March 04, 2019 7 min read

Imagine a diet where you have free reign on what you want to eat and how much you want to eat. Sounds like a dream, right? It’s not. It’s called Intuitive Diet.

What Is The Intuitive Diet?

The Intuitive Diet is actually an anti-diet. While most diets restrict you from eating certain food items or requires you to count your calories and your macros, the Intuitive Diet is about letting yourself enjoy your food without guilt. But how can you go on a diet that allows you to eat everything and have your fill for as much as you want?

The reality is, going into various types of diets may have actually destroyed your body’s capacity to recognizetrue hunger as well as our body’s triggers for satiation, desire for certain types of food, and the desire to reduce food intake as necessary. Our bodies have the natural capacity to determine when we should eat and how much we should eat but because of how society has grown to treat food, this natural knowledge about our own and personal relationship with food and nutrition has changed overtime. As kids, we have the tendency to lean towards certain types of food and we also felt different degrees of hunger and satiation. But because we have grown accustomed to finishing what’s on our plate or following diet plans with the intention of losing weight, our body’s own balancing system has gone haywire.

Different diet plans have different approaches which may not necessarily be the perfect fit for you

This is exactly what the Intuitive Diet would like to resolve. It wants our body to reconnect and be balanced once again so that we can enjoy food and not feel restricted by it.

Main Diet Guidelines

Although it’s an anti-diet, there are some things that you have to keep in mind in order to rid of yourself of the diet mentality. These are the things that restrict and limit you which could possibly be causing you to miss out on the right things that you can be and should be doing for your body.

Reject The Diet Mentality- focusing instead on keeping yourself healthy by choosing to be less stressed and more happy may help in breaking free from the bonds that diets hold on you. Choosing to reject the idea that there are any good diets out there helps you realize that your health is dependent on you and in your [natural] choices which are better suited for your own personal needs. Going on a specific regimented diet is not sustainable for a lot of people and this leads them to lose weight only to gain it all back once they quit the diet itself.

Breaking free from the bonds of diet restriction can lead to healthier eating patterns

See all healthy and natural food items as a source of nutrition and not as an enemy that's out to get you

Know when you're truly hungry and eat when you are. Nourishing your body should be your top priority

Knowing your satiation point will help you reach your fitness goal better and in a sustainable manner

Make Peace With Food- when you allow yourself to see food without boxing them into certain categories such as good or bad, you are able to see them for what they are - a source of energy and nutrition. It is only when you have made peace with food and have acknowledged that they are present in this world to provide something for those who need them, or even just want them, you are able to fend off the feelings of wanting to indulge on them. You are able to consider whether you really need this food right now or if it can wait until you truly need it. In short, you’re able to control when you eat and what you eat more efficiently.

Honor Your Hunger- recognizing hunger cues and knowing when you feel hungry and when you feel full are crucial in making sure that you have enough calories to help get you through the day. It also means that you are able to avoid binge eating and overeating because your body does not feel deprived of the food that it knows it needs. Rebuilding your connection with food and the cues that you get from them helps in making your own eating patterns healthier.

Recognize Your Limit -as is emphasized in most of the initial guidelines, knowing and recognizing when you are full or satiated is just as important as knowing when you are truly hungry. It keeps you in check and it is the natural limit that your body imposes on you regarding the amount of food that you are allowed to eat.

Discover Your Satisfaction Factor- eating just for the sake of eating without considering what you really need and want can lead you to overeat. Why? Because you were not able to satisfy your satisfaction meter when it comes to the amount and kind of food that you would like to eat. Eating in an environment conducive for eating not only helps you appreciate food more, it also helps you feel more in-tune with the satisfaction that you are likely to get from the food that you are eating.

Challenge Your Inner Food Police- you know how your brain automatically praises you for eating a salad and then makes you feel guilty for having a slice of chocolate cake? Yes, that’s your brain telling you when you’ve been naughty or nice and you have to stop that. Why? Because it hinders you from receiving the grace that comes with the food you eat and makes you want to not eat it now only to give in to the craving much later and ending up overeating because you feel deprived. Instead, have a healthy outlook on food and pat yourself on the back for recognizing when you’ve had enough of something. That’s the healthier approach to eating - knowing when it’s time to stop and stopping when you feel that you have to.

Making sure that your hunger is satisfied with nutrient-rich food is the best way of preventing overeating

Recognizing that you've had enough and appreciating the food you ate leaves you feeling more satisfied and full

Address your emotions through actions, not through food

Respecting your own body's needs, even if it does not conform to the standards set by other people, is crucial in maintaining a healthy lifestyle

Address Your Emotions Sans Food- emotional eating is a real thing. However, food is not the solution for your emotional woes. Choosing to actively address the reason for your emotions feeling the way it does helps curb the unhealthy side of eating, i.e. overeating and binging. Finding another outlet for your frustrations, for your feelings, that is not food-related is in fact healthier for you in the long term.

Respect Your Body- accepting your genetic blueprint and being comfortable with it is one of the things that this diet would like you to develop. The diet is not meant to make you lose weight drastically and it suggests that you eat according to your needs so that you can be healthy and stay healthy. Accepting the limitations of your body in terms of weight loss and weight gain, and being happy with the body that you have is crucial in having a positive and healthy outlook on food and on your eating patterns.

Workout Sustainably- working out is not just meant to burn off calories. Working out regularly actually hasbenefits that go far and beyond just losing weight. Working out helps you control your hunger by making you more aware of your body and its needs, and it also helps you know your body’s specific cues for being tired, for needing rest, and for needing food. Working out regulates the hormones in your body and keeps you feeling more balanced, and that’s something that you need in order to be able to really develop a healthy lifestyle.

Choosing a workout that matches you to a tee is the best way of incorporating an active lifestyle into your daily agenda

Allowing yourself to eat and thrive on the food that you enjoy and that are healthy for you helps you honor your body's needs more accurately

Honor Your Health- being allowed to eat anything does not mean that you will let go and eat just about anything. It simply means that you recognize that food is available for you and you can have them if you want to but you recognize their role in keeping you healthy and strong which is why you will only eat what you need and not more than that. You also recognize that the main role of food is to provide you nutrition which is why you crave for certain types of food. Appreciating the giving nature of food helps you in choosing which food to truly indulge in and which ones you can wait for.

Should You Go Back To Your Roots?

Retuning your body to its own rhythm is always a good thing. Knowing how to heed the signals that your body sends you is very important in making sure that its needs are met while at the same time, keeping you healthily fulfilled with the food that you are eating. You are also able to take a more proactive approach to your lifestyle choices and your eating patterns because you no longer feel restricted and now have the capability to choose which ones to go for and which ones are truly beneficial for you based on your own assessment that comes from the signals that your own body is sending you. Having that control and knowing that you have that control is very important in making consistent conscious decisions in favor of your health.

Food is not an evil that you need to view as an enemy in your quest to be healthy and fit. It is a companion that keeps you fueled in order to be healthy and strong. Knowing what your body needs and when it needs it is crucial in your quest to being healthy. The Intuitive Diet intends for you to redevelop your sensitivity to your body’s cues and to recognize and address these signals. By creating an eating pattern and a lifestyle that is more suitable to your needs, you are assured that your journey towards living healthily can be more sustainable and one that you can actually continue doing for the long haul.