Intuitive eating: Change your relationship with food

Ever heard of intuitive eating and wondered whether it really works? Below are tips on how to eat mindfully and leave those fad diets behind.

What is intuitive eating?

Intuitive eating is basically a non-diet in which you eat what you want, when you want. The idea behind it is that you listen to what your body needs.

You only eat when you’re hungry, you eat whatever you think your body wants and you don’t feel guilty about the foods that you do eat. Intuitive eaters have to retrain their minds and think of food in terms of satisfaction and not based on any strict dieting guidelines.

Reject ‘the diet’ mentality

Instead of trying to limit the number of calories you consume in a day, or restrict certain food groups like most diets, you focus on eating what your body tells you it needs and wants.

Eat when you’re hungry

Stop eating for the sake of eating. Recognise when your body needs food, making sure to stop when you’re full.

View all foods as equals

Disconnect food from all those old diet-based rules and try to see food as food. Forget what is typically good and bad for you and just try and eat in a balanced way.

Respect your fullness

Be completely engaged with your body and recognise when you are full. Accept that your body does not want or need anymore food, even if there is still food left on your plate.

Don’t turn to food for comfort

Only eat when you know your body is actually hungry. Don’t turn to food when you’re feeling sad or bored. Find other ways to make yourself feel better.

Get active

Get moving! Find a way to move your body which you love. Whether you want to try a new sport or maybe take up yoga, being more active will help you feel more energised and positive.

Use your senses

Engage with what you’re eating using each of your 5 senses. Take time to observe the colours on your plate and inhale the aroma. Listen to the crunch as you bite into your apple and feel the texture of your chewy sourdough bread. Using your senses to give you more pleasure from your food will help you to be more satisfied with your meals.

Intuitive eating is harder than it looks. If you’ve had enough of feeling guilty for eating a piece of cake, maybe intuitive eating is for you. Relearn how to fuel your body and respond to your body’s needs and wants accordingly.

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