Intuitive Eating: the ‘diet’ with no restrictions

Good Day Dakota

With summer right around the corner,  many people want to look and feel the best they can. While you might want to turn to dieting, some experts recommend trying intuitive eating.

This is more of a movement rather than a new diet fad. It helps you stop worrying about how many servings you should have. Weight loss can happen with this program, but it’s not the main goal.

I talked to a dietitian that says once you start shifting your focus off losing weight you can start feeling comfortable in your own skin. 

Sanford Health Dietitian, Rachel Iverson says, “Intuitive eating is so special because it’s long term approaches, its very small changes and it doesn’t change your big habits.”
 
However, she says she gets a fair amount of push back from her patients because there really is no set plan.
 
“Often times they want to diet, they want to say ‘Rachel just tell me what to eat and how I’m going to eat it and then I will lose weight, help my numbers with diabetes, this is going to work.’ And I’m like guess what it’s not,” says Iverson. 
 
She says anytime you follow a diet that’s very specific and not tailored to what you are already doing–you are going to have failures.
 
“People want that shiny new product and its kind of frustrating for them when I don’t give that to them. But I see so much more progress with this kind of an approach.” says Iverson. 
 
Iverson adds with regular dieting people worry too much about restrictions.
 
“We restrict too much. So it’s taking away some of those restrictions thats allowing this to be more of a lifestyle change than a diet. It kind of empowers people and gives them the ability day to day make a choice that makes them feel good and improve their health.”
 
I sat down with someone who’s tried just about every diet.
 
Linae Bieber says “The moment I started adding in a slice of toast in the morning I noticed I started to gain weight. When I sustained an injury and wasn’t able to be as physically active I started to gain weight.”
 
After trying intuitive eating, those yoyo dieting episodes faded away for her.
 
“If you are like me and have had several experiences of losing and gaining,” says Beiber. “It really gets to be a self-esteem problem because I felt bad about myself that I wasn’t able to maintain, so this has really helped me feel confident about making my own choices and not having someone else make choices for me.”
 
Beiber adds that if you are on a diet that you think you can sustain for more than just losing that extra 40 lbs… then go for it. But for her it wasn’t even about losing weight anymore.
 
“I do not feel stressed about my eating. I feel relaxed about the choices I am making. There’s a wide variety of things I can choose. If I really want to have a sweet item–I can participate with everyone else and as long as I’m paying attention to my body everything is going to be fine,” says Beiber. 
 

Beiber adds it only took her a couple of months to really get control of her hunger. She says always keeping healthy items with her has made it a little easier to keep away from the junk food too.

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