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10 Rules for Un-Dieting

16th October 2015

img: Andrew Mason on flickr

These days, it seems like everyone is on a diet.

Get a group of adults together, and chances are, they’re all on a different type of eating plan. Low-carb, no-carb, slow-carb, Paleo. Low-fat, eating clean, vegetarian or vegan. We’ve made dieting an art form, something to discuss as an activity in itself.

Yum, carrots. flickr: jarapet

We at HyperVibe don’t advocate for a particular eating plan. We encourage people to eat whole, nutrient-rich foods in moderate amounts and to get regular exercise, with a focus on health rather than suiting a particular body-image ideal. But we do also like to keep you informed about safe or unsafe diet trends.

One diet trend–that could be called an undiet–is intuitive eating.

According to the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, the 10 principles of intuitive eating are:

1. Reject the Diet Mentality
Intuitive eating aims to get us off the roller coaster, diet-binge-diet cycle many of us go through in our efforts to get thin.

2. Honor Your Hunger
This means eating what you truly want, when you are truly hungry.

3. Make Peace with Food
Unlearn the deeply ingrained lessons of which foods are “good” and which are “bad”. Let go of the mindset that you have to punish yourself for eating “bad” foods with exercise.

4. Challenge the Food Police
This principle shows you how to answer well-intentioned friends who try to tell you how you should or shouldn’t eat.

5. Respect your Fullness
Related to honoring your hunger, this principle teaches when to stop eating, which is something kids seem to do well but food-secure adults seem to forget.

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor

7. Honor your Feelings Without Food
Avoiding emotional eating means dealing with your emotions maturely and honestly.

8. Respect Your Body
Learn how to eat well not because you “should,” but because you respect yourself and truly want what is right for your body.

9. Exercise

10. Honor Your Health
Use “gentle nutrition” to nourish and fuel your body.

Proponents say that intuitive eating gets you out of the diet mentality and restores a healthy relationship between you and your food. Detractors say that this is a license to eat whatever you want, whenever you want it, and will only lead to weight gain, poor health, and frustration.

If you think intuitive eating may be right for you, consider trying it for a short period of time—a month or two—and evaluating how you’re feeling. Do you feel satisfied, or frequently deprived? Do you feel healthier, or sluggish? How are your clothes fitting? Are you successful at following the principles, or do you tend to treat intuitive eating as a license to eat ice cream by the pint?

If it works for you, and you are feeling well, you can feel safe continuing with it, but if you notice any of the following signs of malnutrition, reconsider whether you need a more regimented plan to make sure your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs:

  • Feeling tired all the time; lacking energy
  • Taking a long time to recover from infections
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Finding it hard to keep warm
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Depression

Have you tried intuitive eating? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.







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