Simplifying Healthy Eating: A Lifestyle Approach
When you hear the phrase, “healthy eating,” what do you think of? For me, healthy eating consists of more than fruits, leafy vegetables, and meal moderations, it’s a complete lifestyle and mindset change overall. This is why I take an intuitive approach because I believe I am the expert of my body and hunger signals. Intuitive eating doesn’t impose guidelines about what or when to eat, or what to avoid instead the only person to make those choices is me! Intuitive eating is an eating style that promotes a healthy attitude toward food and body image.
WHAT IS INTUITIVE EATING?
Intuitive eating is an approach developed to help people heal from the side effects of chronic dieting.” And an intuitive eater is defined as a person who “makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma, honors hunger, respects fullness and enjoys the pleasure of eating.” It’s a dynamic approach that closes the gap between mind and body. Intuitive eating is not a diet or food plan. There’s no pass or fail, therefore there’s no “blowing it,” rather it’s a journey of self-discovery and connection to the needs of your mind and body.
Our way of life has changed over time. Back in the day, our ancestors grew their own food, hunted, knew which foods were for various seasons, healing for us, harmful for us, and so on. This way of living has always appealed to me, and I love researching how they lived + hunted back then.
I’ve never been into dieting for a number of reasons:
Our bodies are so individualized that a “diet” is not one size fits all
Dieting is more short-term than it is a “lifestyle” change
I like eating a balanced meal that doesn’t require me to cut out my favorite foods
Most of us dwell on and let calories, carbs, fats, proteins, restrictions, and lists of good and bad foods dictate what we eat, but there are always new discoveries and new ways to lose 10 pounds, but most take the health out of the equation. Adding to the confusion is an overwhelming amount of information about nutrition – a stampede of new diets, fads, and false information! All of these different diet approaches are missing one important fact: we are all different! Our biological individualities allow one person to thrive on a diet that may be terrible for someone else. For me, I can’t have certain dairy products or I’ll feel bloated, irritable, and knots in my stomach, whereas someone else is not bothered by dairy.
Intuitive eating is being mindful about what we’re putting in our bodies and noticing how it makes our body feel. Most times, we’re eating and not actually tasting our food. If you go a while without drinking juice and integrate it back in your life, you can instantly taste all the sugar. Test it out and see it for yourself.
It scares me that health care costs are increasing each year, how overweight + unhealthy we are continuing to become, how poorly people are still choosing to eat, and how much of the statistics are surrounded by people of color. It’s crazy how there are so many advertisements on tv on what beauty standards are and new trending diets, yet our grocery stores are filled with thousands of processed, boxed items wrapped in nice packaging filled with sugar, fat, and additives food products. Most foods have little to no nourishment to our bodies. There’s no perfect way of eating that works for everyone.
The key to health is understanding what your body needs rather than following the trends! The best way to learn what foods work best for you is to experiment and listen to your body’s responses to food. Right after you eat, wait an hour or two before eating again and feel your bodies response. Discover what feeds you, what nourishes you and gives you optimal energy!
HERE ARE 5 KEY PRINCIPLES
Here are 5 principles that I live by when it comes to Intuitive eating:
1. REJECT THE DIET MENTALITY
2. EAT SLOWLY. TASTE YOUR FOOD
3. HONOR YOUR FEELINGS WITHOUT USING FOOD
4. RESPECT YOUR BODY
5. EXERCISE — STAY ACTIVE
Find ways to move your body that you enjoy. Shift the focus from losing weight to feeling energized, strong and alive. Eat with purpose. Slow down and taste your food.
Written By: Bre Capri of Brecapri.com