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Your Guide to Intuitive Eating

By Emily Lindholm

Most of the diets that are presented to us through media outlets are classified as fad diets. They come, and they go.  They gain quick popularity, they drop off, and then another one presents itself.  Some of them seem very similar, reappearing every few years, but they appear with different names and slightly different rules.  Many people will go from one fad diet to another.  Here's the scoop.  They are not sustainable in the long term.  

Instead of taking on a rigid set of rules and trying to apply that to your lifestyle, try taking an approach that intuitively works for you.  Try an approach that works for your schedule.  Know your goals, but give yourself some wiggle room.  Let's talk about intuitive eating.  

What Is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive eating is an approach to food that has you listening more to your body.  It breaks us away from the on and off again dieting approach, and it brings us in tune with what works for our own bodies.  It's an approach that throws the guilt out of the window and gives us room to have that bowl of ice cream that we can't stop thinking about.  So, how is it done?

 Honor Your Hunger

When you feel hungry, eat!   Many diets are so strict, they leave us feeling hungry at certain parts of the day with very little room to cheat.  Let's just say that eating when you're hungry is not cheating.  You can count it as the act of honoring your body's signals.  The bottom line here is to eat when you're hungry and enjoy it!  

Focus on What Feels Good

Often through dieting, how often do we hear things like, "I'm not supposed to eat that."  It's easy to focus on the things we can't have.  Instead, focus on the foods and the habits that make you feel great.  Focus on the way you feel when you, for example, have juice instead of coffee in the morning.  Connecting with whatever feeling that brings will help attract you to that habit, instead of turn you off by focusing on the negative.  

Make Peace With Your Vices

Perhaps you really love having a bowl of ice cream before bed.  We all have our little habits that are difficult to break.  Instead of rejecting your vices, try putting a new spin on them instead.  If you're having a hard time giving up pasta, keep eating the pasta, but add some spinach to it next time.  As for that bowl of bedtime ice cream, add fruit to it.  Take a different spin on your vices and see what happens.  See your vice as an exploration, not a hindrance.  

Intuitive eating allows us to undo some of the training we have had from fad diets.  The common diet mentality is centered around the words "can't have."  Try Taking on a new thought process around eating instead.  Listen to your body, and focus on what works for you as an individual.  

To learn more about health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Shorewood, Ill.

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