Only 1 in 5 people maintains the weight achieved after a diet: the number of “weight-bearing” individuals continues to grow, but so does obesity. Intuitive eating suggests abandoning impossible resolutions and making peace with food, but does it work?
You know why you continue to put on weight? Because you are or have been to diet.
That’s right: it seems paradoxical but the yo-yo effect exists (we talked about it HERE) and has been described in dozens of scientific works. The worst news is that, as the British Heart Foundation, of those who lose weight, only 1 in 5 will keep it offmost people will regain a third of the weight lost in the first year and the rest in the next three to five years.
The number of dieters continues to grow, as does the number of overweight people. How come?
Repeated diets (this is also proven) can influence the metabolismthe ability to feel hungry or full and induce anxiety and guilt about food.
It is by clashing with these problems that in 1995 two American nutritionists, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, invented
L’«intuitive eating»immediately adopted by the “anti-diet” movement which proclaims: “you can’t live on a diet forever” and “diets fail”.
What does intuitive eating offer? Basically of “heal” from our wrong relationship with food so you don’t have to diet anymore and make peace with a physiological need that is natural and will always be with us, that of eating. To do this, no calorie counting or exclusion of foods or categories of nutrients, but the – reasoned – adherence to 10 basic principles (to all ten!) of a predominantly psychological nature.
Here they are in summary:
1) Stop dieting. It doesn’t work for you.
2) Honor the meaning of hunger: Eat when your body tells you you’re hungry and stop eating when you’re full.
3) Make peace with food: no food is prohibited. Food is not a reward nor a punishment.
4) Challenge the food “police”.: Negative thoughts that categorize foods as “good” or “bad” and lead to feelings of failure or guilt.
5) Return to the pleasure of food: Don’t eat while you’re in the car, while you’re rushing to an appointment, or when you’re distracted. Eating is a pleasure.
6) Feel the sensation of satiety. Pause during your meal to think about the flavor and how full you are. Stop eating when you’re completely full, even if that means leaving food on your plate or saying no to dessert.
7) Deal with emotions without using food: When we are stressed, sad, bored or lonely, we often use food to manage our emotions.
8) Respect your body: abandon unrealistic expectations, aesthetic standards have taught us to want to change our appearance. Let us rather pay attention to the health and functionality of our body.
9) Movement is a source of well-being. Our body is made to move: do a sport that we like and we will feel the difference. Ultimately, the best exercise is the one you actually do.
10) Honor health: nutrition must be moderate. Choose meals and snacks that are nutritious, but also satisfying and tasty, with foods that make you feel good and give you energy.
The principles of intuitive eating they can be useful in a journey not of diet, but of awareness regarding nutrition, which can lead everyone to eat healthily to live well and for a long time. And a healthy diet, adopted forever, will inevitably bring with it the achievement of a weight suitable for one’s constitution and person.
“Intuitive eating is one way to approach food in a healthier way and without mental constructs that deviate or hinder”, he comments Ilaria Prandoni, biologist and nutritionist at Palazzo della Salute of the San Donato Group. «Many overweight people have a complicated relationship with food and eating is no longer something natural, positive – continues the specialist -. Eating is a biological need, but eating behavior is not just biological. It is influenced by many factors: hormonal, genetic, religious, beliefs, behaviors, environment… it is something very complex that is not easy to manage. The ten points were designed to minimize external factors that influence food intake, with the aim of helping people eat based on their “sensory” properties of foods and on internal indicators of hunger.”
Specifically, what advantages can a concept of nutrition of this type bring?
«I see it as a method that can only be included within a path – says the expert –: especially at the beginning, leaving patients alone to apply these principles can lead to very varied results. For many it could be complicated. First of all, people need to learn to familiarize themselves with some principles of nutrition, to know which foods are good for them, which ones are necessary and to understand how the various elements interact in our body. The choice of foods must be made knowing what is best to eat therefore a basic nutritional education is essential
Are there any contraindications?
«Generally speaking, no, but it shouldn’t be a method to lose weight, also because studies relating to the effectiveness of intuitive eating on weight loss are not very consistent and they do not give valid indications, especially in the long term – explains Prandoni -. I would use it to perfect the ability to perceive hunger and satiety signals. It can also help people reduce “emotional hunger”, the one that leads to eating to “compensate” for negative emotions. It won’t be easy, but by applying one principle at a time you will be able to find harmony with food.”
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January 22, 2024 (modified January 22, 2024 | 08:23)
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