The Benefits of Intuitive Eating
I had a conversation with my mother yesterday about Tuesday’s Dr. Oz. The show suggested healthy options that could satisfy our cravings for less healthy comfort foods…including frozen bananas as a substitute for ice cream. Don’t get me wrong, I love bananas, but they certainly would not curb my ice cream cravings!
These suggestions might be helpful for people with food allergies, diabetes, or other health issues, as well as those trying to lose weight. However, for reasonably healthy people, I feel the better option is to indulge in your favorite comfort foods, but only on occasion. There is nothing wrong with eating a bowl of ice cream, as long as you see it as a treat and not an everyday food. Occasionally indulging prevents us from feeling deprived. In turn, we are more likely to stick with a healthy diet.
What is more, when we eat a diet of nutritious, whole foods, our bodies often learn to intuitively recognize what foods they need at a given time. When we try to adhere to diet plans, we often end up ignoring the signals our bodies are telling us. So we may be putting a great deal of effort into trying to eat healthfully – by counting points or calories or cutting out carbs, for example – but if we are ignoring what our bodies need, we are not making the healthiest decisions.
If we eat intuitively, however, we listen to the needs of our bodies – and they don’t often need ice cream. Therefore, intuitive eaters don’t usually eat ice cream terribly often, so on the relatively infrequent occasion that they want to treat themselves, they are not doing their bodies severe harm.