Our body is our greatest counselor, we know that. Actually listening to it and acting on it, isn't that easy. Take food for example, do you really listen to what your body needs? Can you feel it at all? You probably have a craving every now and then, but intuitive eating goes much further than that…
What exactly is intuitive eating? It's about listening to what your body is telling you and letting go of your beliefs about food. Due to the current diet culture, there are many judgments on our food and everything has a 'good' or 'bad' label. Let alone all the rules and regulations of the popular diets. So there is a good chance that you also have a food police in your head who is counting calories or who makes you feel guilty as soon as you have eaten something that had a 'bad' label on it.
How does intuitive eating work?
The body knows exactly what it needs and also knows how to communicate it to you. How? The brain is able to determine what we need based on measurements in the blood, for example more fluids, salts or energy in the form of sugar or fat. The hippocampus creates a craving for a particular food, and the hypothalamus and hippocampus then communicate with each other in many ways to tell you exactly what food you need at that moment.
Intuitive Eating is an evidence-based approach with many physical and psychological health benefits. It teaches people to listen to their bodies again and to act upon to this by only eating in response to hunger and to feel when you are full. In food cravings, a distinction is made between emotional hunger (which arises from stress, fear, or insecurity) and physical hunger. Plus, it's not just what you eat that matters, how you eat is just as important. Eat mindfully, at the right time and in the right environment.
The benefits of intuitive eating:
better relationship with yourself with more love and softness
appreciation for your body
respect for your health
better relationship with food
food becomes more nourishing and enjoyable
more relaxation (mentally and physically)
unhealthy behavior such as binge eating decreases
you achieve a healthy and stable weight
life generally becomes nicer and more pleasant!
Trust your body and intuition, and enjoy nourishing yourself!