Intuitive Eating: forget diets and establish a healthy relationship with your body and food
The current trend is towards intuitive eating, a non-dieting approach that encourages us to listen to our body's needs, while not depriving us of eating foods we love (in moderation, of course)! The goal? To enjoy a balanced and varied diet, without strict restrictions on certain foods that are considered less "healthy". Read on for more information.
The art of listening to your body’s signals
Food attracts and torments many people who are on a diet. However, eating is a natural physiological need that we should be at peace with. Karine Gravel, a nutritionist and expert in intuitive eating (it was the subject of her thesis) says that 45% of Quebec women try to lose weight at least twice a year, and approximately 90% of people who lost weight by dieting regain it two years later.(1) Strict diets are therefore not the ideal solution for achieving a healthy weight!
“Weight loss diets destabilize the body and are not recommended. According to intuitive eating principles, each person can, themselves, know how much of which food they should eat at what time of the day. Our body sends us signals that we just need to listen to!”(2) says the nutritionist, who recently participated in a podcast on intuitive eating (in French only) broadcast by Radio-Canada.
Intuitive eating does not ban certain foods: eating what you want avoids frustration and overconsumption of that food as a result. This approach doesn’t count calories and is not based on weight loss, but on well-being. Indulging in cheese or cretons is not considered a cardinal sin with this approach, and you can even occasionally overindulge (if the emphasis is placed on food quality).
The important thing is to eat a wide variety of food in moderation. It is worth noting that people who practise intuitive eating develop healthier eating habits and better mental health.(3)
Against grossophobia (fatphobia)
Intuitive eating rejects not only the tyranny of diets, but also the cult of thinness. Accepting our bodies is therefore essential. According to this approach, if weight gain becomes a health problem or bothers an individual, he (she) should try to identify the reasons why the overeating occurs.
Could it be that they try to deprive themselves then overindulge afterwards? Is their overeating a way to “eat their emotions” to compensate for an emotional lack or anxiety? Or is the person not connected enough to their body’s signals to recognize that they are full?
The 10 principles of intuitive eating
The principles of intuitive eating(4) allow us to recapture a healthy relationship with food and to achieve a stable weight and are as follows:
- Reject the diet mentality, which creates false hope and prohibits eating certain food.
- Enjoy the benefits of physical activity (done for fun, not to lose weight).
- Honour your hunger in moderation.
- Make peace with food.
- Allow yourself to eat any food you want.
- Stop categorizing food as good or bad.
- Discover the pleasure of eating, really enjoy eating your food and satisfying your 5 senses.
- Be aware of the sense of feeling full.
- Deal with your emotions kindly and not by compensating with food (eating your emotions).
- Respect your body as it is.
Practically, you can apply these principles by taking the time to learn how to listen to your body, by savouring your food, sitting down to eat without distractions, and by asking yourself before and after each meal what your body is telling you (Am I hungry or do I feel like eating? Have I eaten less so I don’t gain weight? Do I feel too full? Etc.).(5)
Intuitive eating is another way of looking at our relationship with food, which frees us from the obsession of dieting and encourages us to live with how we fuel our bodies in a peaceful, non-judgemental way.
A new type of food marketing
In the face of this anti-dieting trend that favours a healthier and more intuitive relationship with the body and food (no one believes in diets anymore!), food companies have no choice but to present their products differently. Consumers no longer want to be obsessed with the percentage of fat and the number of calories in foods (such as cheese or beer).
According to the Seven Food Trends for 2022, consumers are looking for healthy food, but like to occasionally indulge in tasty snacks (chips, popcorn, crackers, frozen desserts, etc.). Packaging, advertising campaigns and all inbound marketing publications must take this new paradigm shift into account.
Agence Braque’s team of food marketing experts can help you present your products effectively by following the trends. Do not hesitate to contact us for an exploratory meeting!
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