Intuitive Eating: The benefits and why it is so hard to start.

intuitive eating benefits

Many people are trending on the wave of intuitive eating and moving away from listening to external voices from professionals, friends, family, books and diets to know when and how to eat. 

 

Intuitive eating is listening internally to your body for cues and insights about what you need to consume for your personal health and wellbeing. It is grounded in the belief that your body can tell you when, how much and what foods to eat for your unique health and wellness. Your body helps cue you about how to fill and nourishing whatever is depleted or needed in your body such as your blood sugar levels, hormones, mental activity levels, and more. 

 

Intuitive eating benefits

Eating intuitively has also been shown to improve cholesterol levels, lower rates of emotional eating, improve body image and self esteem, reduce stress and increase metabolism. 

 

There are many positives to intuitive eating, but if you’ve predominantly listened to external voices, it can be difficult to switch over to this type of eating. 

 

We all start off from an early age eating based on someone, usually a parent, telling us when to eat and how much. Children often seek outside confirmation on hunger signals by asking their parents questions like, “Did I eat enough?”  and, “How much do I have to eat to get dessert?”

intuitive eating benefits

 

We continue on a daily basis to be constantly inundated with information from experts of all sorts; diet plans, shows, social media, and lifestyle blogs. Most of which is conflicting or does not apply to you, your lifestyle, health history or goals. 

 

goals

 

Although this advice and guidance has its place, eating intuitively helps you connect with your body and mind in a way that is often hard to accomplish when you shut out your voice and only listen to others. 

 

That being said, moving towards quieting external voices to listen to yourself can be difficult. 

 

This is a process I started several years ago after feeling quite defeated by all the conflicting information I was receiving. I’m a pretty intuitive person who likes to figure things out on my own so I felt very up to the challenge. I typically make decisions that are based on research and a lot on intuition, and even still, it was difficult to hone in on what internal voice is talking to me (such as emotional eating voices), and what internal voice to listen to. 

 

listen to your intuition

Keep in mind that just as the weight loss journey is not a linear line, neither is starting to intuitively eat. You will have your days that you either knowingly or unknowingly listen to the wrong voices. 

 

nothing is linear journey

 

While the days your emotional mind is asking for sugars and carbohydrates, there are times you may deny your body those sugars or quick carbs because they are not in keeping with your diet plan, but perhaps you’ve had a particularly mentally taxing day and that is exactly what your body is conveying you need. Even though your body is telling you that’s exactly what it needs. 

 

dessert

 

It takes time and effort. The payoff is being much less reliant on someone or something else telling you when to eat and bringing you closer and more in tune with your mind and body. What is right for your body might not be right for someone else. 

 

intuitive eating  journey patient, committed gentle

 

Take intuitive eating as its own journey. Be patient, be committed and gentle on yourself. Improve a little at a time and keep moving forward!

 

 

** The opinions and exercises shared in this article are from one of our regular contributing authors and are not to replace the advice and guidance from a licensed practitioner. Be safe. Talk to your doctor before any changes to your diet and exercise regime.

 

 


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