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Intuitive Eating: How Does It Work? What Are the Benefits?

intuitive eating concept image

What does the word intuitive mean to you? For most of us, it is an inner-knowing, an innate sense of what is right or wrong. Interestingly, this concept can also be applied to food. Rather than relying on rigid diet plans that tell you what to eat, intuitive eating lets you choose. This approach releases you from the restrictions that often prompt diet relapses and an overall unhealthy lifestyle.

What Is Intuitive Eating?

The process of intuitive eating involves following your body’s natural cues and learning to trust them. As you begin to adopt this new way of eating, you will need to recognize the things that trigger your body’s hunger response. Understanding these triggers can make the difference between emotional eating and eating because you are truly hungry. In fact, intuitive eating is a life-long journey of providing your body with the appropriate sustenance and disregarding emotional cravings.

At its core, the process involves cultivating your own personal eating plan. Rather than trying to follow a set of rules that might work for somebody else, intuitive eating is highly individualized. It is also natural. At first, it might take some work to get into the flow of this new way of eating. However, over time, it should become fluid and second nature. Best of all, there are no rules to follow. Intuitive eating principles involve a lifestyle shift, one that serves you well at every meal.

Some of the key facets of this lifestyle include the following:

  • Respect Your Body: Feed your hunger with nourishing foods that will sustain your body with energy and combat cravings
  • Be Flexible: Change your thinking from “I can never eat unhealthy foods” to “I can eat some unhealthy foods, in moderation.”
  • Take Control: Acknowledge that you give yourself permission about what to eat
  • Enjoy Feeling Satisfied: Recognize that feeling full is your body’s way of saying you’ve had enough to eat for now.
  • Know Your Self-Worth: Understand that what you eat does not identify who you are.

What Are the Benefits?

Now that you know how to eat intuitively, you can begin to expect the benefits. First, because there is no diet to follow, you are freed from the feelings of defeat that come along with yo-yo dieting. How many times have you fallen off the wagon on a new diet and gained five pounds? With eating intuitively, there won’t be a “wagon” to fall off from!

Secondly, there is no shame with intuitive eating because it is all about doing what is right for your body. That being said, it is important to understand the difference between listening to your body and giving in to every craving. Eating intuitively means learning to honor your body by fueling it with the right foods to achieve the health you deserve.

Here’s an overview of some of the other perks:

  • No Deprivation: By permitting yourself to eat something, you avoid binge eating that can be prompted by deprivation.
  • Managing Emotions: By forgoing emotional eating, you now have the opportunity to address these issues with the proper resources, such as practicing yoga, meditation, or professional counseling, if necessary.
  • Self Care: The process of honoring your body with healthy eating is the best form of self-care.
  • Better Self-Esteem: In an intuitive eating lifestyle, you learn to love yourself for who you are and not what you eat.

It all begins with a healthy decision, and you can make the change today. At Z.E.N. Foods, we want to help jumpstart your healthy lifestyle journey. Check out our healthy meal delivery plans and call us at (310) 205-9368 for more info.

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