Home Diets and Weight Loss Eat intuitively: That’s how it works & that’s what works!

Eat intuitively: That’s how it works & that’s what works!

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 250 views

Attaining a feel-good weight without making sacrifices – that’s what the concept of intuitive eating promises . There are no rules with this type of diet, rather you listen to the natural needs of your body. Read here how this works, what the advantages and disadvantages are and whether you can lose weight as a result.

Eating Intuitively: What is it?

Without rules and restrictions: The concept of intuitive eating is about eating when you feel hungry and full – without a diet plan and without giving up certain foods. A healthy body is the goal, weight loss is a possible consequence.

The concept was brought to life by the two nutritionists Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in the mid-1990s. They assume that, due to evolution, the human body signals on its own what food and how much of it it needs.

Eat without guilt

Ideally, a person only eats when they are really, so-called, physically or stomach hungry – and only until they feel comfortably full. In this way, physical, psychological and sensual needs are satisfied. Feelings of guilt and food cravings are avoided. The assumption is that this will result in normal weight.

The prerequisite for this is that you perceive the needs of your body, i.e. that you are aware of what it needs exactly. Instincts often still work in infancy. However, even in adolescents, many external stimuli have an effect on the fact that the natural eating behavior is lost.

Beauty ideals and upbringing influence eating habits

Why it is like that? Advertising and an oversupply of food often make it difficult for many people to distinguish between hunger and appetite. Beauty ideals, traditions and upbringing also have an effect on eating habits. Through intuitive eating, people should find their way back to their basic needs.

How to learn intuitive eating

It takes practice to only listen to your body when it comes to nutrition and not to be guided by external stimuli or habits. For some people it is initially overwhelming that there are no rules for intuitive eating.

According to Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, these ten principles of intuitive eating help:

  1. Always eat when hungry. The body needs energy and carbohydrates . Therefore, do not ignore your feeling of hunger.
  2. Check your needs. Before you eat any food, ask yourself: do I really need it or am I just eating out of boredom, frustration or stress ?
  3. There are no good and bad foods. If you have a great need for an ice cream or a piece of chocolate, grab it and be happy about it.
  4. Break free from diets. It’s not about abstaining from eating or feeling guilty. Rather, enjoy the satisfying effect.
  5. Feel your satiety. After eating, think about whether you liked it, whether you feel good and full of energy. Save the findings.
  6. Enjoy the food. If you eat with pleasure and without negative feelings, it helps to find the right balance.
  7. Don’t give in to emotions. Don’t eat to improve your mood. Find other ways to get in a good mood. For example, listen to your favorite music or go for a short walk.
  8. Respect your body. There are different body sizes and shapes. All deserve dignity.
  9. Get active: Feel how good it is to burn calories through exercise.
  10. Appreciate your health through nutrition: Choose foods that give you a positive feeling and give you energy.

Effects of intuitive eating

Various small individual studies have come to the conclusion that people who eat intuitively feel greater satisfaction with their bodies and are relieved that they no longer have to go without food.

British scientists found that intuitive eating reduces body mass index and has a positive effect on the psyche . As a rule, this form of nutrition does not lead to ravenous appetite attacks or a yo-yo effect.

Classic diets in particular lead to physical and mental stress in many people. Up to 80 percent of those affected cannot maintain their weight afterwards and gain weight again. A big problem is the difficult handling of one’s own feelings of hunger and satiety. With intuitive eating, the focus is on dealing with exactly this problem carefully.

So far, however, there are no long-term studies on the effects of intuitive eating.

Benefits of Intuitive Eating

There are several benefits of eating intuitively:

  • You have a relaxed relationship with food and are learning to trust your body.
  • There are no bans. In principle, you can access all foods. This avoids food cravings.
  • By mindful eating, you get to know yourself better.
  • Ideally, this is how the body gets all the nutrients it needs.
  • Since there are no restrictions on the choice of food, satisfaction is often high.
  • The feel-good weight can be achieved in this way.

Disadvantages of intuitive eating

However, the concept of intuitive eating also brings with it some challenges and difficulties in everyday life. This includes:

  • People who have previously eaten primarily fast food or ready meals will find it difficult to find a better, healthier diet without nutritional advice.
  • This type of diet is also not recommended for people with eating disorders.
  • The oversupply of food in supermarkets or restaurants makes it difficult to always eat thoughtfully and mindfully.
  • Individual eating behavior is often shaped by habits and educational methods that are not even consciously perceived.
  • Recognizing the boundaries between hungry and full is difficult , especially at the beginning of the change in diet .
  • In some cases, social occasions such as private parties or invitations thwart the concept of intuitive eating.
  • Even within a family, it is difficult to have the same needs at mealtimes at the same time.
  • It takes a lot of time and patience for the new eating habit to become routine.

Eating tips for everyday life!

In order to get a good perception of your body and to implement the concept of intuitive eating, the following tips for everyday life will help.

  • In order to feel in time when you feel full, eat slowly.
  • Eat mindfully and chew thoroughly.
  • When you’re full, don’t force yourself to finish your plate.
  • Scoop small portions onto the plate. This allows you to better check whether you are actually still hungry.
  • Make sure you eat regularly. This will help you avoid cravings that make you grab food indiscriminately.
  • Especially in stressful situations, the temptation to reach for unhealthy foods is great. Mental training can help break old eating habits.
  • Thirst is often confused with hunger. Therefore, drink at least 1.5 liters throughout the day.
  • Don’t constantly weigh yourself or count calories. This only stresses you out.

Losing weight with intuitive eating: does it work?

In classic diets, the body’s natural signals are often ignored – a growling stomach, for example. This increases the stress level, among other things, cortisol is released. The result: The appetite for high-energy foods with sugar and fat increases. A vicious cycle is in progress. With intuitive eating, this is avoided.

Is it fundamentally possible to lose weight through intuitive eating? A scientific paper from Switzerland comes to the conclusion that this is the case. The researchers reviewed ten studies and found that intuitive eating strategies lead to significant weight loss.

Even if losing weight is not the primary goal of an intuitive diet, paying attention to your own feelings of hunger and satiety and having a positive self-image will help you to reach a feel-good weight.

Testimonials also show that people who eat intuitively had lower cravings for foods high in fat and sugar, such as chocolate and chips. Rather, they felt an increased need for healthy food.

However, there are currently no long-term studies that prove whether the feel-good weight can be maintained in the longer term through intuitive eating.

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