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Intuitive eating

Learn the ten principles of intuitive eating (Opinion)

Friday, February 18, 2011 by: Elizabeth Walling
Tags: intuitive eating, principles, health news

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(NewsTarget) Intuitive eating is a process that helps you learn how to listen to your body`s cues for hunger and satisfaction. Basically, it means eating when your are hungry and then stopping when you are full. But it also means enjoying food without feeling deprived or guilty.

Developed by dietician Evelyn Tribole and nutrition therapist Elyse Resh, intuitive eating teaches people to create a healthier relationship between their minds, bodies, and the food they eat. It is based on studies of the eating habits of children, who seem better able to regulate their eating habits in a healthy manner.

Tribole and Resh have developed ten principles for intuitive eating:

1. Reject the diet mentality. Get rid of diet books. Abandon the idea that new diets will work and instead rediscover the body`s true need for nourishment.

2. Honor hunger by responding to the body`s first signal that it needs fuel. Once identified, hunger should be sated with the right foods, allowing the mind to rebuild a sense of trust between itself and food.

3. Make peace with food. It`s okay to eat any food that is desired. Depriving oneself of a particular food leads to cravings that bring on overeating and, subsequently, guilt that destroys any trust you`ve developed between you and your body.

4. Challenge the food police inside your mind. These internal monitors are the ones that make you feel like a bad person for eating certain foods. Food police actually do more harm than good, generating a never ending cycle of cravings and guilt.

5. Respect your fullness. That means listening to the body`s signals that indicate it`s no longer hungry. This takes time to develop and works best when you slow down and eat mindfully.

6. Discover your satisfaction factor. Choose foods that you truly enjoy eating, and eat them in a pleasant environment (no standing in front of the refrigerator eating food right out of the container). This satisfying experience allows one to recognize when one has eaten enough.

7. Honor your feelings without using food as your sole device of comfort. If food is the only way you comfort yourself when you experience negative emotions, then your relationship with food will be distorted. Find a variety of ways to deal with your emotions to prevent you from using food as a crutch.

8. Respect your body. Each person has her own genetic disposition to size and shape. Accepting what cannot be changed will make a person more successful at managing food intake. Hating your body is a stress that will impact your appetite and your health in a negative way.

9. Exercise and feel its effects. People who focus on how their bodies move instead of on burning calories will be more motivated to keep moving. Learn to enjoy being active because it makes you feel strong, free and energetic. Forced exercise is not the answer, but the desire to move is instinctual and will return naturally when you allow yourself to feel it without pressure.

10. Honor your health with gentle nutrition. It`s okay to learn about nutrition and allow this to affect your food choices. However, it`s important to avoid the obsession of trying to follow a perfect diet. Perfection will not result in true health. Instead, keep in mind that balance is a vital key to healthy living.

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About the author

Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more:

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