Saturday, September 19, 2009

Intuitive nutrition-- the universal key to healthy weight for life. Part 4. Basic principles.

19 September 2009

Hi there! This is me Svetlana. In this post I will continue talking about intuitive nutrition-- without a doubt the universal key to healthy weight for life.

The paradoxical reason number two we overeat is that we EAT UNCONSCIOUSLY. Let me explain. Unconscious eating does not mean we consume food in a state of trance, hypnosis, or while asleep or passed out. Well, sort of… Do you know that 99.9% of us treat eating as other regular body functions which do not need thinking? Breathing, passing gas, urinating, yawning, making love, clearing throat, and eating are treated the same way. People just eat. Why?
 Nobody knows why, they just do. Do they enjoy it? No, because they barely notice the process. Do they know they consume thousands of calories without thinking? Not a clue. Are they even hungry? Of course not! How can you possibly be hungry after polishing bags of chips, pretzels and crackers, packs of candy, cans of soda? Who cares about hunger or nutritional value? And then there is lunch time. Listen carefully to this misnomer: lunch time!!!!!! It’s the same time of the day all 6 billion people on this planet eat! Yes, that’s right. It’s TIME to eat. And we join our coworkers for another 1,000 calorie trip to a hamburger joint. This way one can easily consume several thousand calories per day (several times the daily body requirement for fuel). Guess where all the EXTRA calories go, ALL OF THEM?

You are on the right track: they deposit as fat on our bodies! So if you start eating when you are not hungry, how do you know when to stop? The boundaries between hunger and fullness do not exist anymore, so there is a complete disconnection from the body, the perfect setup for chronic overeating. Your body’s opinion is completely ignored, the body is abused. It is just a matter of time before your body will start working out of sink, retaliating for the years of ignorance. So in order to live long and healthy we must stay in touch with our body, treat it well, and respect its opinions.

Basically what you do is use your own body as a tool to determine when and how much you need to eat to satisfy FUEL requirements. Use a HUNGER SCALE. Study an example of a hunger scale below. The goal is to listen to your body signals and eat only in a "grey zone", and never outside of it. It requires a close connection to your own body, but this is what we are thriving for.

Intuitive nutrition principles are (detailed discussing follows):

1. Freedom in food choices. There are no “good” or “bad” foods, one can eat anything. Enjoy your food thoroughly!

2. Calorie count (approximate) according to the individual daily needs.

3. Portion control.

4. Use of a hunger scale to determine when to eat and how much to eat. Eat only when hungry (but not ravenous!): eat in the “grey zone”. Not when bored, sad, angry, already full, or just because there is food around. This principle is a derivative of principles 2 and 3 (Calorie Count and Portion Control). Prevents ingesting hundreds of unnecessary calories which over years translate into pounds of fat.

5. Eating slowly to notice the moment of satiety, and stop (requires concentration and “presence” of the eater in the process. Can not be done while reading, watching TV, etc.). This principle is also a derivative of principles 2 and 3 (Calorie Count and Portion Control). Prevents ingesting hundreds of unnecessary calories which over years translate into pounds of fat.

That’s it, seriously! I summarize all five principles in the easy-to-remember phrase: “HUNGRY woman SLOWLY eats SMALL meals of her CHOICE”. Another phrase I came up with is “SLOW GRAZING on ANYTHING SMALL your heart DESIRES”.

I will be talking about each of these principles in details in the next several posts.
Keep reading!


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