Intuitive Eating: How to Make Peace with Food by Listening to Your Heart

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𝘔𝘪𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘮 𝘛𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘯𝘦𝘳, 𝘊𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘋𝘪𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘵 𝘍𝘪𝘯𝘭𝘦𝘺 𝘏𝘰𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭

Many opportunities for sweet treats arise in our day-to-day activities. Often people can feel derailed from healthy eating habits by having so many temptations around them, viewing these foods as “forbidden” or “bad.”

Intuitive eating allows you to make peace with food, enjoying what you want to eat, and finding balance. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:

Food does not have morals; food is neither good or bad.

 You can eat any food you find satisfying, and as the growing movement within the anti-diet culture would affirm, focusing on intuitive eating concepts can allow one to make peace with food and enjoy all foods.

Intuitive eating can take years of practice and there are several excellent resources for individuals who want to free themselves of a diet mindset. Most notably the book “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.

"Diet" does not mean a food is healthier.

The concern with playing sneaky chef and trying to make favorite dishes “healthy” by swapping ingredients is that it provides a false sense of food's overall nutritional benefit.

Swapping butter for applesauce or using fat free Greek yogurt in baking can be alluring for many who are trying to cut calories. However, food items can become overgrown carbohydrate sources without the physiological satisfaction that is accompanied by eating the original version of a dish.

Decades of research has demonstrated that individuals who consume diet products do not have lower weights or better overall health markers. We are better off eating the real thing and finding a balance of how much we are eating.

This is not to diminish efforts for people who are trying to add more vegetables or whole grains into their diets or have a medical condition that would warrant an alteration of an original favorite. Ideally, alteration would focus on adding ingredients lacking in one's diet versus just lowering the calorie or fat content.

For example, adding cooked spinach to your lasagna or adding more beans in place of meat to your favorite chili recipe can help you eat more vegetables during the day. Both examples could boost a food's nutrient density and improve our heart health.

There is nothing wrong with a daily sweet that you enjoy, learning the concepts of intuitive eating can help you enjoy these items without guilt.