By Jennifer Smith, Natural Medicine Practitioner and Certified in Holistic Nutrition
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People are often under this misconception that the intuitive eating approach is just perpetuating obesity and unhealthy lifestyles, and just causing people to eat nothing but Oreo cookies and McDonald’s. While it is true that many people eat foods they previously thought of as off-limits, they also eat a lot of nourishing food as well.
Intuitive eating is not a free-for-all where you eat whatever you want, in whatever quantity, regardless of how it makes you feel. It is all about honoring your hunger, trusting your body, and eating to fuel and nourish your body.
Here are some ways that the intuitive eating approach works, and can help you be the healthiest you have ever been.
To start with, you are able to relieve a lot of stress and frustration in your life when you begin intuitive eating. Think about how much time you spend thinking about food, researching diets, trying to plan your life around healthy meals, and the stress that comes from fear of hunger, binge and restrict cycles, and an obsession with how you look.
SO much of this is alleviated when you begin eating intuitively. All you have to do is follow your body’s cues, whether it means you are craving a juicy steak, or you are feeling like eating a big salad.
You will also have a lot more free time when you aren’t thinking about food. Intuitive eating helps you stop obsessing about every single thing you consume. Food just becomes food. It becomes a way to fuel your body, to nourish it with nutrients, to feel satisfied and happy. When you get to this point, you start noticing when you are actually hungry and when you are full, and are able to discover the foods you love.
This is a big deal for chronic dieters, people with disordered eating and eating disorders, and anyone who feels out of control around food. If you fear food, are afraid of sugar and fat, and think carbs are coming for you, then intuitive eating is the best option for you. In the beginning, it can be scary, but if you follow through with it, you will start to notice when you stop binging, and are able to just eat and not worry about it.
Feel like you will always crave chocolate chip cookies or salty snacks forever? First of all, there is nothing wrong with these foods. Second, you will notice that you don’t experience these intense cravings that seem to consume your mind. When you do have a craving, you will eat that thing to satisfy it, then move on. But you also understand when a craving is physical, or if it is an emotional pull from a history of restrictions. That is the beauty of intuitive eating.
Jennifer Smith, BA, NMP, CHN, FBCC
Jennifer Smith is a Natural Medicine Practitioner, Holistic Nutrition Practitioner, and Faith-Based Clinical Counselor. She has a Bachelor's degree in Christian Counseling. She has completed advanced training in Functional Nutrition, Functional Medicine, Natural Health Consultant diploma, Biblical natural medicine, and Biblical Eating and Clinical Nutrition. Jennifer has a virtual Natural Medicine practice in Naples, FL called Fx Remedies Virtual Care.
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