You've probable heard the term 'Intuitive Eating' before, it's when you listen to your body and hunger cues. It isn't a diet, it doesn't have guidelines or rules, there isn't a list or things to eat or avoid, when to eat and when not to eat. It really helps remove the labels associated with foods and diets and helps promote a healthy relationship with food. There are MANY different definitions and ways of intuitive eating so we will give you are Feminal take on it and how you can start making little changes towards Intuitive Eating.
Our Feminal take on Intuitive Eating -
Forget about the labels, the diet and obsessively counting calories and macros (emphasis on obsessively counting, there is a time and place for tracking but it is not the only way). Listen to your body, are you hungry? eat. Are you thirsty? Drink. Balancing what the body needs while indulging from time to time without the guilty association that can sometimes follow a night of pizza and Netflix. It's about learning about your own body, what it needs and wants and recognizing the individuality in it. It's about not getting caught up in food and diet culture.
How can you eat Intuitively?
We believe the first step is getting to know yourself. Are you a stress eater? Do you tend to push your hunger cues to the side until your ghrelin hormones are screaming at you and you binge eat everything in sight? Do you have negative feelings when you eat certain foods? Are you eating because you're hungry or bored? Are you not eating because you feel anxious? These are all questions we can ask ourselves to start to better understand our eating habits.
Figure out the foods you enjoy eating. Whether that's salads or pizza, know that there is a place for them in your life.
Make your meals taste good. You don't have to eat bland food in order to be healthy. There are SO many different seasonings, spices and herbs. No one likes eating tasteless food !!
Listen to your hungry cues. If you're hungry eat, they're there for a reason and they're trying to tell you something.
Pay attention to when you feel full. Just like hunger cues tell you that you're hungry, your body also tells you when you're full. If you're full, stop eating.
Don't label your eating style. Labeling your eating style can make you feel like you're stuck in a box. It can sometimes put food into 'good' or 'bad' categories and sometimes restrict certain foods.
Let go of the guilt. A pasta and wine night isn't going to ruin your progress, it's not going to make you gain weight or make you a bad person. Enjoy that piece of cake from time to time and know that it's okay to indulge in some of your favorites.
Can you still set fitness goals and be an intuitive eater?
Of course, why can't you? Our Feminal take on intuitive eating is all about balance, the 80/20 approach to eating, understanding what your body needs and making your approach to food individual. So how can you lose or gain weight while intuitively eating? For us, intuitive eating doesn't mean eat whatever you want. It means honoring both what fuels your body, helps it run optimally, keeps it healthy and disease-free and indulging, feeding your soul, taking take of your mental and emotional states as well. Some ways you can keep track of your health and fitness goals while intuitive eating include:
1. Ensuring your body is getting the fuel it needs. You can check in with yourself - Did I eat too little today or is my body just getting use to the change in calories? Am I eating foods that are going to help my calorie surplus or am I eating just a bunch of highly processed, high calorie foods to reach my weight gain goals?
2. I am eating enough or the right types of food to support my fitness regime?
Fitness and nutrition shouldn't be stressful. It should be part of your lifestyle and if you do have fitness goals you want to reach that's okay just keep in mind that things take time, there is no short cut and enjoy the process. To us, intuitive eating doesn't have restrictions or rules, it's not about overthinking and attaching feelings with our eating habits. It's about getting in touch with OUR bodies, not sticking to something that worked for someone else and just isn't working for you. Ultimately, there isn't a one-way fits all. There are many options when it comes to eating habits, workouts, wellness and health. It's all about finding out what works best for you !!