Saturday, September 19, 2009

Intuitive nutrition-- the universal key to healthy weight for life. Part 3. Stay connected to your body. Honor its needs.

19 September 2009

Hi there! This is me Svetlana. Let's keep going.

So, if you are like me, who likes freedom of choices and liberty of making decisions, wants a hint of structure, and hates putting my hard earned money into somebody’s pocket – you are my girl. If you are like me, attentive to your body, motivated, curious, practical, and a little stingy, you would do what I do: intuitive nutrition! Most important: if you respect your body and want to be kind to it, want to take good care of it, to be in touch with it and listen to its signals, follow intuitive nutrition concept. Intuitive nutrition is all you need to achieve and maintain healthy weight. You will be very surprised where this path may take you, and what physical as well as deep psychological discoveries you can make in the process.
 After all, fat deposited on a body is only a reflection of various emotional and psychological problems, a physical manifestation of an internal issue. By digging into yourself and discovering your emotions and what makes you eat (besides hunger), and learning how to manage your unique non-hunger triggers for eating, you inevitably will discover the cure for your extra weight. As a physician I know too well that we should never treat a symptom of a disease, but rather a cause and symptoms will slowly go away.

I can guarantee you that by following a fundamental principle I am about to discuss you can achieve and forever maintain your ideal weight. There are no gimmicks, no games, no money or time involved. A few things you will need: desire to achieve and maintain your ideal body weight, willingness to listen to your own body clues, some will power and discipline for a while, until the process becomes your second nature.

A fundamental principle of intuitive nutrition is staying connected to your body and listening to its clues and needs. Surprisingly, it’s not that easy. After years of abusing and neglecting our bodies and stuffing them with colossal amounts of food we forgot how to be in touch with them. Think of a child: if they are not hungry they would not eat a single extra bite. We adults completely lost this ability and eat while not being hungry all the time. We eat out of boredom, eat to keep company, eat because it’s time to eat. We eat when we are upset, angry, frustrated, tired, cheated on. Sometimes we even don’t know why we eat. We just do. We would sit and watch TV, or read a book, and just chew and chew, and chew. We eat junk and eating a lot of it. We engulf chips, dips, nuts, cheeses, pretzels, and ice cream in epic proportions. A calorie count? What calorie count? You must be kidding! Seriously, if our dead ancestors were able to watch us eat, it would scare a bejesus out of them: they would think for sure this generation is not going to survive. By following principles of intuitive nutrition, we can “reset” our normal hunger-satiety alarm and achieve reduction of consumed calories and weight loss. No diet can substitute for the wisdom of your own body. Once you start feeling connected to your body and able to listen to its wisdom consistently, it will be time to concentrate on exercise which will help weight loss and maintenance even further. I dedicated a separate chapter in this book to a basic approach to exercise for a person who is busy and out of shape.

Intuitive nutrition uses only one eating tool: your smart body. What I am going to say now is elementary but we have to beat it to death to get where we want to get. Your body needs fuel to function, and this fuel is food. When a person eats more fuel than her body needs to function, all extra calories deposit as FAT. This fat is meant to be used for fuel during times when food is not available. If food is always available, body does not need to reserve to fat deposits, so it just stays there. With time more and more fat accumulates on your body. The only reason you are overweight because you EAT MORE THAN YOUR BODY NEEDS FOR FUEL. But why do we overeat in a first place? There are several reasons we overeat.

The body is primal. It does not know you live in 21st century with cars and supermarkets. It still thinks you live in a cave wrapped in animal skins, with food available only occasionally (when tribal hunters kill a mammoth). Thus it would store every bit of extra calories that are not used for fuel to function in a form of ugly body FAT. It’s sad enough that all millions of years of human civilization could not trick our bodies into not doing this. Basic survival principle, it’s all it is. Even sadder is the fact that by periodic food deprivations and restrictive diets we make our own bodies think food is scarce and it has to store more fat emergently! On top of that, when body is starving, it can not be reasoned to eat slowly and selectively. Out of the same primal self-preservation instinct, the body will swallow and devour as much food in a short period of time as it can. The body thinks: what if this is all I am going to have for a while? If you keep ignoring your body hunger signals, the urge to eat becomes unbearable: your body’s job is to keep you from starving! You end up eating much more than your body needs for fuel. Denial of the hunger signals leads to denial of the full signals, and you binge.

Because your body is primal, it possesses uncanny ability to conserve energy and slow down metabolism, holding on to fat; if it thinks the food is scarce (i.e. you are on a strict diet). Have you noticed that when you follow a strict diet, after a period of some weight loss it reaches a plateau which is very difficult to break? This happens because of the primal body after facing too little food turns into a cave dweller and conserves every little amount of energy in order to survive. Metabolism slows down to conserve energy stored in fat tissues, so it lasts longer. If there is a reasonable amount of food around, there is no need for the body to hold on to every gram of fat, the metabolism increases, and weight comes off easier. So, the paradoxical reason number one we overeat is that we EAT TOO LITTLE!

Keep reading, more stuff is coming soon.

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