What does it mean to be an intuitive eater? An intuitive eater listens to her body, eating when she’s hungry and stopping once she’s satisfied. An intuitive eater is also a mindful eater savoring food, setting aside time to eat and enjoying the experience.
- Reject the diet mentality: Quick fix diets don’t work for sustainable weight loss. If you have lost weight on a fad diet and gained it back—you’re not alone. Hoping that you can “diet” your way to better health is destructive to a goal of becoming an intuitive eater.
- Honor your hunger: Supply your body with adequate fuel for its biological needs. Hunger is a strong primal drive—if you ignore it for long, it’s extremely difficult to eat in moderation. Learning to honor your hunger sets the stage for building a healthy relationship with food.
- Make peace with food: Give yourself permission to eat all kinds of foods. When some foods are “forbidden,” it can lead to feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and overeating.
- Challenge the food police: Disrupt the thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for restricting calories or “bad” because you ate a cookie. These types of thoughts are neither true, nor helpful in developing intuitive eating practices.
- Respect your fullness: Practice awareness of the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Check in with yourself in the middle of a meal to ask yourself if you are feeling full.
- Discover the satisfaction factor: Eating slowly and savoring your food increases the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. By providing an enjoyable eating experience for yourself, you will find that it takes less food to decide you’ve had enough.
- Honor your feelings without using food: Food won’t fix anxiety, loneliness, boredom or anger. Eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. Find ways to deal with these issues without using food.
- Respect your body: Your body is amazing. Begin to focus on what your body can do rather than what it looks like. It’s hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body shape.
- Exercise—Feel the difference: Our bodies were made to move. Regular physical activity can decrease stress, improve sleep quality and increase energy. When you shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise, being active becomes a gift instead of a chore.
- Honor your health—Gentle nutrition: You don’t have to eat a “perfect diet” to be healthy. Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel well.
Want to learn more about how to integrate intuitive eating into your life? As part of the University of Utah wellness program, WellU, benefits eligible employees can take advantage of a no-cost one-on-one meeting with a registered dietitian. Make your appointment today.
STAYING SAFE ON HALLOWEEN
With ghosts, ghouls and goblins out and about visiting each house in hopes of getting some treats, dangers can lurk when you least expect it. By being safe on a dark night, your kiddos will be happier and will possibly get more candy. We’ve compiled a list of simple actions you can do to bring peace of mind to you and help you avoid a real scare.
HALLOWEEN CONTACT LENSES: SCARIER THAN THEY LOOK
Halloween is a spooky time of year, and people go to great lengths to perfect their costumes. However, when it comes disguising your eyes with “fashion,” or “cosmetic” contact lenses the results can be downright scary. Contact lenses of any type are medical devices that should not be purchased without a doctor’s prescription. Without a prescription you are risking serious harm to your eyes.
“The lenses need to fit correctly on your cornea (the clear part of your eye), otherwise, they can be dangerous,” says David Meyer, OD, Director of Contact Lens Services at Moran Eye Center. “Dangers include corneal ulcers, scratches, inflammation, bacterial infections, and in some cases even blindness.”
It is actually illegal to buy contact lenses without a prescription (even if you don’t need any vision correction), so the vendors who are selling cosmetic lenses as a type of accessory or jewelry are, in fact, breaking the law. The Food and Drug Administration actually has a website where you can report the illegal selling of these lenses. While the sellers are the law breakers, their customers may end up paying the price with damaged eyes.
Even with a prescription, fashion contact lenses come with risks. Any time you place something in your eye you are risking infection, or injury. “As a general rule, I discourage their use all together,” says Meyer. “Even if a patient really wants them and is willing to get a proper fitting and accurate prescription I am only okay with them being worn temporarily.”
When wearing any contact lenses, be sure to follow care and cleaning instructions thoroughly. Make sure they are disinfected before placing them in your eye, and make sure you are placing them in your eye with clean hands. If the lenses come out of your eyes be sure to clean them before putting them back in. Be sure to only clean your lenses with solution designed for this purpose. Cleaning them with water – or in your mouth – could lead to big problems.
If your eyes start burning or itching while wearing your lenses, take them out immediately. See your eye doctor if you notice any pain, blurry vision, or discharge. After all, you don’t want one night in costume to turn into a lifelong horror.
For more expert health news and information, visit healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed.