It’s undeniable that our diets play a huge role in our skin’s health and appearance. The old saying ‘You are what you eat’ is something that all Nutritionists and Dermatologists will agree on. That’s why it’s so important to ensure you’re eating a balanced diet. There are so many eating plans and diets circulating the internet at the moment which can be confusing, and with the kitchen cupboard just a few footsteps away while we work from home, snacking, and over-eating can lead to major food guilt.
To counter this, intuitive eating is a popular wellness trend helping people improve their relationship with food and look at their meal plans as a lifestyle choice, rather than a weight loss or weight gain plan.
Intuitive eating really is quite a simple concept. Rather than writing out a strict plan with specific macro nutrient counts, scheduled meal times and restrictive portions, intuitive eating encourages you to eat only when your body is asking for food i.e. actually letting yourself feel hunger between meals.
Of course, it’s best to stick to fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fatty fish, but an important aspect of intuitive eating is that you stop yourself from thinking you can never have a sugary and carb heavy treat.
As adults we become conditioned to think we constantly need to be fuelling our bodies and eat at designated times. Work routines often don’t help by prompting us to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same times each day, often with small snacks in between, whether we’re really hungry or not.
Intuitive eating helps us to break this cycle of eating and can also help you to better manage portion sizes. In encouraging you to only eat when you’re really hungry, you also teach yourself to stop when you’re full.
If you find that after a week of a following a healthy diet you can’t help but let loose and binge on the weekends, intuitive eating can help you to control that bingeing both through a better ability to manage your portion sizes and the mindset that no foods are explicitly prohibited from your diet. If you let yourself have a cookie when you’re really craving one, you won’t find you need to finish the whole packet when you crack it open after a sugar-free week.
Simple tips to practice intuitive eating…
- Before you pick up something to eat, consider whether you’re just thirsty and have a glass of water first.
- Try to be aware of why you’re eating. Ask yourself if you actually feel hunger or if there’s another reason such as boredom or unstable emotions.
- Rate your hunger from a scale of 1 to 10 before each meal. If you’re below a 7-8, have some water and delay your meal for around 30mins.
- Eat slowly and really enjoy your meals. Your body takes around 20mins to realise it’s full so the slower you eat, the more chance you have of stopping your meal before you reach that ‘stuffed’ feeling.
Main image via @bellahadid