Finding a diet that works best for you can be tricky. With so many differing views on what’s healthy, sticking with a plan is not always an easy thing to do. Intuitive eating is an eating framework that encourages you to eat when you’re hungry and stop as soon as you feel full. The framework promotes a positive attitude and listening to your body to find eating behaviors that work best for you.
Adopting a positive attitude when it comes to dieting can make a big difference and make it feel less restrictive. Diet Culture puts an emphasis on strict rules regarding eating habits that make maintaining a healthy diet feel like a job. These negative attitudes often lead to falling back on unhealthy eating behaviors. The Dietitians at Behavioral Nutrition suggest that you “explore” your relationship with food by following these ten tips:
- Find peace with eating
Give yourself full permission to eat and put a stop to negative attitudes associated with different types of foods. Denying yourself particular foods will lead to uncontrollable cravings and possibly developing binge eating habits.
- Don’t follow a diet mentality
This is a crucial and very challenging step. Toss out the diet books and programs that offer you false hope in losing weight quickly and easily. If you continue to have the mindset that a new diet will hopefully help you lose weight, it will prevent you from discovering intuitive eating.
- Eat when you feel hungry
Adequate energy, carbohydrates and protein are essential to keep your body biologically fed to prevent overeating at a later time. Once your body reaches the point of uncontrolled hunger, intentions of conscious and moderate eating becomes irrelevant. Learning to honor your hunger sets the stage for rebuilding trust in food and yourself.
- Recognize when you’ve had enough to eat
Find trust in yourself to have the food you want in order to honor your fullness. Listen to your body signals when it tells you are full. Observe signs that let you know you are no longer hungry. Pausing in the middle of your meal and asking yourself how the food tastes and what your current hunger level is can be a good way to become more aware of when you’re feeling full.
- Stop Defining Foods as “Good” or “Bad”
Don’t let your thoughts in your head tell you you’re “good” for eating healthy foods today or “bad” for eating a bag of chips. This type of behavior is irrational and something that the diet culture has created. Chasing the food police away will allow you to focus on what your body needs while practicing intuitive eating.
- Enjoy the food you eat
Find the pleasure and satisfaction in your eating experience. The pleasure you experience when you eat what you want in a comfortable environment will help you feel satisfied after finishing a meal. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find out the right amount of food that is “enough”.
- Respect your body
It’s very difficult to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly judgmental of your body size and shape. All bodies are different, beautiful and deserve respect.
- Stay Active
Be active. Shift your focus on how it feels to move your body instead of thinking about calorie-burning exercise. If you focus on being energized after working out or just moving around, it can motivate you to wake up early.
- Honor your health
Make food choices that will taste good to you while honoring your health. You do not need to eat perfectly healthy all the time. Focusing on how you can make consistent improvements to your diet is one of the best ways to find sustainable diet changes that will work for you.
The Florida Dietitians at Behavioral Nutrition are available to help you develop balanced eating practices. We understand that everyone is unique and use a holistic approach to find eating behaviors that work for each one of our patients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you develop healthier eating habits.