Intuitive eating refers to the philosophy of eating in a manner that makes you an expert at reading the hunger signals passed by your body and knowing what works best for your body. It means becoming an expert at reading your body. It is essentially different from a traditional diet where your primary motive is to cut down on or avoid food.
The concept of intuitive eating does not have the restrictions of what to eat and when to eat; instead, it believes that you are the best person to decide what your body needs and when.
|Benefits of Intuitive Eating
|Drawbacks of Intuitive Eating
|You can detect hunger pangs
|Lack of structured guidelines
|You know best what food works for you
|It is a skill that you have to learn
|It does not make you feel guilty for eating
|It is easy to overeat in this practice
|Food tastes better
|Your mood improves
|Your digestion improves
|You eat more mindfully
|Your junk food cravings decrease
|It makes you more confident
|You feel less tired and can exercise more
Advantages of Intuitive Eating
- You can detect hunger pangs
No one understands better than you about how your body works and when you are feeling hungry. So, the intuitive eating practice involves honoring those hunger cues your body is giving you.
This is a very healthy practice as you are not punishing your body by trying to follow a set diet. It makes you feel much better and improves your mood instantly after you’ve had that meal when you were feeling hungry.
- You know best what food works for you
Every individual has their own set of preferences when it comes to food. You might not like the taste of certain food items or might not feel too well after eating them. No dietician or trainer can understand that better than you. Intuitive eating gives you the much-needed freedom to explore and play around with your food choices.
- It does not make you feel guilty for eating
Intuitive eating is all about positivity and it discourages policing yourself for eating your fill. It encourages you to eat healthy portions that satisfy your cravings instead of going through guilt trips and judging yourself.
- Food tastes better
When you are not constantly trying to push away your cravings and hunger cues, your relationship with food improves. Inevitably, you can enjoy your food better and it tastes better and makes you feel energized.
- Your mood improves
Intuitive eating has a positive impact on your mental health and body image. When you are not constantly critical of your body, your mood automatically improves and you learn to love yourself.
- Your digestion improves
Intuitive eating discourages stress eating. Eating according to your hunger cues helps you in dealing with anxiety and stress. It has been proved that indigestion and gastric problems are associated with anxiety and stress levels. So when eating is a more relaxed activity, your digestion improves.
- You eat more mindfully
When you are listening to your body and following its cues, you are more mindful and enjoy your food better. You tend to savor your food and take in the entire experience of having a meal.
- Your junk food cravings decrease
Ironic as it may sound, eating what you want tends to decrease unhealthy cravings. This is because you are not always ignoring all the hunger signals given by your body. Besides, intuitive eating also encourages eating everything in moderation.
- It makes you more confident
As your body image improves, your self-esteem also improves. This results in you being more confident in your skin.
- You feel less tired and can exercise more
Exercise is taking care of oneself and some punishment that you have to endure to shed a few extra calories. When your body image improves, you enjoy taking care of yourself and keeping it fit.
Disadvantages of Intuitive Eating
- Lack of structured guidelines
If you are someone who is trying to lose a few extra calories, then intuitive eating might not be of much use in the beginning as it hardly provides any set guidelines.
- It is a skill that you have to learn
It needs you to understand your body well. You need considerable knowledge of food portions, nutrition, and calories to be able to follow your body’s cues properly and act on them with precision.
- It is easy to overeat in this practice
One of the biggest challenges while practicing intuitive eating is to not overeat and curb the urges to binge eat on high-calorie foods. That is why intuitive eating makes losing weight a lengthy process.
Intuitive eating might be the holy grail that you need and are looking for. In today’s day and age, when how you look can influence several decisions in your favor or against you, we often become obsessed with our bodies and appearances. This can lead to very unhealthy outcomes. Instances of teenage girls suffering from anorexia and bulimia are not uncommon.
Intuitive eating is like a breath of fresh air, amidst those strict diet regimes which almost takes the fun out of eating. Eating is, after all, an integral part of our existence; it is meant to be enjoyed and savored and intuitive eating allows you to do so. The pros of this practice of eating outnumber the cons by a far greater margin!
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