Eat when you're hungry. Stop when you're full. Don't see food as "good" or "bad." Eat what you want, when you want. Doesn't that sound like the best diet out there. The thing is, it is not a diet, it is a lifestyle, and it is something that I practice daily. Plus, it involves a lot less stress than counting calories, monitoring steps, and being very restrictive. With Intuitive Eating, you can learn to really follow and trust your own body. It will become a habit to check in with yourself before, during and after every meal to see how your hunger or fullness is and to see what emotions you have going on.
Some days your body might crave ice cream. Other days, a big salad. Some days you might have two breakfasts because you are just that hungry and some days a light dinner, because you are already satisfied. You can learn that just a few bites of a certain food can satisfy your cravings. And nothing is off limits as long as you eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel full (but not overly stuffed). It will take time, but once you allow yourself to have that food at any time, and not label these foods as off-limits, a lot of those cravings disappear.
When you begin to eat this way, a whole new level of awareness opens up. You have more energy, and many people tend to feel much more liberated and happy because they are not constantly adding up calories or worrying about the weight on the scale. With this, there becomes less stress, and when there is less stress, the weight begins to come off.
Life is too short to spend it counting calories, weighing yourself obsessively or spending hours at the gym doing workouts you hate. If you are stuck in a yo-yo dieting cycle, consider giving intuitive eating a try. While there is no miracle cure to weight loss, intuitive eating is linked to a healthier body and mind.
Source: Tribole, E. & Resch, E. (2003). Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works (2nd ed.). New York, NY: St. Martin's Press.
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