Some in their meals follow the principle: "I myself know what is best for me." Someone confuses it with one popular technique, only then they wonder why they don’t lose weight. Because not everything is so simple. We talk about intuitive eating: what it is and how to get started.

You open the refrigerator and eat: what is intuitive eating really

For many, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can be a lifelong struggle. Research shows us that of those who lose weight, about one in five will maintain that weight. Most people regain a third of their lost weight within the first year and the rest over the next three to five years.

Intuitive Eating aims to break the cycle of constant dieting by reconnecting with the body's natural signals of hunger, satiety, and satisfaction.

The number of diets today continues to grow , choosing your own is never easy, but in the end they don’t help everyone. Maybe you should just listen to yourself better? Only right.

What is Intuitive Eating

Intuitive eating is a technique that involves mindful eating. There is no definitive medical evidence or scientific research to support the effectiveness of this eating style in preventing disease. But some elements of this method are health-improving in nature.

The "creator" of this style of eating (Deepak Chopra, an American naturopath) suggests first of all realizing that food does not serve emotional satisfaction. You can not eat when upset, or in a state of stress, automatically (for example, during a telephone conversation). Food is not a substitute for emotions, but only fuel for our body. He suggests opting for easy-to-digest, fresh, natural foods, drinking more water, and watching portion sizes.

10 main principles

1. Let go of the dietary mindset

Throw away diet books. No need to rely on any particular nutrition system that does not allow you to choose food consciously.

2. Respect your hunger

Maintain the biological nutrition of your body with sufficient energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise, the habit of overeating will not go away. Once you reach the point of extreme hunger, all intentions of moderate, mindful eating are forgotten. Listening to this first biological signal is the basis for restoring confidence in yourself and in food.

3. Make peace with food

Stop fighting for food! Give yourself permission to eat anything. Telling yourself that you can't or shouldn't eat certain foods can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that escalate into uncontrollable cravings and often overeating.

4. Challenge stereotypes

Say "no" out loud to the thoughts in your head that say you're "good" because you're consuming fewer calories, or "bad" because you ate a piece of chocolate cake . These thoughts provoke feelings of guilt and do not lead to proper nutrition.

5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor

The Japanese consider pleasure one of the goals of a healthy lifestyle. In our pursuit of a food culture, we often overlook a very important detail - the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the process of eating. When you eat what you really want in a pleasant environment, the pleasure you get will become a powerful force. Having experienced it for yourself, you will find that you have enough food even less, since it has already brought you pleasure.

6. Feel your hunger

Listen to the body's signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Stop in the middle of a meal and ask yourself what the food tastes like and what your actual current hunger level is.

7. Deal with your emotions with kindness

First, realize that food restriction, both physical and mental, can itself cause a loss of control, which can feel like emotional overeating . Find positive ways to comfort yourself, distract yourself, and solve problems. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom and anger are emotions we all experience throughout our lives. Everyone has their own trigger and everyone has their own peace. Food won't fix any of those feelings. She can calm down only for a short time. But won't solve the problem. And eating to satisfy emotional hunger can only make you feel worse in the future, because it will awaken a sense of shame.

8. Respect your body

Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a girl with a size 39 shoe wouldn't expect to actually fit into a size 35, it's just as useless to have similar body size expectations.

Respect your body so that you can feel better already the way you are, and then try to lose weight. Losing weight correctly if you are overly critical of the size or shape of your body will not work.

9. Be aware of the movement

When exercising, shift your attention to what it feels like to move your body, and not to the calorie-burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel after a workout, such as a boost in energy, it can affect whether you go to class again.

10. Respect your health

Choose foods that not only delight your taste buds but also make you feel good. Remember that you don't have to eat perfectly to be healthy. You won't suddenly become nutritionally deficient or sick from one "wrong" snack or meal. What matters is that you eat consistently over time. Important progress.

Is it possible to lose weight in this way

Consciously excluding processed foods, sweets, alcohol, fast food, added sugar from the diet, taking control of the portion size - it is possible to lose weight.

However, significant dietary restrictions, especially those introduced independently, without consulting a doctor, work with a nutritionist is often unsafe.

From a medical point of view, in order not to gain extra pounds, it is more important to eat a balanced and rational diet. This is the most physiological nutritional system for humans. This means not skipping meals and including all food groups in your diet in the right proportions that are right for you.

Eating a balanced diet does not mean dieting. It is important that the diet contains both proteins (meat, poultry, fish), and healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, seeds), and fiber (vegetables and fruits, cereals).

However, even with a balanced diet, it is not always possible to obtain the necessary micronutrients - vitamins and minerals. In this case, in order to prevent deficiency, you can use nutraceuticals and dietary supplements in addition to the diet.

How to Switch to Intuitive Eating

Speaking of what an intuitive eating diet should look like, Deepak Chopra suggests following these rules:

  • The diet should consist mainly of organic products
  • Processed foods are excluded from the diet (semi-finished products, smoked meats, purchased sweets, sweets, pastries, sausages, and so on)
  • Complete elimination of alcohol and fermentation products (e.g. cheese, soy sauce)
  • Zero sugar (meaning added sugar, but it's also important to consider that many processed foods already contain sugar)
  • Significantly limiting the amount of salt in the diet
  • Limiting the amount of red meat
  • Enough clean water per day
  • Enough sleep

Are there any pitfalls and risks

The main risk is the lack of an individual approach and taking into account the physiological characteristics of a person, his state of health, the presence and / or absence of certain diseases and conditions.

A personalized preventive approach to nutrition, wellness, and the use of nutraceuticals is a trend. This approach allows not only to lose weight (or gain, if necessary ), but also reduce the risk of diseases, strengthen the immune system, improve skin condition, improve sleep, recover better after stress, while maintaining high health potential, activity and efficiency.

There are also experts who believe that intuitive eating can do more harm than good to people struggling with eating disorders. It is believed that in this case it is definitely too early for a conscious or intuitive approach, it is important to first deal with the physical state, and only then deal with the emotional state.

There is an opinion that the principles of the methodology are focused on people with privileges: easy access to food; enough money, time, and willpower to focus on intuitive eating; and the ability to be calmly aware of bodily signals. It may be more difficult for others, but this does not mean that the method is not worth trying.

It is important to understand that eating intuitively is not just taking everything that you think you want from the refrigerator, which means it won’t hurt.

Intuitive Eating: reviews and results

Despite controversial opinions, intuitive eating still gives results. This is what reviews on the web say.

“The essence of intuitive eating: Eat what you want, when you want, but only when you feel physically hungry. That is, food should not be out of boredom, sadness, stress. Only physical hunger! When I felt that I was eating sweets not out of hunger, I always told myself that it was better that way than to break loose and overeat later. As a result, for almost a month, I did not have a single bout of overeating. The main thing is to remove all restrictions in the head. No food good and bad. There is just food. If you want candy, eat it (remember, about physical hunger, this is the most important thing), food will not run away anywhere. This is difficult to understand at the very beginning, and I try to remind myself of this every day. The result for the month from 59.7 to 55.2 kg.”

“I thought if I starve, I’ll lose weight quickly and everything will be fine, it wasn’t there. In the first week, because of the hunger strikes, it was very bad, health problems began, and I broke down, but I broke down, because I severely limited! You can’t do this, the body will still demand! I signed up for many groups related to diets, I saw a post there that you can eat everything and lose weight, so I read it, became interested, and decided to try sitting on intuitive eating. On this diet, I lost 12 kg.

“How to lose weight without diets and sports? How to eat and not get fat? How to keep a slim figure? How to look younger at 39 than at 30? My answer is intuitive eating! Minus 12 kg without much effort and lasting results. ”