Myth Busting Intuitive Eating
One of the biggest misconceptions is about intuitive eating. People fear that if they are not following a strict diet then they can’t lose weight, which is thankfully far from the truth…
Intuitive eating = eating perfectly all the time
This is not the case. So if this is you, don’t fear, read on and I explain this in more detail.
There are so many different factors involved in intuitive eating it is not about eating perfectly 100% of the time, this is just not required.
What is intuitive eating?
In a nutshell -Intuitive eating is making food choices at each meal and snack that are not from a controlling plan but are focused on natural unprocessed sources that suit:
- your body composition
- your background
- your cooking skills
- your time limits
- your wallet
- your health and much more
How is intuitive eating different from a diet?
Intuitive eating is thankfully very different from traditional dieting.
In traditional dieting, rules and numbers are created based on crude figures like your weight and height which are frequently inaccurate. These numbers are to be met each day strictly. The type, quality of food and lifestyle are not factored in and these are important.
For example, you can eat a ton of sugar-free and fat-free foods and drinks to meet low kcals or eat a packet of processed nitrate-full meats to meet your protein. These pro-inflammatory options impact negatively on gut bacteria, hormones, insulin release and appetite signalling and keep you stuck in a vicious circle.
Intuitive eating is, fortunately, the opposite where you learn to enjoy food and understand what your body needs micronutrients included. No number crunching is involved. Fortunately, there are no foods off-limits but it requires a different mindset and an understanding of how your diet fuels you long-term and keeps you happy.
SO -NO QUICK NASTY FIXES! YAH!
Can you eat intuitively and lose weight?
Yes, Yes, Yes and most importantly intuitive eating is adaptable for life and all the variety that comes with it. Intuitive eating allows you to go on holiday, go out with friends, enjoy parties and BBQs, with no guilt attached selecting the right foods and moving on.
How do people lose weight through intuitive eating?
Instead of weighing your food, counting calories, stressing you are not meeting macros, and feeling miserable in the process, you eat according to your day and what makes you feel fueled and happy. That doesn’t mean junk, takeaways, cookies and buns. It is finding the foods that will assist your health both physically and mentally that you will enjoy. Feeding and fueling the correct gut bacteria reduces inflammation and most importantly fixes the stress and guilt around food.
What does intuitive eating look like?
A popular question and one again that needs to be suited to you as an individual taking into account:
Your age, your health status, your sex, your weight, your height, your ethnicity, your cooking skills, your time, your activity, your stress, your sleep, your fluids and possibly more. The bottom line all needs to be factored into this.
Simple options include regular meals made from suitable:
- natural good quality proteins
- varied and colourful vegetables
- regular fruits in suitable amounts – not made into smoothies
- healthy natural fats
- high fibre carbohydrates
Get these in at each meal and you are on the right path.
Is intuitive eating healthy?
Studies have found that intuitive eating has positive nutritional outcomes compared to restrictive dieting plans. With letting go of strict control there is instantly less stress, better sleep, and an understanding of real hunger and appetite. Since intuitive eating does not come with specific diet plans, intuitive eaters learn to consume a wide variety of foods, are more likely to get the benefits of well-balanced nutrition and most importantly stick with it long term no yo-yo dieting.
Is Intuitive eating dangerous?
NO intuitive eating is not dangerous but you must trust your ability to eat the best choices when you feel hungry and stop when you have had sufficient. Undereating or overeating in any diet will be dangerous.
Intuitive eating benefits
There are many benefits: insulin sensitivity, happy mood, weight loss, not feeling you are on a diet, and consuming not only macros but micronutrients too!
My intuitive programmes keeps it real as here at 121 Dietitian we prefer the 80-20 rule where you have a little bit of what you like at a time in the day that works for you. This allows you to feel less isolated and keeps you on track for life. A WIN-WIN!
Hunger is Affected by What You Eat
Definitely, if you get the balance wrong and eat what you like from the wrong choices then hunger will not be addressed. Refined carbs and processed foods with lots of sugar messes up hunger cues so you will remain tempted by the foods that derail you and keeps you feeling miserable. I can’t count the number of times that I have patients call to tell me they no longer crave the rubbish they were addicted to. Honestly it’s the best feeling ever.
How do I know if I’m hungry with intuitive eating?
Headaches, tiredness, feeling short-tempered, thinking about food, lightheadedness, or feeling sick could all be signs of hunger – these should not be your ques to eat, it is far too late and a concern if these are your triggers to eat. You are more likely to reach for the wrong stuff.
Keeping good blood sugar control from slow and low energy-releasing foods is the only way to assist this.
Can you count calories and eat intuitively?
Yes, you can and many people do. I am not against this option at the beginning if you need this to get it right and you are coming from strict counting. It can be daunting to chuck this all in so best to ease out while intuitive eating takes control!
Kcal counting does take time and dedication and is fraught with problems. It can be inaccurate by up to 30% and can lead to disordered eating. Planned eating from nutritious foods – whether you use calories initially or not –allows for good habits focusing on optimising health. Long-term counting, however, can get a bit wearing and for some take the fun out of eating so do be really careful.
Check out my YouTube video below “MYTH BUSTING INTUITIVE EATING”
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