The premise of the new diet that has fallen in love with celebrities is simple: eat when asked by the body. But the operation of this feeding model that follows Jennifer Aniston, Demi Lovato or Jennifer Lawrence goes beyond letting you carry on your stomach. Do you want to know how it works?
What intuitive feeding proposes is easier said than done: reconnect with your body to such a deep level that it allows you to understand when you are really hungry, without letting yourself be led by false stimuli. And for that, precisely, you need to exercise your intuition.
“With intuitive feeding, we seek to reactivate a natural mechanism that our body possesses and that we lose due to environmental factors,” explains dietitian and nutritionist Andrea Calderón, scientific secretary of the Spanish Society of Food Sciences (SEDCA). We are born knowing how to detect if we are hungry: babies express it with crying and simply stop eating when they are already satiated, it is such a simple mechanism. “But when we grow up, the perception of these hunger-satiety signals is distorted, due to a multitude of external factors that stimulate us,” adds Calderón. Or what is the same, you may not have any need to eat, but Instagram food porn, photographs of exquisite dishes from ultracool restaurants or advertising arouse in you the desire to ingest a specific product that you didn’t need until you’ve seen it.
“Emotions such as stress or anxiety also distort our intuition about real hunger. We turn our frustration into food and that is why bingeing or impulses to eat very sugary products occur, ”explains Andrea Calderón. But it also manifests itself with the bad habit of skipping meals when we are overwhelmed since the stomach “closes” if we are nervous or distressed.
Emotions have great influence not only on what you eat but on when, how much and how you do it. It is often difficult to distinguish between real hunger, appetite or the need to release stress. “Hunger is a physiological need to eat food; and appetite is a physiological desire to eat associated with external factors and that generates the need for a specific food or group of specific foods, such as sweet or savory, ”says Andrea Calderón.
Five tips to reconnect with your real appetite
- Do not force yourself to eat. Chew slowly to perceive the feeling of satiety.
- Make peace with food: it is a necessity that you can also enjoy.
- You are not on a diet, you do not have to eat a specific ration of food at a certain time.
- Use common sense: drink less trans fat, sugars, alcohol and processed.
- Eat consciously: feeling the food. You will be satisfied before and enjoy.
Learn to eat
How can we circumvent these stimuli that deceive us? The expert offers the basic premise: ” Eat when you are hungry and not because you play. ” The idea of eating five times a day by obligation or having breakfast because it is supposed to be the most important meal of the day is obsolete. “You sit at the table even if you’re not hungry and, in the end, you eat too much.”
Although it seems a simple approach, intuitive feeding is not easy to follow. “In the conditions in which we live and in such harmful environments in which we find ourselves (surrounded by ultra-processed products and vending machines), we cannot start it on our own. We are not prepared to understand the body’s signals and to know how to interpret them, ”says the specialist. Also, one thing is to feed by intuition and another is to have knowledge about healthy eating and know what to choose when you enter the supermarket. Those are things that are not intuited, they learn. That is why intuitive eating should always be accompanied by proper nutritional education.