A relatively new ideal, intuitive eating was coined in 1995 as a new approach to nutrition; one that was unlike any preexisting diet. This practice was (and is) more weight-inclusive, and wasn't built on the idea of restriction. As defined by WebMD, intuitive eating "means tapping into your body’s natural ability to tell you when you’re hungry or satisfied." and is a way to utilize all foods to better honor your physical and mental health.
Let's start with the acknowledgement that incorporating intuitive eating into your life can be hard. We have, as a society been raised in a diet-centered culture; one that has emphasized the importance of shrinking ourselves to take up as little space as possible. The habits that we have created in response to this can feel very difficult to break.
Here's some tips to help you start.
- Free yourself from diet mentality - Chronologically speaking, diets are finite. There is a beginning and an end; it's not something that was ever meant to be carried with you forever. Begin with challenging yourself to reframe your lifestyle to include living without strict guidelines.
- Honor Your Hunger - Learn to recognize your hunger cues and to trust yourself to listen to what your body is telling you. Respect your hunger and feel your fullness. This can be scary at first, but you can do it!
- Make Peace with Food - This can be one of the hardest steps! Despite what the diet industry tells us, food doesn't carry morality, and thus isn't "good" or "bad". Banning foods that bring you joy won't help you in the long run. Finding the balance that will support you physically and emotionally is the goal.
This journey is not a quick fix. It takes practice and trial & error. Allow yourself to explore and make mistakes; these will allow you to grow.