Intuitive Eating

Updated: Dec 26, 2021

Intuitive eating? You're probably wondering what "intuitive eating" means. Well, that is exactly what I am about to tell you.

Intuitive eating is listening to, and feeling, exactly what powers and weakens our body during food consumption. It influences us to eat when hungry and be mindful to avoid impulsive and/or emotional eating. Moreover, it allows us to be at peace with, and be mindful of the foods that we consume. Oftentimes, while living in a society such as the United States, we tend to rely on fast food for a plethora of reasons but mainly due to time crunches and unfortunately, that is just a standard way of life here in the States. Societal standards are another factor that may influence what we eat and how we eat. With that being said, many of our bodies are experiencing some imbalances that could negatively impact our daily lives. I'm sure that many of us are experiencing toxin-filled intestinal flora that includes a plethora of toxins caused by unnatural preservatives, phthalates, fillers, and the list goes on! The feeling after eating these types of foods could potentially leave us feeling tired, excessively full/starved, and according to many studies, negatively impact our mood and thought processes. We also tend to rely a lot on unnecessary dieting, but unfortunately, not all diets are going to be productive with our desired outcome.

In addition, food and dieting are not supposed to make you tired unless you are intentionally consuming a natural plant that happens to have factors that are supposed to make you sleepy. Otherwise, food is supposed to give you energy and make you feel rejuvenated. We have become so accustomed to eating these types of foods as a way of life, that we fail to realize that what these foods do to us is not normal and is actually harmful to many aspects of our bodily systems.

We shouldn't overlook or brush off the feeling that we experience after eating. Listening to our body and feeling what it is telling us can be a vital asset to living.

I'd also like to mention, regarding intuitive eating, is being one with the food that we consume. Acknowledge its purpose and what it is meant to do. Do not eat too much or too little.

We should eat with the idea of nourishment. Do not eat because of the desire to lose weight or gain weight at an unhealthily fast pace. Sudden weight gain or weight loss can cause underlying chronic or permanent health issues. Occasionally, we develop unhealthy eating habits such as fad diets that can lead to deficiencies and cause mental distress. I'm not completely against all forms of dieting, but many people have found that some diets simply do not work for them, while it may work for others. Fad diets have caused people to develop body insecurities and body dysmorphias because people tend to become fixated on society's standard of beauty and feel that they have to "look a certain way." If we acknowledge what our body actually needs and listen to it, it will know exactly what to do and subconsciously and involuntarily morph itself into what it is supposed to look and feel like.

I will use myself for example. Recently, within the past year, I found out that I had a gluten sensitivity. For those who are not quite familiar with what gluten actually is, gluten is a protein found in foods and/or beverages that consist of having wheat, barley, and/ or rye. The sensitivity is the body's response to the improper breakdown of gluten during digestion that can cause damage to the digestive system, primarily the small intestines. Prior to my diagnosis of gluten sensitivity, I consumed high carb foods because my metabolism was mesomorphic and more carb efficient, which I learned from a visit with a dietician. Now with counting calories in conjunction with macros, I actually had a very successful weight loss, because my intention was to decrease my BMI to healthy weight status. Despite my successful weight loss, something just felt "off." Although I looked good, I did not actually feel good. Diarrhea and constipation had become a frequent part of my life. Every morning, I either suffered from diarrhea or constipation. This eventually lead to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). This happened for a year before I realized that I needed to make another trip to my provider because it was beginning to affect my daily livelihood. Some mornings, the IBS symptoms would be so intense, that I would often have delays with reporting to work, all because of my gut issues. Prior to my visit with my provider, I allowed this to occur for almost a year, with the assumption that these symptoms were normal. However, I was wrong. My body was literally telling me that entire time, that I should not be consuming these foods. Every day, my body would figuratively shout at me, and tell me that what I was putting into it was not right. If I had listened to my body, I am sure that I would not have developed IBS. Once I did a course correction with my food intake, I began to feel a lot better. The weight stayed off too! I still eat high-carb foods, but I try to avoid anything with wheat, barley, or rye, aka, gluten. It also helped me to limit the number of processed foods that I was previously consuming because many processed foods have gluten in them. With that being said, all I had to do was listen to and feel what my body needs to reach its equilibrium. I feel better than ever!

Ultimately the point of what I am saying in this post is to be intuned with your body and acknowledge what you put into it. Listen to yourself, feel yourself, and simply put, take care of yourself. Only your body knows what it needs. Don't let society determine how you are supposed to look and feel. That determination is only made by your consciousness. Follow your intuition. It will not lead you astray.


OAN: You are probably wondering what would qualify me to speak on this topic. This topic is solely based on personal experience and various studies that I have come across regarding gut health. My background is in Public Health with an emphasis on Community Health. I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietician, therefore I am not qualified to give out medical advice or treatment. This post is for information purposes only. Ultimately, you have the autonomy to make the decision on what is mentioned in this post.

I have also included the references that I used in conjunction with my background, to speak on this topic. For more detailed information regarding this post, please refer to the topics and expand your knowledge from here. The more we learn, the more we will know. Please forgive me for not putting the references in chronological order of mention.


Peace to you!


References:

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2021, April 6). Gluten sensitivity | gluten intolerance. MedlinePlus. Retrieved December 6, 2021, from https://medlineplus.gov/glutensensitivity.html#:~:text=People%20with%20gluten%20sensitivity%20have,They%20include%20tiredness%20and%20stomachaches.


WebMD. (n.d.). How your gut health affects your whole body. WebMD. Retrieved December 6, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/ss/slideshow-how-gut-health-affects-whole-body.


Nazario, B. (2021, March 5). What is intuitive eating? WebMD. Retrieved December 6, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/what-is-intuitive-eating#1.

Herndon, J. (2019, March 8). IBS: Symptoms, causes, diagnosis, triggers, and treatment. Healthline. Retrieved December 6, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/health/irritable-bowel-syndrome.


Herndon, J. (2019, March 8). IBS: Symptoms, causes, diagnosis, triggers, and treatment. Healthline. Retrieved December 6, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/health/irritable-bowel-syndrome.




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