Friday, September 18, 2009

Intuitive nutrition (eating) -- the universal key to healthy weight for life. Part 2. Philosophy.

18 September 2009

Hi there! It's me Svetlana. Continuing on the topic of intuitive eating.

Intuitive eating (or intuitive nutrition) is an approach to nutrition that is very different from traditional eating habits. Why do we eat? This simple question, if answered honestly, has a very unusual answer. We frequently eat not only when we are hungry, but also because… it’s time to eat (lunchtime equals eating lunch, 6PM calls for a family dinner), or there is an emotional impulse to eat. Tired, frustrated, sad, nervous, bored, angry… All of the above emotions can trigger food cravings when we are not truly hungry. When the body gets food it does not really need, it stores it in the form of fat. We grow fat. We spoke about this in the previous post.

Intuitive nutrition philosophy, on the other hand, involves recognizing the signals body sends out regarding what and when to eat. By paying close attention to the natural cycle of hunger, it is possible to achieve and maintain a healthy weight without obsessive calorie counting or constant hunger due to a strict diet plan. Intuitive nutrition coaches do not tell you what to eat or when to have your meals scheduled. They let you find your own answers by listening to your own body. Relying on your own body’s wisdom each person who practices intuitive nutrition can develop her unique formula for healthy eating habits and healthy weight maintenance.

While there is some debate on the exact origins of the concept of intuitive eating, the actual term can be traced to a nutrition guideline published in 1995, bearing the term as the title for the work. The two authors, Evelyn Trible and Elyse Resch, did not claim to have invented this novel approach to eating and nutrition. In fact, the general idea of intuitive eating can be seen in nutrition materials as far back as the 1970’s. Some researchers have indicated their belief that the basics of intuitive eating go back for thousands of years and can be found in many different cultures.

In general, intuitive eating is about creating a healthy relationship with food. Rather than using food as comfort as is the case with emotional eating food is seen simply as fuel. The understanding is that the body will send subtle signals regarding what type of fuel is needed at any given time. With intuitive eating, no food is off limits. However, most proponents of intuitive eating do encourage savoring each bite. By taking time to enjoy the food as it is consumed, it is easier to recognize when the body has received sufficient nourishment without overindulging.

Intuitive eating also precludes the idea of setting a rigid schedule for daily food consumption. This means that the intuitive eater is likely to engage in consuming small amounts of food throughout the day, rather than sitting down to three meals at set times. Because intuitive eating is physical eating conducted for the express purpose of responding to the body’s natural cycle, each individual will choose to eat at different times of the day.

There is no question in my mind that ALL diets in the world ever invented can be summarized in several fundamental principles. Following these several principles one can maintain healthy weight forever without worrying about following constraining rules of various diet regimens or eliminating scores of favorite foods from the ration. As a cardiologist with many years of reading medical literature, analyzing healthy life style perks, and advising my patients on healthy eating habits, ideal BMI, and exercise programs; as a woman who is appearance-conscious, I “swallowed and digested” enormous bulk of information regarding weight loss and maintenance. In my opinion this gives me enough credibility to talk about the subject. In this section o the blog I would like to share with you several fundamental principles of dieting in general, not any specific diet, by following which one makes life-long changes in approach to food, and these changes inevitably lead to weight loss and maintenance.

But this is for the next time... Keep reading!


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