Intuitive Eating: Learning To Trust Your Body’s Natural Signals To Guide Healthy Eating Habits

Intuitive eating is an approach to eating that involves paying attention to your body’s natural hunger and fullness signals, rather than following strict diets or counting calories. It is based on the principle of trusting your body to tell you what it needs, rather than relying on external cues such as meal plans or food rules.

Recent research has suggested that aligning intuitive eating with our circadian rhythm may have significant health benefits. Here’s how you can integrate these two concepts to improve your overall health.

Understand Intuitive Eating 

Intuitive eating is about listening to your body’s natural cues and honoring your hunger and fullness. It involves recognizing and responding to your body’s signals, such as hunger, fullness, and cravings. You also need to practice self-compassion and let go of food guilt, while focusing on nourishing your body with a variety of foods.

Intuitive eating consists of 10 principles, which Includes:

Reject the diet mentality: Let go of the idea that there is a “perfect” diet or that you need to constantly restrict or monitor your food intake in order to be healthy.
Honour your hunger: Learn to recognize your body’s signals of hunger and respond to them in a timely and appropriate manner.
Make peace with food: Give yourself permission to eat all foods without guilt or shame and recognize that no food is inherently “good” or “bad.”
Challenge the food police: Stop judging yourself or others for their food choices, and instead focus on creating a positive and accepting relationship with food.
Respect your fullness: Learn to recognize when you are comfortably full and stop eating at that point, rather than continuing to eat out of habit or emotional reasons.
Discover the satisfaction factor: Enjoy the taste, texture, and experience of eating, and focus on finding pleasure and satisfaction in your meals.
Honour your feelings without using food: Recognize and address your emotional needs without turning to food as a coping mechanism.
Respect your body: Appreciate and accept your body for its unique shape and size and make choices that support its health and well-being.
Exercise and feel the difference: Move your body in ways that feel good and enjoyable, rather than as a means of burning calories or achieving a certain body shape.
Honour your health: Make food choices that prioritize your overall health and well-being, while also allowing for flexibility and enjoyment.

How To Incorporate Intuitive Eating Into Everyday Life

Intuitive eating encourages you to enjoy all types of food without judgment while taking care to understand how your body reacts to different foods. This approach emphasizes the importance of your personal experience with food, rather than relying on external rules or expectations.

Integrating intuitive eating with circadian rhythm involves paying attention to your body’s natural cues while also respecting the timing of your meals. Here are some tips on how to do that:

Eat a balanced breakfast: Consuming a nutritious breakfast that includes protein, fiber, and healthy fats can help jumpstart your metabolism and regulate your appetite for the rest of the day.
Eat more during the day and less at night: Aim to consume the majority of your calories during the daytime hours when your body’s metabolic rate is naturally higher, and avoid eating large meals or snacks late at night.
Pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues: Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are comfortably full, rather than relying on external cues such as time of day or social situations.
Avoid skipping meals: Irregular eating patterns, such as skipping meals or consuming large meals infrequently, can disrupt your circadian rhythm and affect your metabolism.
Be Mindful of What You Eat 

In conclusion, integrating intuitive eating with circadian rhythm can help you develop a healthier relationship with food and improve your overall well-being by listening to your body’s internal cues.



The article is contributed by Dr. Narendra Shetty, Chief Wellness Officer, Kshemavana. 

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