|June 10, 2019

Intuitive Eating: How to Lose Weight By Listening to Your Body

By Dave Asprey
Reviewed by Emily Gonzalez, ND for Scientific Accuracy

Intuitive Eating: How to Lose Weight By Listening to Your Body

  • Intuitive eating is a new nutrition trend 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 is one of the principles of the Bulletproof Diet. If you’re eating the right food, your body will run better, you’ll feel great, and you’ll naturally lose weight as a consequence of your healthy diet.
  • 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 new trend 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 . Here’s how to do intuitive eating and improve your relationship with food.

Related: Bulletproof Shopping Guide and Checklist

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 in a recent Bulletproof Radio podcast episode []. “[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. Read on to start eating more intuitively, today.

Intuitive eating in 3 easy steps

Focus on how you feel, not how much you weigh

Intuitive eating means focusing on how you feel.

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

Intuitive eating means not 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).

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.

Related: What Is the Bulletproof Diet? 

Instead of setting strict black-and-white diet rules for yourself, aim to be in the green zone as much as possible. I 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.

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

Intuitive eating on the BP 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. Use high-level guidelines, like aiming for food from the green zone most of the time, and eat whatever you want within those guidelines, in a combination that makes you feel and look your best long-term.

Read next: How to Start the Bulletproof Diet in 10 Easy Steps

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