Could the key to healthy eating lie within listening to your body and trusting your body’s signals? Say hello to intuitive eating.

What is intuitive eating?

Intuitive eating is based on our innate wisdom to know what to eat, when to eat and when to stop eating. It relies on feeling hungry and knowing how to respond to your body’s callings.

According to accredited practising dietitian Lisa Renn, owner of Body Warfare Nutrition and spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, “you’re removing every other reason that you’re eating – you don’t eat as a coping mechanism…you don’t eat because you’re bored.”

Will it make me eat less?

The unconscious mind “follows orders, takes everything personally and is unable to process negatives directly”, psychologist and neuro-linguistic programming therapist Dr Heidi Heron says. So even if weight loss is your goal, you need to turn your focus on behaviour patterns to achieve lasting change. Keep those temptations out of your mind.

It’s all in the mind

Befriend your body. Talk to yourself more gently and check in with your body says medical doctor, healthy weight expert and author of If Not Dieting, Then What? Dr Rick Kausman. Questions like, ‘I can have this if I want, but do I really feel like it?’ help to become aware and mindful without feeling deprived.

Trust yourself

Eating with awareness, Dr Kausman says, reduces the risk of completely losing control. The key is to pay attention to feelings of hunger and satiety and know the difference between being hungry or stress and boredom. If you’re questioning whether you’re doing it right, it’s about being mindful of when you’re full and satisfied and believing in yourself.

NEXT: Find nutritious recipes in our healthy eating section.