The Psychological Benefits Of Intuitive Eating

  • by XpatAthens
  • Monday, 14 February 2022
The Psychological Benefits Of Intuitive Eating
When it comes to nutrition, for years, mental health specialists and people, in general, have focused more on the negative aspects of it, such as eating disorders and other unhealthy eating habits. In recent years, however, the newly-established trend doesn’t focus on how we shouldn’t eat but promotes a more positive approach to our relationship with food. Intuitive nutrition is a big part of this approach.

The main idea behind ​​intuitive nutrition is developing a healthy relationship with food and with our bodies, in general. It is about recognizing our body’s needs, with the sole aim of optimal physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. People that stick to an intuitive diet are not obsessed with food or calories. They enjoy eating whatever they like, have total control over their body, and stop eating when they are full.

According to a meta-analysis published by the International Journal of Eating Disorders, intuitive nutrition is associated with a wide range of benefits, both physical and psychological, in all demographic groups. Those who prefer it show fewer diet-related pathological symptoms. They are less likely to eat emotionally, meaning that they don’t use food as a means of soothing or stifling their negative emotions, and report fewer dietary restrictions.

Intuitive eating is associated with many psychological benefits, such as greater physical satisfaction, better awareness of bodily functions, and a tendency to reject unrealistic, socially imposed beauty standards. People who incorporated intuitive nutrition into their daily lives were more likely to appreciate and love their bodies, gain self-esteem, and achieve well-being. They also showed lower levels of depression and anxiety.

Another important finding is that those on an intuitive diet tended to be thinner. This finding challenges the well-established idea that the key to a lean body is chronic diets or abstention from certain foods. On the contrary, what seems to be of most importance is eating carefully and responding to our body signs instead of strict dietary rules.