Facing The Challenges Of Intuitive Eating With
Crash dieting rarely leads to successful weight loss, and when it does, it’s rare that the results last. Instead, crash dieting creates a mean cycle of shedding weight, then packing it on, exhausting the body with a pattern, and binging and starving the body of the calories it needs to thrive.
With regards to healthy eating, two of the biggest questions we should be asking ourselves are these: how did we become so out-of-touch with our bodies? And when was the last time we listened to what our bodies are telling us? A healthy life begins with a healthy diet, and a healthy diet is one that consistently feeds the body with what nutrients the body is asking for.
What Is Interoceptive Awareness?
Long before fast food and modern medicine came along, humans were more clued-in on the dietary needs of the body. Believe it or not, it’s possible to sense when the body needs protein as opposed to carbohydrates or when one area of the body is the cause for pain felt in every limb.
The body does not lie; however, our perceptions of the body’s requests can be easily misinterpreted. For example, if you find yourself constantly craving chocolate and sugary treats, your body may actually be requesting magnesium or more sleep. Just as well, your body may be signaling that it is mineral deficient or that there is a blood sugar imbalance.
The practice of interoceptive awareness helps people to properly perceive and interpret the various sensations of the body, both physical and emotional. The practice is often taught by therapists who work with their patients to focus attention on one area of the body at a time and thereby understand its triggers and signals.
How Does Interoceptive Awareness Relate To Intuitive Eating?
Interoceptive awareness can help practitioners focus attention on many ailments that require listening to the body, such as diabetes, anxiety disorders, and chronic pain disorders. Intuitive eating, on the other hand, utilizes Interoceptive Awareness to interpret which nutrients the body is specifically asking for.
Unlike crash dieting, intuitive eating actually gives you the freedom to eat whatever you feel your body needs without having to overthink what you can or cannot have in order to lose weight. Whereas Interoceptive Awareness helps practitioners follow the inner trails of their pain, Intuitive Eating honors the body as its own best guide to better health, rather than some crash diet designed by a complete stranger.
How Exactly Is Intuitive Eating Healthier Than Crash Dieting?
- Crash diets make the body feel deprived by limiting the nutrients it needs. You might be surprised to learn that a little bit of sugar is actually good for the body, and the same goes for carbohydrates- both of which are the most common pieces eliminated from crash diets.
- Intuitive eating returns power to the practitioner by allowing them to eat without restricting any particular food group when it’s needed. This helps people feel emotionally and physically satisfied as it reduces the likelihood that a diet will be broken with emotional eating.
- The severe nutritional deficits created by crash dieting may promote very short term weight loss. However, crash dieters become lethargic as the body fails to receive the caloric energy it needs. Intuitive eating boosts energy without abusing the body.
What Are The Guidelines Of Intuitive Eating?
In 1995, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch coined the term “Intuitive Eating.” The term’s origins reach much further back to previous concepts, though. The practice is centered upon the idea that thoughtful eating habits maintain a healthy lifestyle. The 10 basic guidelines to intuitive eating as outlined in their book, Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works, are as follows:
- Crush the Diet Mentality
- Respect Your Hunger
- Make Peace With Food
- Challenge The Food Police
- Respect Your Fullness
- Discover The Satisfaction Factor
- Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food
- Respect Your Body
- Exercise And Feel The Difference
- Honor Your Health With Gentle Nutrition
Easier Said Than Done, Right?
When converting to an Intuitive Eating lifestyle, there will be many ups and downs at first, but with time, you will develop more faith in your ability to listen to your body and respond to its needs. Some of the main challenges associated with Intuitive Eating include:
- Thinking about food all the time. If you are encountering this issue regularly and aren’t sure why, it’s worth it to talk it out with one of the many incredible Nutrition Specialists located in Wilco, who can assist you with understanding your emotional eating triggers. Once you find those triggers, you will be able to incorporate non-eating solutions to working through emotions, such as exercising or journaling.
- Lacking confidence and body shaming. We are experiencing a self-esteem crisis in the United States, an issue that is positively correlated with anxiety and depression. Intuitive Eating trains practitioners to listen to the body and respect it as the temple that it is. The practice reveals the power of the body to show you exactly what changes can be made to bring greater happiness and health to your life.
- Lost interest in food at all. It’s an effect of intuitive eating that can be alarming at first, as practitioners may worry that they aren’t thinking about the body’s nutritional needs enough. In reality, this is an effect of Intuitive Eating that tells the practitioner they are learning to use food as an energy source rather than an emotional band-aid.
Breaking The Diet Mentality For A Better You
The beauty of mastering Intuitive Eating through Interoceptive Awareness is that it gives practitioners their life back and shows them what foods they should shop for to improve their unique body’s wellness.
By breaking the diet mentality, practitioners learn to distinguish between emotional needs and nutritional needs and to stop letting food distract them from living their lives.