• Malisa Vincenti

Intuitive Eating - What does that Really Mean?

Updated: Feb 8

We live in a world where diet culture is engrained in our psyches. We are bombarded by the marketing of diet plans that offer a quick fix for reaching that perfect weight. How are we able to break through all of this noise to truly hear what our body is asking for.

What if we listened to our bodies?

Intuitive eating is the practice of really listening and trusting that your body will tell you exactly what you need. Your body knows what it needs and will naturally gravitate towards the foods that nourish it. Intuitive eating is a process that becomes stronger the more balanced and in flow you are holistically.

Will you lose weight? Maybe. Will you [gasp!] gain weight? Possibly. Will you stop judging every bite of food that you put in your mouth and stop labeling all food as good or bad? Absolutely. Is peace of mind worth it? Often when we tell ourselves we can't have something, that's when you want it the most. The key is to allow yourself to listen to your body because your body innately knows what it needs. The first step is to get in tuned with yourself. That means working to decondition all of the programming that's been ingrained in all of us through our culture, the media, maybe our families. Start with doing some self care. Integrating a meditation practice, learning more about nutrition - read a book, take a course. Do things that inspire you, unlock your creativity. When you are more in tuned with your inner voice, you can better hear and understand what your body needs nutritionally, emotionally and spiritually. Understand that this is a process, and not something that will happen overnight. Your health is a journey, not a destination.

Connecting with your Intuition

Clarity is difficult when life goes so fast, and we are surrounded by so much conflicting information about nutrition, exercise and health. We have to understand that there is no quick fix, no magic pill, no one-size-fits all solution to anything health related. We are all unique individuals with unique constitutions and varying life situations. What works for one person, may not work for another. So it' about being open to exploring what works for you.

Baby Steps

When your life is out of balance, and your dealing with toxic relationships or a career going no where, or you're just inundated with a never-ending to-do list, it's hard to take the time to implement some self care. To create any habit, start with baby steps. Start with the tiniest thing that you can do to get you towards your goal of taking better care of your body, mind and spirit.

What's one thing you can do to eat more vegetables? When you plate your food, plate your vegetables first. Be sure that your plate is at least 1/2 vegetables. Take that one small step to get more vegetables into your diet. Maybe you want to start a meditation practice, but are so busy that you don't know when you can possible get 20 minutes in. Integrate a few minutes of meditation with something else that you do every day. For example, in the morning, while you're waiting for your coffee to brew, sit down and take a few minutes to sit quietly and focus on your breath. Or when you are in the shower, take a few minutes to just be present and focus on breath. One thousand baby steps toward your goal, is better than no steps at all.

Intuitive Eating

Ever notice that in the winter, you want to eat more warming, comforting foods - soups, winter squashes, a big bowl of mac n cheese. In the summer, those foods become lighter, and more fresh - fruit, salads, maybe fish or seafood. That is because your body adapts to the change in seasons and you begin to want the appropriate food for that season. The same can be true when with other foods. As I have spent the last few years getting more in tuned with my body nutritionally, I will find that my diet will be very balanced, as long as I keep my life balanced. I do notice that when I don't get enough sleep or when I am really stressed, I crave more carbs.

The key to intuitive eating is self awareness, self care and staying in balance as much as possible so that you can hear and understand what your body needs. You innately know what you need to be healthy, you just have to listen.



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