CLEVELAND – With so many diets out there these days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
But, Susan Albers, PsyD, psychologist for Cleveland Clinic, said it doesn’t have to be that way and suggests switching to intuitive eating instead.
“It is about making peace with food. It’s about learning how to listen to your body, how to honor your hunger and deciding what to eat,” she said. “And this is such a tricky task. Of the patients I work with, the number one thing people come in saying to me is, ‘I don’t know what to eat.”
Dr. Albers said intuitive eating is very different from traditional dieting.
When it comes to traditional dieting, an individual is given a set of rules to follow to help lose weight. Whereas with intuitive eating, you learn to listen to what your body needs.
There are also no foods that are considered off limits. However, that’s not to say you should be eating whatever you want, when you want. The key is to know when you’re actually hungry.
So, what should beginners keep in mind when getting started?
Dr. Albers recommends eating when you’re hungry, recognizing when you’re satisfied, and mindfully eating a wide range of nutritious foods.
“Studies have shown that people who do intuitive eating have higher retention rates in regards to this way of eating than dieting,” she said. “They looked at people who started dieting and people who have done intuitive eating and they have found that they are able to sustain it for the long-term.”
Intuitive eating is an approach everyone can use. However, you should speak with your physician first if you have certain medical issues, like diabetes or high blood pressure.