Intuitive Eating is a term that was created by 2 US-based dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. The idea is to abandon the idea of dieting altogether and take a long-term, rational view towards food and nourishment. It is a term you will see thrown about the media as an opposite to counting to macros. There are pros and there are cons to this method as with everything else, but what I want you to take away from this post is why it might be beneficial to you and why I do it.
From a more personal perspective I see intuitive eating as a lifestyle habit that takes the pressure away from eating and food. We were never meant to diet, food is meant to be enjoyed and there should be no guilt attached to it. I know plenty of people that count macros and are ok with it and this is not a dig at them or that lifestyle. However I also know many (including myself) where this becomes obsessive and controls your life trying to hit targets and live by numbers.
The pros of intuitive eating
You become more in tune with your body and are aware of hunger signals. You start to be a bit more mindful about meals and understand what works for you.
There is more freedom to choose foods based on taste, likes, nourishment and health. There are no limitations or restrictions, I think it creates more of a sense of balance. Because you are eating foods you want it means you can be more social, have not so nourishing foods sometimes and it all be ok. You can get more creative with your meals and enjoy cooking rather than it be a mathematical game.
It is a standard way of eating and it was what we had growing up before diets and prep ever came into the picture. There shouldn't be a pressure with it as you become more in tune with your body.
The cons of intuitive eating
There can be a tendency for some to develop a f*@k it mentality and eat whatever they feel like and while I'm all for enjoying your foods you still need to think about your health. Everything in moderation therefore even though you don't want to be restrictive there should be some element of control.
Omission of certain food groups - no matter what way of eating you follow there should always be a balance of macro (carbs, protein, fats) and micro (vitamins, minerals, fibre) nutrients in your diet as well as a variety of foods.
I personally believe the cons can be overcome with simple knowledge and learning about the foods you are eating. I feel that sometimes we are dictated when we should and shouldn't eat and at times this is out of our control e.g. lunch breaks. BUT when it comes to your choice food is there to fuel the body, help the body grow, look after the body and to be enjoyed. No app or plan should take over that from you.
Simply put we should eat when we are hungry and stop when we are full. Food is there to nourish the body and nourish the soul, so instead of being scared of certain foods or limit yourself listen to your body and eat accordingly.
NOW even though I have written all of the above I now want to say something that pretty much contradicts it ... JUST EAT DON'T LABEL IT!
Yes you might be following a plant based diet or eating clean or flexible dieting or paleo or so on but why do we need to attach labels to everything. There might be ethical, environmental, health or religious reasons behind why you eat the way you do and that is absolutely fine but we are all so caught up in having to fit in a group when in reality its just eating. The best thing you can do is eat in the way that works for you on all possible levels and makes you a happier, healthier person in the long run.
Love Vicki xxx
If you have any questions to do with this post of nutrition in general I am more than happy to help given my experience and knowledge however I am not a qualified nutritionist or dietitian. Therefore seek their advice for more specific questions or I will refer you onto someone I feel can help more