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Your Healthy Family: Intuitive eating vs. Dieting

Posted at 7:29 AM, Aug 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-25 07:29:11-04

With so many diets out there, it's easy to get overwhelmed. But some health experts say you should try intuitive eating instead.

Dr. Susan Albers, a Psychologist with Cleveland Clinic, said it's 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.

She said she understands it can be tricky to know what to eat.

"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.

She said intuitive eating is very different from traditional dieting. With a typical diet, you're given a specific set of rules to follow to lose weight. But with intuitive eating, you learn to listen to what your body needs, and no foods are considered off limits. 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.

If you want to try intuitive eating, Dr. Albers suggests to only eat when you’re hungry, recognize when you’re satisfied, and mindfully eat a wide range of healthy foods.

“Studies have shown that people who do intuitive eating have higher retention rates in regards to this way of eating than dieting. So 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," she said.

She said intuitive eating is an approach everyone can use, but talk to your doctor first if you have certain medical issues like diabetes or high blood pressure.