By Bree D’aleoy
Are you one of the millions of Americans that has fallen victim to a failed fad diet or yo-yo dieting? Unfortunately, fad diets promise quick weight loss through an unhealthy and unsustainable approach. Usually, these diets are not backed by tried and true research, however, they have been followed by a self-proclaimed nutrition or fitness guru who praises the benefits the diet has provided for them. Regardless of the fad diet, individuals usually experience weight gain beyond their starting weight because the diet simply is not sustainable.
Good news is on the horizon, though. The idea of intuitive eating has created a beneficial footprint in nutrition and has prompted a large following. Intuitive eating is a nutrition philosophy that incorporates self-awareness and encourages individuals to make peace with food and to respect their body. Mindfulness - the state of being present in the moment - is the cornerstone of this lifestyle approach. By truly being present in the moment, individuals will become attuned to their body and it’s signals, such as satisfaction ques.
Many benefits follow suit when individuals switch from fad diets to intuitive eating. It’s no longer a temporary diet, rather it’s an advantageous lifestyle change. Psychological benefits include:
- Decreased depression
- Decreased anxiety
- Increased self-esteem
- Improved body image
Of course, this isn’t a lifestyle approach that should be immediately jumped into. It takes practice, and that’s okay. Intuitive eating is meant to guide individuals away from the labels society puts on different foods and to encourage mindfulness. This means honoring your hunger, rejecting the diet mentality, respecting your fullness when eating (it’s okay, the food will be there later if you can’t finish it), eliminating the use of food as emotional therapy, exercising to feel strong and confident, and overall, honoring your health.