Modern beauty standards do not know compromises: «handsome» means «thin». Yes, there are «rebellious» preachers of body positivity, but in general, millions of men and women are trying to meet established standards. They chronically harass themselves with diets and work hard in gyms. This method of weight loss has a beginning, but there is no end: in order to keep fit, you need to limit yourself more and more in food and increase physical activity. You can’t stop — you’ll gain weight. The price of such a lifestyle is food «disruptions», when a huge amount of «forbidden» foods is eaten overnight, and the «yo—yo effect», when the weight is gained, then goes away again. All this is accompanied by unstable self-esteem, especially bodily, depression, anxiety disorders. Food, instead of one of the pleasures of life, becomes a source of constant tension.
Perhaps someone from losing weight has heard about intuitive nutrition. This is a non-dietary approach to food, which has been popular in Europe and the USA for several decades. Modern studies confirm its exceptional effectiveness in stabilizing weight at the level of the physiological norm and the ability to keep weight at a stable level for a long time. The essence of intuitive nutrition is that a person can eat what he wants, when he wants and in any quantities. Let’s try to figure out how this wonderful method works and how not to slip into «food permissiveness».
Hunger is true and false
It is important to «get acquainted» with your hunger, to understand when it arises and in response to what circumstances.
Physical hunger is natural. It appears when the body begins to experience an acute need for nutrients. There is discomfort at the physical level: weakness, irritability, rumbling in the stomach. This feeling of hunger goes away when you eat any food. In this state, the body will be happy with an apple, and boiled buckwheat without fuss, and candy.
Emotional hunger is an attempt by the body to «jam» some unpleasant emotion: boredom, sadness, disappointment, resentment. There are no physiological manifestations of this type of hunger. He exists only in his head and wants a specific «comforting» food — a chocolate bar, a piece of pizza or cake, a glass of red wine… Usually it is emotional hunger that leads to overeating and, as a result, weight gain.
Rule 1. Weight loss should not be an end in itself
Eating for the sake of losing weight will greatly interfere with the development of your ability to listen to the internal signals of the body. State your goals clearly. Separate the change of life from the change of food. Let’s say, «I’m losing weight because it’s important for me to be healthy. Why should I be healthy? To live longer, to have time to do more, to have time to meet your love or enjoy the available, to give birth and raise children, to lead an active life with them, to travel.» But do not say to yourself: «if I lose weight, then they will definitely love me, and I will definitely get married.» This is a false conclusion. Weight loss and the ability to love and be loved are not related in any way.
Rule 2. Stop dividing food into «bad» and «good»
From the point of view of your body, a handful of cherry tomatoes (green salad, a bowl of lentils, turkey fillet with peas) is no better than a slice of chocolate (a piece of cheesecake, a hamburger with fried potatoes). Being eaten in accordance with the requests of the body, any of these products will replenish its energy balance and will not lead to weight gain. If you know for sure that you can have tomatoes, cheesecake, chocolate, and potatoes in any quantity, whenever you want it, your need for these products will be very low. After all, the idea of the «forbidden fruit», which pulls to get in any way, will disappear.
Rule 3. Eat what and when you want
Now there are no restrictions from the series — you can eat only until 18.00 or four hours before bedtime. From now on, you listen to the signals of your body, catching the state of physical hunger. At first it’s not easy: we used to ignore the moments when hunger delicately reminds us of itself («I’ll finish the report first», «I’ll wait for my friend Masha for half an hour», «you can’t interrupt your appetite, I won’t eat crackers», etc.). However, gradually you can learn to understand when you start to want to eat. And in this case, it is important to have something nice to eat before the main meal (cookies, chocolates, banana, nuts, etc.).
Snacking — the habit of snacking in small portions throughout the day, sometimes abandoning the main three—course meals – is spreading everywhere. It is equally important for both mental and emotional well-being (76%) and for health. The majority (83%) willingly have a snack every day with their children, as well as with friends and colleagues. Snack foods, such as chocolate or cookies, cause many to feel nostalgic for childhood.