Intuitive eating and weight loss. Three expert tips to help you trust your body and instincts

  • 1 Minute Read
Martha M. Henze
Martha M. Henze, MPH, MS, RDN - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Global Public Health Epidemiologist

Trusting your own instincts and body are concepts you may need to teach yourself. Want to learn more about intuitive eating and weight loss? Learn three tips to help you rely on your body and instincts.

Intuitive eating and weight loss

How intuitive eating and weight loss will help you trust your body

Trust your body. One concept we often need to teach ourselves is to rely on our own instincts and bodies when it comes to food intake. Trusting yourself to eat when you are hungry and to stop eating when you are full sounds so simple! Yet, there can be so many interferences to the simple process of eating. As humans, we often have a difficult time differentiating between physical needs and emotional feelings when it comes to eating. Why is it so challenging to have a healthy relationship between food, body, and mind?

How you can use intuitive eating to teach yourself to trust your own hunger cues?

1. Use a hunger satiety scale.

Ask yourself how hungry and full you are on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being mildly hungry and 10 being uncomfortably stuffed. Track your hunger and emotional cues for one week. If you use the MyNetDiary tracker, you can make notes about hunger, satiety, and cues in the "notes" section. Aim to stay in a 3-7 range on the above hunger/fullness scale when you decide to eat and stop eating.

2. Slow down and enjoy the color, textures, and mouthfeel of different foods.

Take a few deep breaths to relax before you start eating. Eat slowly, chew well, and savor each bite. Practice putting your utensil down between bites.

Mindful eating practice: Put a saltine cracker in your mouth and slowly let it dissolve. Compare the initial salty bland flavor followed by the sweet flavor as the enzymes in your mouth naturally break down the starch into sugar.

3. Create a healthy kitchen.

Buy and stock 90% of foods in your pantry with healthy, minimally-processed foods you enjoy from a variety of food groups: vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean meat or meat alternatives. This means that 9 out of 10 foods in your shopping cart are healthy!

Learning to trust your body takes time. Slowly learn to trust your hunger and satiety cues and have mainly healthy foods available to eat. You can then say goodbye to diets and say hello to healthy eating for life!

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This content was reviewed and updated by Brenda Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES on June 3, 2022.

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Weight Loss->Emotional & Mindful Eating
Jun 10, 2022

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