Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus.See all posts »
My philosophy? Diets don’t work. Any diet plan that tells you to restrict an important food group, or deprive your body of what it needs is setting you up for failure. The body needs a variety of foods to keep it functioning properly in the long run. This means including fats, protein, and carbohydrates, and instead of focusing on good and bad foods, listening to your body.
That’s right, all it takes to control your weight and be healthy is to listen to what your body needs. It knows better than anyone what it wants, and what will work for you, so listen to what it’s telling you. Think your body is only telling you it wants greasy fries and chocolate cake? Listen again and really think about your choices. In other words, eat intuitively.
This basic way of eating focuses on being in tune with your body and its hunger signals. All you need to do is eat when you’re hungry by filling up on nutritious foods, and stop when you’re full. Other ways to eat intuitively:
- Honor your hunger—don’t go hungry! This will only set you up for overeating at a future meal.
- Reject the diet mentality—focus on foods that you can eat instead of those you can’t, and don’t deprive yourself. Keep a healthy balance of each food group
- Focus on your needs—what works best for your body type? What foods do you like? Every body is different so find what works best for you, without comparing yourself to other people.
- Cope with emotions without using food—if you’re used to eating when you are stressed, angry or sad use other methods of stress relief to cope with your emotions. Try exercise, yoga, meditation or simply going on a walk.
Eating intuitively takes patience and hard work, but once you become in tune with your body, it will become second nature! Listen to your bodies hunger cues, fulfill your needs with healthy and nutritious foods, and reject the diet mentality for a healthy and happy you.
For a great read on this topic, check out Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, RD.