The days of dieting are not long gone, but should be. With studies showing that 95% of diets fail people, no wonder there continues to be much confusion with what we ‘should’ be eating, how much to eat, how often to eat it, whether we should be counting calories and grams of fat.
Although some people have successfully found a method and ‘rhythm’ that works for them (perhaps the 5% balance of people mentioned above?), they’re content with going gluten-free, or grain-free, high fat/low carb. But let’s face it, that’s a very small percentage of us. For the most part, diets DO NOT WORK long term.
Enter Intuitive Eating: A fairly new and mostly unheard of approach to eating anything and everything – so long as it’s healthy – any time your body says it needs it. According to dozens of studies, this new approach to eating is proving to be a realistic alternative to dieting that works to lower body mass index, lower stress and cortisol levels, while increasing body awareness and acceptance, optimism, and most importantly, create a better understanding of the body’s natural feelings of hunger vs. fullness.
Like anything else, it is expected that exercise and proper nutrition play a big role in achieving a healthy body weight, as well as a content sense of self body image, therefore Intuitive Eating doesn’t mean you can wolf-down a piece of chocolate cake just because you feel like it.
Rachael Hartley, Registered Dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor from the U.S., works with her clients by teaching them to understand the following “Hunger and Fullness Scale”:
“One point of conclusion on the fullness side of things is when I see clients eat to the point where they’re no longer hungry (5), rather than eating until they’re satisfied (7),” explains Rachael. “It makes sense in the dieting world where you’re trying to eat as little as possible. But when you look at it on the scale, it’s easy to see why at a 5, even though you no longer feel the discomfort of hunger, it won’t be long before you drop back to a 4 or lower. Instead, eat for satisfaction. You should feel a sense of fullness. Stop just before you start to get uncomfortable.”
Dr. Axe, a renowned Clinical Nutritionist and Certified Doctor of Natural Medicine, says that Intuitive Eating hopes to encourage healthy eating in a radically new way: Reconciling forbidden food issues, unleashing the common shackles of dieting (deprivation, rebellion and rebound weight-gain) and helping people to get back to trusting their body’s own natural signs and preferences.
The key with Intuitive Eating is learning to listen to your body’s hunger vs. satisfaction cues, rather than eating by following the clock, or following a certain amount or type of food. The key is, to focus on adding in the healthiest and most nutritious foods, rather than limiting certain groups of foods altogether, like carbohydrates or certain fats because you’ve heard or read that “they’re bad for you”.•
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