When you’re told often enough that you’re not allowed to eat a specific food, you may start to believe it. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all eat what we want without worry of gaining weight? But, alas, we can’t always trust what we’re told, and even when we do, it may not be true.
The solution? Intuitive eating. Developed by psychologist Richard Jeffery, intuitive eating isn’t about trying to diet or lose weight; it’s about nourishing your body and mind with the foods that make you feel good. Better yet, it’s a mindful and compassionate way of eating that allows you to enjoy food while still wanting to lose weight.
Here, we’ll discuss how to lose weight with intuitive eating so you can enjoy the food you feed your body without fear of gaining weight.
The Science Behind Intuitive Eating
To understand why intuitive eating works, we first need to go over some scientific background.
The human body needs nutrients to function properly. These nutrients can be nutrients in food or nutrients stored in the body. Regardless of the source, the body needs nutrients to operate its systems, maintain good health, and produce energy. While we need a variety of nutrients in different amounts to perform at our best, the truth is that we only need a certain number of nutrients to prevent deficiency diseases. When we run low on these nutrients, our bodies begin to slow down, causing various symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, and poor memory. According to the CDC, 80 million Americans suffer from some type of nutrient deficiency. That’s more than one in four people.
To help combat nutritional deficiency, scientists created the diet drug fenfluramine, which was initially used to treat high blood pressure. Fenfluramine disrupts an enzyme that is crucial for the synthesis of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that act as messengers between nerve cells. When fenfluramine is administered in recommended amounts, it can help to prevent deficiencies in nutrients that help produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine.
Unfortunately, fenfluramine was found to have serious side effects. When taken in recommended dosages, it caused significant weight loss and increased incidence of diabetes and heart disease. The drug was taken off the market in 1998, and alternative methods of helping people lose weight must be found.
Why Should You Try Intuitive Eating?
While it’s great to have a drug that can help with weight loss, it’s not ideal to have to take a drug to lose weight. Many people are already on a medication for blood pressure or cholesterol, and they may already be experiencing the side effects of the drug. Wouldn’t it be great to find a natural way to help people lose weight without having to worry about drug interactions or side effects?
That’s what led to the development of the intuitive eating method. Instead of trying to lose weight in a fad diet or by taking supplements, you’ll learn to feed your body in a way that it trusts and enjoys. In turn, you may find that you enjoy food more and are more willing to indulge in smaller portions because your body receives all the nourishment it needs. Plus, overeating can cause you to crash later in the day, dragging you down for another day. All of this may sound great, but what exactly is intuitive eating?
What Is Intuitive Eating?
According to Dr. Richard Jeffery, founder of the Intuitive Eating Institute, and the original author of the Intuitive Eating book, ‘The Obesity Myth,’ the term ‘intuition’ comes from the word ‘infer’, which you may know as ‘to conclude from evidence.’ In other words, intuition is the belief that you can tell what someone eating is thinking or feeling simply by how they eat. Intuitive eaters don’t use mental tricks or techniques while eating. They simply follow their feelings and let their bodies guide them.
While intuition is often used in a positive way, such as when you feel like you’re having an ‘Aha! moment’ while cooking, following your instincts when it comes to eating can lead you down the wrong path. If you rely on your feelings when you eat, you may end up denying yourself some of the foods you love, which in turn, can lead to serious health consequences. If you want to lose weight and eat healthy at the same time, then you may find that relying on your feelings when it comes to food can sabotage your efforts. That’s why the term ‘intuitive eating’ was created — to identify a method of eating that doesn’t rely on mental shortcuts or feelings when determining what you should and shouldn’t eat.
What Are The Main Nutrients You’ll Need To Nourish Your Body?
To properly nourish your body, you’ll need to consume the right nutrients, be it nutrients in food or nutrients stored in your body. The truth is that we can’t always rely on food to provide us with nutrients, especially when we’re lacking in some area. One of the hallmarks of a healthy diet is getting your nutrients from food, rather than supplements or other sources.
When you follow the nutritional requirements of a healthy diet, you’ll start to see the effects immediately. Your skin will become more radiant, and you may start to notice that you’re feeling more energetic. Your mind will become clearer, and you’ll start to experience better memory and focus. All of this may sound great, but it comes with a cost. One of the things you’ll need to give up if you want to enjoy these benefits is foods that you may think are ‘bad’ for you.
The question is: What are the main nutrients you’ll need to nourish your body? To put it simply, the answer is protein, fiber, and healthy fats. While protein is an important building block of healthy flesh, most people don’t get enough of it in their daily diet. That’s why you’ll see so many protein-rich foods on a healthy diet, such as lentils, beans, nuts, and seeds. These foods provide your body with all the protein it needs in a form that your body can easily absorb and use.
Fiber is another vital nutrient that helps maintain strong bones and a healthy digestive system. While we need not eat a lot of fiber, it helps to incorporate it into your diet as much as possible. The easiest way to get fiber is through fruits and vegetables, which you’ll definitely want to incorporate into your diet on a daily basis. These foods provide your body with large amounts of fiber, which helps keep you regular and moving at a steady pace.
Finally, we have fat. Not all fat is bad, and you don’t need to avoid fat-containing foods altogether. Instead, you need to learn to eat the right kind of fat. That’s why you’ll see so many health-conscious people opting for meat alternatives when it comes to their meal choices. These foods provide your body with healthy fats that won’t hurt your waistline. Opting for these foods may reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes because they provide your body with beneficial fats that keep your blood sugar levels steady.
You don’t need to eat a specific diet to lose weight. You just need to eat healthy foods that provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. When you do this, you may find that you gain weight less and less as time goes by, resulting in weight loss. So, while it’s great to want to lose weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle, don’t lose sight of the fact that it takes some planning and effort to ensure these foods are available when you need them.
How To Lose Weight With Intuitive Eating
Now that you have a basic understanding of what intuition is and what it isn’t, you can start to implement it into your daily life. Before you start losing weight, it’s important to note that you may need to try a few different methods to see the results you want. If you follow the guidelines laid out below, you may find that you lose weight in a natural and healthy way:
1. Eat What You Want
When you eat what you want, you may feel that you’re often unsatisfied and continue to seek out food that you think will fulfill your desires. When you’re told frequently that you can’t eat a certain food, you may start believing it, and this may cause you to eat less of what you want. To start losing weight, you may first want to try increasing the amount of veggies you eat and cut back on the foods with added sugar. Additionally, you can start by avoiding the sweets and desserts. Instead, opt for fruits or bread with olive or canola oil poured over it. This will help ensure that you get the nutrients you need while preventing you from consuming too many calories.