Health & Wellness

Let go of restrictive eating and start intuitive eating

Courtney Rupertus
Let go of restrictive eating and start intuitive eating

When it comes to eating, your body knows best. The problem is we rarely listen to what our bodies are telling us, or we only start listening when it’s too late.
When we diet, restrict, or otherwise try to control what we are eating by “cutting out” rather than “fueling up” we are doing our bodies and ourselves a disservice.

Kids are great examples of true intuitive eaters; on busy days their hunger is insatiable, slower days they only eat what they need. It’s only until we start implementing the dinner rules that we lose sight of that.
We start to learn that treats must be earned, plates must be cleaned, and our suppers can be used as a tool for encouraging good behavior. Unfortunately, all of this nonsense turns us into adults who have lost touch with their intuitive eater.
If we listen, our intuition towards food tells us when we’re hungry, and when we’re not. It tells us how much to eat, what to eat, and also, how and when to move our bodies. The idea behind intuitive eating, for children or adults, is that when we feel good about eating, we naturally eat as much as we need - no bingeing, no withholding, no shame, no fear.

There are 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating from
Reject the diet mentality - Let go of restrictive and rules-based eating, try listening to your body and choose a nourishment-based way of eating.
Honour your hunger - When we let ourselves get really hungry, we trigger the urge to binge or overeat. Keep your body well fed throughout the day.
Make peace with food - This means that no one food holds power over you. Make a promise to yourself to eat the foods that you enjoy.
Challenge the Food Police - The food police in your head need to be told that it’s not bad to eat a piece of chocolate cake, or that you’re only good if you eat a salad.
Respect your fullness - Let go of the ‘clean plate mentality’ and focus on how you’re feeling. Stop eating when you’re comfortably full.
Discover the satisfaction factor - When we allow ourselves to derive pleasure from our eating experience, we find that we need less of what we used to crave to be satisfied.
Honour your feelings without using food - Check in with your thoughts and emotions before you decide you need to eat. Sometimes we just need a different outlet for our anger, boredom, sadness, shame, fear, stress, etc. Take care of yourself without using food as a numbing agent.
Respect your body - Jump up on that self-love bandwagon and start appreciating your body for all that it does. Your genetic traits are not going anyway, so might as well start embracing them.
Exercise - Feel the difference - When you stop using exercise as a tool for punishing yourself, you make space for physical activity that feels good to you. When you go for a walk, focus on how alive it makes you feel.
Honour your health - Strive for progress over perfection. One snack or one meal won’t make or break your health. Honour yourself by choosing nutrient dense foods that taste good and make you feel good.