people with food. This program was theorized in 1995 in the United States by two nutritionists, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, in their book Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works. Since then, the concept has been gaining ground throughout the world.

The key here is promoting positive body image. Because while weight loss is not part of the promise, intuitive eating can be a source of well-being for many. It promotes self-esteem and satisfaction with yourself and your life. Moreover, it avoids the frustration and turmoil caused by more or less restrictive diets. It’s a way of life that is gradually taking hold.

Intuitive eating puts the body’s wants and needs first. The intuitive eater eats what they want, when they’re hungry. But beware — this doesn’t mean tucking in to fast food every day. To follow this program, you must listen to your body and follow its needs.

The body communicates with us continuously. If it’s hungry, it sends us a hunger signal, and the same goes for thirst. Once this need is met, it sends the sensation of satiety or fullness. But how do you know if you’re eating too much? Try to stop in the middle of a meal and to feel whether you still want to eat more, for example.

The same goes for nutrient needs. Do you find yourself craving chocolate, seafood or almonds? It could be your body’s way of telling you that it lacks magnesium.

Switching to intuitive eating can take time. While we might all be “intuitive eaters from birth,” people have very different relationships with food. For a smooth transition, it’s recommended to consult a health professional before starting out. — ETX Studio

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