Intuitive Eating

Diets come in every shape and size. Just keeping up with the weekly deluge of new diets is a full-time job. I don't know how Dr. Oz keeps up.  But each and every diet has one fatal flaw: eating less JUST IS NOT FUN. Sooner or later, the call of eating will overwhelm the yearning for weight loss. We just aren't equipped for long-term starvation. Enter a new concept: Intuitive Eating. Could this be the magic formula for long-term weight loss?

Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole recently published the third edition of their book, Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works. Their system (and their book) is based on a simple concept, you eat what you want, when you want it. What's the catch? You must learn to understand your body and find out what and when you REALLY want to eat.

Getting in tune with your body is harder than it sounds. Resch and Tribole have a lot of hints and how-to's in their book. For example, they suggest taking a few deep breaths before starting a meal. The oxygen boost and mental centering will help calm your inner self for a session of mindful eating. As the meal progresses, Resch and Tribole suggest occasional pauses to consider how you feel. Are you still hungry, or are you just eating to clear your plate or keep your hands busy?

Intuitive eating means eating only when truly hungry, not just bored, or unhappy or stressed out. Another counter-intuitive concept is that there are no truly bad foods (county fair food is a possible exception). That means that if you want to eat bacon-wrapped bacon, you should eat bacon-wrapped bacon. BUT (you knew that there was going to be a BUT, didn't you?), you need to explore how your body feels afterward. Over time, you learn which foods really make you feel good and which one's don't. Another surprise? Healthy and nutritious food makes your body feel better than greasy fast food. Soon you will be craving food that is actually good for you!

By not denying your body anything that it wants, you will quickly discover your cravings receding. Psychologically speaking, trying not to think about food is absolutely the best way to make sure that you spend every waking hour thinking about food. With mindful eating, every time you think about food you can immediately consider whether you REALLY want to eat, or you're just bored. Once you've decided, you can go back to thinking about something else, like those cats wearing funny hats on YouTube.

Can getting in touch with your inner skinny person be the secret to a healthy life? Of all the tricks and crazy ideas people have about weight loss, this one is certainly the least crazy! Can't hurt to give this one a try, right?

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