Eating whatever you want and losing weight is a dream, and it can become a reality. If you are tired of dieting, there is an alternative method of fighting for a slim figure – intuitive eating.
This system has many supporters, but also many opponents. Who is right and should you stick to it? Let’s try to figure it out by studying the principles of intuitive eating, its pros and cons.
The intuitive eating system, developed by Professor Stephen Hawkes, is designed to correct human eating behavior. Mistakes in this area are most often the cause of weight gain.
The principles of intuitive nutrition help in forming the right attitude to food:
- Distinguish between physical need for food and emotional hunger. Physical hunger is manifested by weakness, rumbling in the stomach and characteristic sensations in the stomach. In this state, any acceptable food will look attractive. Emotional hunger usually wants to drown out with something tasty. The rules of intuitive eating require learning to perceive food only as a source of energy.
- Respect hunger. Having felt the physical need for food, you should not deny yourself, waiting until the hunger becomes unbearable. Otherwise, breakdowns are guaranteed.
- Determine the moment of saturation. Combining eating with conversation, watching movies, reading, we often get carried away and eat more than the body needs. You need to eat completely concentrating on the process, carefully observing your feelings. Rate satiety on a scale in which 1 point is very hungry, and 10 points – overeat. You need to stop at 5-6 points, even if you have not finished your portion.
- Give up diets. By pushing yourself into a tight box for a short period, you will lose weight, but it will come back again if you do not change your eating habits.
- Make peace with food. Don’t blame yourself for eating a slice of cake, this is very important for intuitive eating. By categorically banning a particular product, you maintain an increased interest in it. Eat what is enjoyable, but stop when you feel full. Provided that you can afford to eat the cake at any time, the desire to gorge itself “for the future” and all in a row diminish. Having a choice, a person, obeying intuition, chooses healthy products. This is inherent in nature.
- Enjoy food. On intuitive eating, you should eat exactly what you want at the moment, and not what you eat. If the taste is “not very”, the body will try to compensate for this quantity.
- Appreciate and accept your body. You need to take into account your physique, without demanding the impossible. Not everyone can fit into the generally accepted standards of beauty, but for the process of losing weight, it is important to love yourself, regardless of whether you have an ideal weight or not. The ability to see the positive aspects and dignity in appearance motivates to further improve the figure.
- Listen to your feelings outside of food. To stop seizing problems, find other ways to lift your mood. Ask yourself what you really want, perhaps the hunger you are experiencing is just boredom or stress relief. Such situations require drastic solutions, since replenishing the missing food will only aggravate the situation, adding worries about the growing weight.
- Provide the necessary physical activity. With intuitive eating, you don’t have to exhaust yourself with exercise, just try walking more or start doing light warm-ups. It is important to focus on the sensations in the body after exercise, and not on burning calories. Feel how the energy becomes more, endurance and flexibility appear.
Many myths have formed around this system that can lead beginners astray. The most common ones are:
- Permissiveness. Although nothing is prohibited on intuitive eating, this does not mean that from the first days you need to eat only your favorite delicacies and as much as your heart desires. Before leaning on tasty things, you should learn self-control and the correct recognition of physical hunger. Otherwise, the weight will begin to increase rapidly, and there will be no talk of losing weight.
- You can only choose among low-calorie foods. This is not true. The essence of intuitive eating is a deliberate approach, if you control yourself, the calorie content of the product is not decisive.
- You need to eat in small portions. The system of intuitive eating does not imply limiting the amount of food through force. You should eat until you feel full, but it is important to learn to recognize it.
- You only need to listen to the needs of the body. Listening to the voice of reason is also important. If in the morning you are not hungry, but you know that then you will not be able to eat for a long time, it is better to make a light breakfast. This will help keep you from overeating in the afternoon.
- It’s impossible to lose weight like that. The effect is really not as fast as in the case of strict diets. But by eliminating the mistakes in eating behavior, you will begin to lose weight.
- Switching to intuitive eating is easy. For a person accustomed to strict restrictions, at first glance, everything may seem too simple and tempting. But in reality, limiting yourself for a short period and immediately seeing the result is easier than changing your attitude to food and losing weight slowly.
Advantages and disadvantages
Intuitive eating has many benefits:
- Simplicity. You do not have to memorize accounting schemes for food eaten, memorize lists of prohibited and allowed foods, limit meals in time.
- Safety. By adhering to intuitive nutrition, you do not deprive the body of essential nutrients and do not starve, therefore, harm to health is excluded.
- No worries about giving up your favorite foods. Eating everything, but little by little (until saturation), you will not feel deprived of the joys of life.
- Long-term preservation of the result. Having determined for yourself the amount of food you need (and nothing more), you can maintain an optimal weight while you stick to the system.
But there are also a few downsides to intuitive eating:
- Not everyone is able to embrace the idea of a healthy, healthy diet. Regular consumption of fast food and other not very healthy foods, albeit in moderation, will complicate the process of losing weight.
- To eat only the food you want at the moment, you will have to visit supermarkets often. And this is fraught with the passing acquisition of unnecessary goodies and the appearance of additional food temptations.
- The results do not appear as quickly as with express diets. This weakens motivation and can lead to frustration with intuitive eating.
How to switch to intuitive eating?
Beginners often face difficulties and lack of visible results, after which they conclude that this method is ineffective. How to switch to intuitive weight loss nutrition correctly? You need to start with an awareness of the problem with eating behavior and the need to correct it. The basic rule here is to eat only when you feel hungry and stop immediately after satiety, even if you have not finished your portion.
Calorie intake for intuitive eating is not necessary. But in the early days it is worth doing this in order to understand how much you actually eat, and whether the amount meets your physiological needs.
In addition, you need to shift the emphasis on the menu towards healthy, natural products (without flavor enhancers, flavorings, sweeteners). If you do not start trying them, then you will only want your favorite and familiar dishes, which do not always contribute to harmony.
How to lose weight on intuitive eating if you constantly want sweet and fatty foods? Uncontrollable cravings for sweets can be a sign of a lack of chromium. According to most people who lose weight, taking dietary supplements and drugs with this trace element helps curb appetite. From foods, the source of chromium can be:
- river and sea fish;
- pearl barley.
And the desire to eat something fat is usually caused by a deficiency of healthy fats. Nuts, avocados, vegetable oils can replenish it. From pharmacy preparations, fish oil is suitable.
Intuitive Slimming Nutrition
An important question for people getting acquainted with the system is how much kg does the diet help to lose weight? The results of intuitive eating directly depend on the seriousness of the approach. If you are against physical activity and eat your daily calorie intake or more, weight will not drop. At best, it will be stable.
To lose weight on intuitive eating, at least 30 minutes of physical activity (exercise, brisk walking, hula-hoop exercises, etc.) must be present daily. Periodically, the type of activity needs to be changed so that the body does not have time to get used to it.
Through physical activity and changes in eating behavior, you can lose weight by 20 kg or more (if you have a lot of excess weight). Usually, the loss of fat mass is slow – 2-3 kg per month and stops if a person has reached the optimal weight for his body.
Using the system of intuitive nutrition, you can get rid of unhealthy obesity once and for all. But this method will require serious work on yourself and will not be suitable for those who are counting on quick weight loss.
: Yana Semich,
Useful video about intuitive eating