PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Diets, body images fed by social media, and food desire fed by the constant barrage of advertising – it all creates a vicious cycle for those trying to control their weight to look like what society expects.
Enter “intuitive eating” which is trying to reverse the trend.
It doesn’t cost a cent, in fact, you were born with it, you just have to find it again.
“No rules, only intuition and tuning into yourself,” said Natalie Colantuono, a registered dietitian at Inspird.
“We’re kind of going back to our default setting, we’re all born as intuitive eaters,” added Haley Goodrich, a registered dietitian as well as the founder of Inspird.
They said we lose that intuition over time, whether it’s lost by being told to clean a plate or eating when it’s time to eat, even though we aren’t really hungry.
“We’ve been told to suppress it so we learn over time that our bodies can’t be trusted,” Colantuono said.
Goodrich and Colantuono from the Monroeville-based Inspird are all about helping those with eating disorders, and everyone else for that matter, to start trusting their bodies again.
“You’re making peace with food, sort of getting rid of all of the rules that you’ve learned over time,” said Goodrich.
She also said that you’re honoring hunger and tuning into what your body is telling you.
“Our bodies are so much smarter than we give them credit for,” Colantuono added.
Goodrich said we’re wired to eat every three-to-four hours but not on a clock and it takes some training to break out of old habits.
So, essentially, our kids have it right when they push away their food and say they’re full.
Overall, it’s pretty simple – it’s just listening to our bodies and not peer pressure when it comes to eating.
“We all grow up in a society that focuses on weight and food and ultimately equates it to our worth,” Colantuono said.
Intuitive eating is turning your back on the societal noises and listening internally.
“Trying to identify and listen to your hunger, your fullness, what satisfaction might be,” said Goodrich.
Goodrich founded Inspird to help pull the desperate out of eating disorders and Colantuano is also part of the mission and said we spend a lot of time and mental energy focused on what we do and don’t and how we look.
“By allowing ourselves to eat intuitively, we are able to focus on our values and things that are really important to us,” Colantuono explained.
Goodrich said the cues to eating are left up to your body and too many diet programs are trying to curb hunger, and appetite, and that hunger is a signal from our body saying we need food.
“What we like to eat are individual food preferences, and our bodies have a lot of internal wisdom and we don’t need those external rules,” Colantuono added.
“It’s sort of the anti-diet,” Goodrich said.
If you can break free and embrace intuitive eating, you may or may not lose weight.
It also may happen because Goodrich said you’re making peace with food – it no longer controls you. You use it for what it’s for: fuel for the needs of your body. You eat what you need and you are less likely to overindulge.