Brake the Diet Mentality by Understanding Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Dieting WilcoWellness

Facing The Challenges Of Intuitive Eating With

Interoceptive Awareness

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.

Malnutrition: A Growing National Issue

Malnutrition awareness week aspen

An Alarming Topic but Unfortunately a Growing Truth

Malnutrition Awareness Week is brought to you by the American Society for Parental and Eternal Nutrition (ASPEN) who wants to encourage all to be a part of the solution when it comes to preventing Malnutrition.

Malnutrition hurts. Patience and awareness need to meet knowledge in the form of education

The problem of Malnutrition is growing into a national issue, happening when people do not receive the necessary nutrients in their diet and results in the loss of muscle mass. Those who are malnourished are in grave danger of significant health problems. Adults who are malnourished are even more susceptible.

It’s a myth that people who are eating are receiving all the nutrients they need to live a well-balanced life. In most cases, people are not malnourished because of the lack of food. They are undernourished because of the lack of nutrients in the diet. A person may also be malnourished due to an eating disorder or a chronic illness that prevents nutrients from being absorbed in the system.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are over 462 million people in the world who are malnourished. In 2017 it was recorded that 41 million people suffered from malnutrition and hunger in the United States. That should be alarming!

What are the causes of Malnutrition?

  • Lack of food consumption due to difficulty swallowing or dental issues
  • Overuse of food that does not contain necessary nutrients (food from a drive-thru window)
  • Mental health issues such as depression, anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and dementia
  • Physical problems such as not being able to obtain food due to lack of transportation or access to prepare food properly; isolation causes a higher risk
  • GI Track disorders such as Chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, or gluten intolerance; persistent vomiting can also lead to a lack of nutritious foods absorbed
  • Alcoholism
  • Children who are not breastfed, especially in a developing country

Children who are affected by Malnutrition typically grow up to be smaller and develop help issues as adults.

What are the symptoms?

  • No interest in food or drink
  • Tired or irritable
  • Feeling cold most of the time
  • Loss of fat or muscle mass
  • Higher risk to develop a disease
  • Depression
  • Lack of sex drive and issues with fertility
  • Focusing is difficult talks

More severe symptoms:

  • Difficulty to breathe
  • Elastic, dry, cold, and pale skin
  • Eyes that may appear to be sunken in and cheeks may hallow
  • Hair thinning

People with Malnutrition are at a higher risk to develop respiratory failure and heart failure. The time frame for when total starvation can become fatal is only 8 to 12 weeks. Mental function and digestive functions will become serious long-term physical issues for those that suffer from Malnutrition.

Treatment options?

Treatment for Malnutrition depends on how that person who has become malnourished and how severe the problem is. A dietitian can assist with getting a person back on track. Treatment will involve changing the diet to include foods that are nutritionally beneficial while considering Individual needs. Dietary changes and supplements can help! A physician may also recommend the following:

  • Eating wholesome, organic foods
  • Healthy snacks between regular meals
  • Staying hydrated with healthy drinks that contain a substantial amount of calories
  • Calling for local delivery if mobility is an issue
  • Eating food that contains extra nutrients such as “fortified” foods
  • Understanding healthy fats and their benefits Healthy
  • Stay away from food and drinks that have empty calories
  • Learn about essential nutrients
  • Avoid high-stress environments
  • Find assistance within the community

Prevention options?

As always, it’s best to take precipitate action before a severe problem occurs. A healthy, well-balanced diet and regular exercise can prevent Malnutrition. Individuals should try to consume plenty of fruits, veggies, starchy foods, some dairy and non-dairy protein sources. The Eat Well Guide can be used to outline recommendations for a healthy, balanced diet.

Education and awareness are the easiest way to prevent malnutrition. A great place to start with learning more and asking questions is at ASPEN on Facebook. The food you eat really matters!