Restricting food intake to lose weight is the common approach to becoming leaner. Yet, research consistently tells us that reducing diets are often unsuccessful and contribute to weight gain in the long run, to say nothing of depression and disordered eating behaviors. A growing body of research suggests that intuitive eating is a healthier alternative to current strategies of dieting to lose weight.
Intuititve eating is a sustainable approach that focuses on trusting your body to tell you how much to eat so you will stopping eating when you are full. Intuitve eaters eat for physical, not emotional, reasons.This is how normal-weight people tend to eat.
We were all born with the ability to eat when hugnry and stop when content. Unfortunately, our society’s food environment and lifestyle easily derail intuitive eating behaviors. We are often too busy to eat when hunger arises or fail to have food available. Many dieters even keep food “out of the house” due to lack of trust regarding their ability to stop eating when they are full. Fatigue and stress, in addition to the denial and deprivation associated with dieting, further compound the drive to overeat.
As a society, we need to step away from encouraging both young people and adults to diet and instead focus on—
1. teaching them how to eat mindfully (i.e., to connect with body signals: Does my body need this food?),
2. improving the food environment (such as having salad, not French fires, be the default side dish on menus), and
3. making sleep more of a priority.
As an adult, you can take steps to reclaim this innate behavior and teach yourself how to eat intutively so you can better invest in your health and well-being.
For more information, enjoy reading Intuitive Eating by EvelynTribole and Elyse Resch.
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