Forget The "Summer Bod" Phenomenon
It seems like every time summer comes around magazines and other media outlets are telling people they need to get their “summer bods” ready. Millions of people buy dieting pills, cut their calories, and hurt their bodies in order to meet society’s standards.
Extreme dieting is not worth the mood swings and headaches. You shouldn’t be spending the beautiful summer months stressing and putting your body through hell! This summer, embrace your body and take care of yourself by eating intuitively and listening to your body.
Here are 7 ways to practice intuitive eating and optimize your overall health this summer:
1. Forget The Diet Mindset
Most fad diets aren’t made for all bodies meaning nine times out of ten they aren’t for you. Intuitive eating is all about listening to how YOU feel. It is personalized to how you are wired and it is personalized by YOU. Toss aside the information thrown at you from previous crash diets and start taking care of yourself on your own watch.
2. Food Is Your Friend
On most diets there are “good” and “bad” foods. For example if you have a double cheeseburger at lunch you might say it was a “bad” day vs. a salad which would be a “good” day. Yes, salads are healthy, but beware of your inner food police. Sometimes we restrict ourselves so much that it can hinder our health. Allow yourself to be nourished, food is our friend!
3. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food
Like me, many people use food as a sense of comfort when they are stressed out, bored, or dealing with emotions. Sometimes binge eating feels good in the short-term, but it won’t solve your problem in the long-term. Acknowledge your emotions and try finding a new outlet to deal with them head on. Examples: picking up a new summer hobby, working out, reading, getting outside to enjoy the weather!
4. Respect Yo Self
Accept your body blueprint. Not everyone is meant to be a size 00 Instagram model, DUH! Before you can start eating intuitively, you must embrace your body’s beauty. Respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are.
Even if you hate going to the gym, going for a walk and enjoying the summer air is enough to give your body endorphins! Endorphins aid in the “listening to your body” department. When endorphins are running through your body, it becomes easier to think more clearly and be in tune with yourself.
6. Eat When You’re Hungry
If you want a burger, eat a burger. If you want a french fry, eat a french fry. Listen to your stomach and allow yourself to indulge when your body needs it. Starving yourself and skipping meals actually has a reverse effect on your body… you won’t lose fat, your body will hold onto it! Moral of the story, when your stomach is grumbling, its time to snack!
7. Stop Eating Before You’re Stuffed
Right when you feel like you are getting full, put down the fork. Your body gets full and tells your brain, “Hey! I’ve had enough!” Listen to that. There is nothing worse than feeling sick after eating such yummy food! Enjoy your meal, slow down, and savor every bite. Your body will tell you when you’re done.
At the end of the day, you feel how you feel. Don’t let the 30 day bikini diets sway you away from embracing your beautiful body for what it is. Listen to yourself and no one else because you are the best expert on you!
Sophia Zigmond / Writer