Those of us who are prone to gaining weight are usually those who enjoy snacking and eating even when we're not hungry. This could be for a variety of reasons, including stress eating, comfort eating and eating out of boredom. You may not even realize that you are eating for these reasons, because it takes practice to learn when you really need to eat. Enter intuitive eating.
When you're not hungry and you eat, it's a bit like giving your body energy and calories that it neither wants nor needs. As a result, it's much easier to pile on the pounds, especially if you gain weight more easily than others anyway. Intuitive eating is the idea that you don't eat until your body actually needs food. When you feel hungry, then you can eat. For most people, the feelings of hungry start around 3-4 hours after your last meal, depending on the size of the meal, so it's easy to fit in your regular 3-4 meals per day.
The benefits of intuitive eating
The main benefit of intuitive eating is that you're not going to eat more calories than you body needs. When you do want to eat, you should eat an amount that is comfortable for you. This means you shouldn't deprive yourself of food if you're still hungry, but be wary of eating too much.
On a calorie-controlled diet, you might often feel like you're not allowed to eat the foods that your body wants, and for many people, they don't eat enough. There is also the idea that feeling hungry is good for your body as it must be burning fat. This isn't necessarily true, since your body needs to burn fat in healthy ways, not by starving yourself.
How to start intuitive eating
If you want to start eating when your body needs to and not when a diet plan tells you to, there are a few things you can do to get yourself into the swing of things. First of all, listen to your body. Are you feeling hungry? Are your feelings of hungry so strong that they are starting to interfere with your routine? Don't let your body get to the point where you feel like you're going to faint from hunger. Another good habit to get into is to make sure you drink water regularly - sometimes your body is trying to tell you that you're thirsty, not hungry!
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