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The Rise Of Intuitive Eating

Have you longed for an approach to health & wellness without any strict diets, meal plans, or strong willpower?

Do you want to keep healthy by getting in touch with your body and listening to the cues of your body – when it’s hungry, full or satisfied?

If you answered ‘yes’ to the above, let us introduce to you intuitive eating!

What is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive eating is about connecting with your body, understanding and listening to your body in terms of when it’s hungry or full, and in terms of what works for your body. It’s about trusting your body around food again. It is also about further exploring and understanding our relationship with food.

The great thing is we are all naturally intuitive eaters; currently many have lost touch with our bodies due to restrictions and influences around food. 

When we were babies we didn’t eat all the time, we listened to our bodies’ cues. We cried when we were hungry and stopped eating when we were satisfied. When we were toddlers and kids too we were eating intuitively. We sometimes didn’t eat a particular food on the plate or ate more of something else. Sadly, we were taught that we had to finish all the foods on our plate and desserts were seen as a reward. We were taught that foods are not equal, some were good whilst others were bad. 

That is intuitive eating! It’s about eating based on what your body needs, internal hunger and satiety signals, stress levels, energy levels, mental clarity, and trusting your body to tell you exactly what you need and how much. All foods are seen as necessary depending on what our body requires. It’s about knowing when to eat fruits and vegetables or the desserts and not feeling guilty or worried about it. 

The great thing about intuitive eating is that there is no overeating as our bodies naturally tell us to stop eating when we’ve reached a level of satisfaction. With intuitive eating, we must really connect with our bodies and understand that not all ‘superfoods’ are good for us, and sometimes we may need the ‘bad’ food too.          

Intuitive eating also means exercising when you feel your body needs to move. It’s about being wholesome, physically and mentally. 

Respect Your Body

It is not difficult to start eating intuitively but the main thing is you must RESPECT your body. Your body is a temple and you must care for it both physically and mentally, and treat it with kindness and compassion. Respecting your body doesn’t start when you feel good about your body; it starts when you realize your worth as a person is inherent and everlasting. 

All the best with connecting to your body and tuning in to your intuition for your health and wellness.

DASH Diet Vs. 8-A-Day

We have been exposed to various diets since the dawn of time. From the very famous Atkins diet, Dukan diet, Mediterranean diet, Paleo diet, 17-day diet, keto diet, and now the very recent DASH diet. 

What is the DASH Diet?

The DASH diet, gaining popularity now, was founded in the 1990s. Unlike other diets, it was created not for weight loss. The goal was to reduce blood pressure. In fact, DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

The DASH diet instructs to eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, complex carbohydrates are fully embraced, lean meats and low-fat dairy in moderation, and nuts and seeds are recommended two to three times a week. All of these, of course, with low sodium. This could present as a risk as our body needs sodium in moderation to function.

The following foods however are off-limits:

  • Bacon
  • Lamb
  • Beef
  • Fried foods
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Lard
  • Margarine

However, like most diets, once the goal has been achieved, we will revert to our old ways, hence making diets unsustainable.

Instead of diets, eating healthy should be a way of life. Here’s how we can incorporate eating healthy everyday without being ‘burnt-out’.

Just Have Your 8-A-Day

The idea is simple! Ensure that you have these foods daily, in moderation, and you can still enjoy your meats and decadent desserts when you wish too. Just ensure ALL IN MODERATION.

After all, wellness doesn’t only include physical well-being, it also includes mental well-being.

Instead of diets, adopt healthy eating habits and savour your guilty pleasures once-off, all in the name of moderation.

Tips to Help You Stay on Your Wellness Journey

Embarking on a wellness journey, from weight loss, caffeine reduction, to digital detox, can be daunting. We may be placing too much pressure on ourselves to achieve our goals!

Staying motivated to stay on the journey can be a challenge. There may be days when we feel we are on the right path and excelling, but there may be days when we just want to give up! 

Here are some tips and tricks to help you stay on your wellness journey:

Write down your goals/ wellness wishes

The first step to committing to any goals is writing them down. When you write down your goals or wishes, you are bringing them to life as you are able to visualise them. When you are able to visualise your goals, your mindset and actions will change to support you on your journey.

Get support

Whatever your journey may be, when you surround yourself with people on a similar journey, it becomes much easier to motivate yourself and each other to stay on track on the wellness journey. It can be anyone in your household, to friends or colleagues! If there’s no one physically near you, then social media is an amazing platform to find support groups to keep you on track and it also helps with making you feel less alone. Another benefit of being part of a support group, it’s a great place to learn from one and to get better clarity if you are confused or unsure.

Accept you may have ‘off days’

When we start on a journey, we must accept that there will be ‘off days’. There may be days where we totally fall off the bandwagon. What is most important is that we accept them as learning experiences to improve ourselves for the future instead of calling them failures. If you have a setback one day, learn from it and restart the next day. By accepting your ‘off days’ you will further motivate yourself to stay on track.

Reward yourself

Since young, we have been conditioned that for every good deed done, we will be rewarded. This conditioning still holds true even as we age. Reward yourself for each time you achieve a milestone. For example, buying a new outfit when you’ve lost 5 pounds, getting your favourite dessert after you have completed a 10km run, or a massage after completing an hour of resistance training. Another trick that helps is the 80:20 rule. Make sure you are on your journey for 80% of the time, and 20% of the time, your ‘reward time’. By rewarding yourself, you recognise your achievements. Recognising your achievements will further motivate you to stay on track and it may further accelerate you to achieving your goals. 

Eventually, you wouldn’t need to reward yourself as the healthy habits you are instilling will be part of you, becoming part of your natural daily habits, and if you miss them for a day, you’ll feel like there’s something wrong. 

Focus on the journey

Last, but not the least, always focus on the journey or the process, not the goal. Enjoy the journey and express gratitude for the experience gained. This is true for everything in life, be it at work, school, or your wellness journey! Focusing on the goal or the outcome is tiring, mentally and emotionally, it may lead to burnout. Each time you feel like you have lost motivation, look at your journal, take note of the journey taken, and how far along you are. Celebrate the small victories! When you focus on the journey or the process, you will acknowledge how much has changed and it will make the journey much more motivating and enjoyable. 

One extra and very important tip to add, be kind, compassionate, and patient with yourself. You are your biggest motivator and you must watch the way you speak to yourself. Speak to yourself the way you would to your loved ones!