Intuitive Eating: How to Lose Weight By Listening to Your Body
- Intuitive eating is a nutrition concept that’s less rigid than traditional dieting. Instead of weighing your food and counting calories, you eat according to what makes you feel good.
- Intuitive eating helps you focus on how you feel instead of on your weight, and can also help you get rid of guilt and shame around food.
- The Bulletproof Diet bridges the gap between clean eating and intuitive eating. It gives you the tools and knowledge to eat well without stressing over counting calories or feeling guilty when you indulge.
Intuitive eating is a trend that continues to gain steam in the nutrition world. It’s a response to the traditional (and often demoralizing) approach to dieting: weighing your food, counting every calorie, hitting the perfect macros and sticking to a strict meal schedule.
Intuitive eating throws out the obsessive structure of many diets. It’s based on the idea that all the calorie-counting and obsessing over weight loss stresses people out, to the point where the diet backfires or becomes unsustainable. Instead, intuitive eating involves paying attention to your body, and giving it what feels right. Here’s how to do intuitive eating and improve your relationship with food.
What is intuitive eating?
Intuitive eating is more about your relationship with food than it is the food itself. It encourages you to get rid of food-related guilt and trade strict eating plans for a gentler alternative, where you focus on eating well, but don’t beat yourself up when you indulge.
Intuitive eating may also help you get in touch with what works best for your body.
“We are all intuitive,” says psychologist Joy Martina. “[You can] ask intelligent questions like ‘What is the right thing for me to do right now? What is the wisest choice?’ Then you can gather information and intuitively feel, ‘That is the one.’”
Intuitive eating is a great philosophy, and one that the Bulletproof Diet embodies. In essence, you remove stress or shame from food and eat to feel good. It’s just hard to know how to do that sometimes.
Intuitive eating in 3 easy steps
How exactly can you implement intuitive eating? Luckily, all it takes is three easy steps, starting with….
Focus on how you feel, not how much you weigh
Weight fluctuates for all kinds of reasons. Maybe you ate salty food and you’re holding onto more water than usual. Or perhaps you didn’t sleep well and it’s making you a little puffier the next morning. Maybe you’re putting on muscle, which weighs more than fat and can drive up the number on the scale.
A lot of diets focus on losing weight, but that’s a poor goal to orient yourself toward. Instead, focus on eating so you feel your best. If you feel better, odds are your body is running better, and you’re getting healthier. Weight loss will inevitably follow.
Stop focusing on your weight. Instead, see what kinds of food make you feel amazing. You’re much more likely to stick to your diet that way. You also don’t have to worry about counting calories; when you’re eating the right food, you’ll get full without having to consciously cut calories. That’s part of intuitive eating; you stop eating when you’re full, not when you hit a calorie limit.
Stop feeling guilty about the food you eat
One of the core ideas of the Bulletproof Diet is that food exists on a spectrum. The Bulletproof Diet Roadmap organizes ingredients into green foods (good for almost everyone), yellow foods (good for some people, harmful for others), and red foods (harmful for almost everyone).
Cutting off certain foods permanently will probably leave you feeling deprived. Instead, opt for something sustainable: maybe eat in the green zone 80-90 percent of the time, and leave the other 10-20 percent for “guilty pleasures” that you can enjoy without the guilt.
You don’t have to be perfect on the Bulletproof Diet—or on any diet. You may find that if you untangle the food you eat from stress and shame, eating well becomes a lot easier, and you’ll feel a lot better, even on the days when you indulge.
Intuitive eating on the Bulletproof Diet
The Bulletproof Diet bridges the gap between clean eating and intuitive eating. It’s a roadmap to make intuitive eating easier: you know what foods will leave you feeling good, and you don’t have to worry about counting calories. The idea with the Bulletproof Diet is that the more you eat in the green zone, the better you’ll feel. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat from the red zone. If you really want a slice of pie, you can have it. It contains a bunch of ingredients in the red zone, and it probably won’t make you feel great, but sometimes the indulgence is worth it.
Instead of setting strict black-and-white diet rules for yourself, aim to be in the green zone as much as possible. If you’re going to stray into the red zone occasionally, make it a conscious choice, accept the consequences for your body and then commit wholeheartedly and enjoy yourself.
Food is one of the best parts of life. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to eat something delicious, even when it’s not the perfect food choice.
The bottom line: Intuitive eating can be a useful way to remove some of the mental burden of dieting. As much as we strive to make the right food choices, life can get in the way. Don’t beat yourself up if you stray off your diet. Focus on consistently making smart choices and feeding your body the nutrients it needs to thrive. And when you do indulge, enjoy the moment and prepare to get back on track.
Being Bulletproof goes beyond what you put on your plate. Our comprehensive beginners guide breaks down all aspects of this lifestyle—from fueling up with quality fats to practicing self-care.
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This article has been updated with new content.