Intuitive eating - what is it and are you ready for it?
Great if you have decided to focus on a healthy diet and "adjust your relationship" with your weight.
Let's start with the causes of excess weight:
- Low physical activity, lack of movement, sedentary work, use of the elevator, moving everywhere by car;
- Too many refined products on your menu - unfortunately, all supermarkets are overcrowded with them today. They are comfortable and tempting. But they have:
- low biological value;
- high calorie;
- low in protein and fiber;
- they are high in saturated fats and carbohydrates.
Often in the running of the day, eating from a variety of snacks and grabbing the first one that happens at hand, we do not take in enough nutrients for the body, and at the same time take in too much excess kcal. The body is unable to consume all the ingested kcal, it is stored in the form of fat on our hips, abdomen, legs….
How being overweight affects our health
If health is not a priority, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to live long and happy lives. We risk facing metabolic and hormonal disorderswhich can later cause serious health problems.
I am really glad that today, thanks to the development of the Internet and social networks, more and more people are turning to fitness, because properly exercised develops muscles, making the body slimmer and more active. But developed musculature, in turn:
- Reduces the risk of diabetes;
- Increases the chance of recovering from cancer, while obesity reduces this chance;
- Affects life expectancy;
- Accelerates metabolismwhich in turn helps us keep fit;
- Prevents metabolism from slowing down over the years.
Excess adipose tissue, especially visceral fat, has a negative effect on all our body systems. By reducing fat mass, we protect ourselves from diabetes, reduce the chances of chronic inflammation and normalize hormonal balance.
Several scientific studies show that keeping the body in shape through sport has a positive effect on all the dynamics of health, and that means that we can live longer if we keep ourselves slim. It has been suggested that overweight people can also be absolutely and completely healthy. This is true for overweight people, but it is still within the allowable range of 18-25%.
However, I recommend not being so optimistic, because even if these people are healthy from the outside, they may already have subclinical health problems (the degree to which the symptoms or signs of the disease are not observed). They are still more at risk for metabolic disorders than those who train and develop their muscles. It is to be understood that such people are like a "time bomb".
How to become slimmer?
We all know that there are only two working "tools" for getting a slim body:
- Calorie deficiency
- Physical activity
And it's important to understand that these tools work in the following order: Calorie deficiency on the menu is the most effective way to change height, but the importance of physical activity in the weight loss process is often exaggerated.
Yes, strength training plays a pretty big role in strengthening health and fitness. They have a beneficial effect on all body systems: from the musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular system to the psychological aspects of self-confidence.
REMEMBER! TO LOSE - YOU NEED TO USE MORE ENERGY THAN YOU TAKE!
Nutrition in the process of weight loss
Only self-discipline and fair calorie deficiency, with enough protein in your diet, will provide a guaranteed and long-lasting result.
I would recommend anyone who really wants to change their body and get rid of excess weight forever to spend at least a few months controlling their diet. Believe me, this experience, which you will gain by weighing products, researching product labels in stores and navigating the product calorie tables, will stay with you forever and you will discover a lot of new and interesting things for yourself.
I am sure that in the end you will still change your mind about intuitive eating, at least the way many "knowledgeable" experts tell us that it is an easy way to achieve visible results without effort and control.
Calories and nutrients
The importance of calorie and nutrient control should never be underestimated. Talking about intuitive eating without a basic knowledge of the nutritional value of products, their calories and their role in the diet is the same as judging higher math without knowing the simplest math.
Often, we do not even realize how many calories a day we consume ourselves. Try it, count on it - you will be amazed at how fast the excess calories that unavoidably turn into fat when consumed. As you begin to consciously control and list what and how much you eat, you will realize that there is always a choice and you will gradually learn to make the right decisions regarding the choice of products in stores and the way they are prepared on a daily basis.
"Intuitive eating" - one of the reasons for becoming overweight
Fairy tales about intuitive eating will stay at the level of fairy tales until you understand what calories are and how much you need in your daily menu.
Look around - not only statistics, but also the people around us show that humanity is gaining weight. There are so many people - young and even overweight. The cause of much overweight is that we only hear it all around us: "Listen to your body." Will you be able to eat "intuitively" and maintain or reduce your weight without counting calories? I think so, definitely. But first you need to learn how to count calories and control your diet. And in that, I want to help you!
"INTUITION - IT'S NOT WHAT YOUR BODY WANTS, BUT THE TOTAL OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE."
Feeling calories or satiety?
Let's be clear about the difference between a diet that counts calories and a diet without counting them (what is now called "intuitive" eating).
Eating counting calories would look like this:
Option 1 - If your goal is to absorb 2000kcal, then during the day you count, weigh each product you eat to fit 2000kcal.
Option 2 - During the day, you choose products that make you feel full and thus "collect" your 2000kcal during the day.
Both options seem pretty complicated to you, don't they? I will try to help you understand how to choose products so that you can maintain your slimness without counting or weighing the products, and at the same time not be hungry and with enough energy. It is quite understandable that for most of humanity, non-nutritionists, nutritionists, or those involved in professional fitness for a long time, it is really difficult to count calories:
- Heavy workload;
- Not enough time to cook;
- Business trips, etc. …
However, if you want to learn how to keep fit and start eating right and healthy - then you must first learn to choose products that will be able to control your appetite and allow you to get a feeling of satiety for a longer time. Appetite is thought to be genetically programmed and can be as wild as a predator or as small as a small bird. However, research shows that for most it is somewhere in the middle.
Hunger is a condition of the body caused by an inadequate supply of food, increased breakdown of nutrients and energy sources, or impaired nutrient uptake and utilization. Subjectively, HUNGER is felt as an unpleasant general feeling and a pulling sensation in the stomach. There is an increased craving for food.
During eating, a number of processes are "started":
- We eat.
- The stomach fills up.
- We feel full.
Simply put, when food enters the stomach, the body activates receptors that put pressure on the stomach and send a signal to the brain about how much food a person has taken. In order for these receptors to "trigger" and send a signal to the brain that you have enough, you need to take in about 250ml of food. When the stomach is full, the receptor stops working. Appetite gradually decreases and disappears during eating, when the food center receives a lot of impulses from the receptors of the tongue, mouth, throat, esophagus and stomach. These impulses signal to the brain that you have eaten. Unfortunately, this process does not happen right away - you have definitely happened to eat and after a while you feel overeat, so - eat slowly.
Not all products create the same feeling of satiety. For example, sugar has almost zero saturation effect, so eating sweets will not make you feel full, so it is easy to absorb too many calories without noticing. Therefore, sugar, which is not in itself dangerous and harmful, easily creates excess weight.
But what if you want sweet? What products to choose so as not to harm yourself? For example, watermelon - it's sweet, but unlike sugar, it creates a great feeling of satiety and also helps to lose weight. Unbelievable, isn't it? By the way, ask your coach about watermelon: if I can eat it, it shows the coach's competence in nutrition.
How does it work?
Example: There are 2 overweight groups. Throughout the experiment, one group eats 2 bowls of watermelon a day, and the other eats cookies for the same amount of calories. Watermelon has a high saturation index, so the participants from the first group consume less calories per total amount of the product and in the near future would start losing fat. The members of the second group consume the same amount of calories, but only from cookies. The cookies have a very low saturation index, so the members of the group will feel hungry all the time and they will definitely want to eat something else and then something else - in this way, they take in more calories, which, if not used, create excess weight.
So if you choose products with a higher saturation index, you will:
1) You will get a feeling of satiety faster;
2) In general, you will consume fewer calories during the day.
How to lose weight without counting calories?
Increase your diet with a high saturation index - and it will be a great start to your weight loss process! Scientists have put a lot of work and effort into researching the saturation index of products. Products that create the greatest feeling of satiety:
1) Whole, unprocessed products that come to our table in just such a natural "form";
2) Products rich in protein and fiber.
Products that give the least sense of satiety:
1) All refined products;
2) Products that have undergone active and deep processing (eg confectionery).
What determines the saturation index?
Interesting discovery: Studies by the University of Sydney show that the product with the highest saturation index is boiled potatoes, but the "empty" is croissant. And this is in stark contrast to what we have been taught all along (including me!) - when you lose weight, the first thing to give up is potatoes!
1. Volume of food
The feeling of satiety is caused by the amount of food you eat, not the amount of calories you eat. We have gastric receptors in the gut that respond to the pressure in the stomach, which literally "measures" how full the stomach is. Therefore, for example, air and water (such as carbonated drinks or whipped protein shakes) create a better feeling of satiety than a small amount of high-calorie food. That is, the fewer the calories in the product, the greater the feeling of satiety. Knowing this will make it easier for you to control your menu, which can also be defined as "eating and losing weight".
How to apply the obtained information in life?
For example, with the same potato - usually a portion of rice or whole grain pasta is almost as large in size as a portion of potatoes. But any variety of, say, 200g of potatoes will have fewer calories than 200g of any whole grain product, and the potatoes will also give you a greater sense of satiety. It turns out that you can halve your energy intake from carbohydrates if you exchange rice and pasta for potatoes. Remains incredible? Check it out! A portion of finished pasta will be 2x more calorie than an equal portion of potatoes.
- We take kitchen scales;
- Weigh 200g of uncooked potatoes and 200g of uncooked pasta (or rice);
- We boil them;
- Put on plates.
The portions look about the same in size. But! The finished pasta in terms of kcal will be 2x more caloric than the same 200g of boiled potatoes. And ask yourself the question: which of the following will make you lose weight faster? What does your intuition say? Does it scare you with a childish bubble that you will get fat when you eat potatoes because they contain starch? The way the products are prepared is also very important - if you fry the potatoes in oil or fat or fry them, there will already be many more calories compared to the same amount of cooked rice or pasta.
Do the same experiment, but take bread instead of pasta. And you will see that in order to maintain slimness, it is important to eat not only products with low kcal content, but products with a high saturation index, and based on scientific research, not outdated myths and prejudices.
Important information about our usual legumes and cereals. Basically, these products have a low saturation index, and if we look at calories, they are as rich in calories as white bread. They contain more protein and fiber, but they are very similar in density. Nuts - another example. A product with not too high a saturation index, but a high calorie content. Most nuts are around 600 kcal / 100gr, but they do not give a greater feeling of satiety when compared to the same buns and cookies. The fact that a product is healthy does not mean that it will promote weight loss! Nuts have the same saturation index as chocolate bars.
What to choose for a snack between meals?
Try popcorn. Only of course not in cinemas that are topped with sweet or salty syrups. Popcorn without syrups - the same corn, but puffed, mixed with air and with reduced energy density. Popcorn, which you eat for 150kcal, will take up much more space in your stomach than chips or chocolate eaten for 150kcal.
Water content in products
Products with a lot of water are a great way to quickly create a feeling of satiety. The more water in the product, the better it creates a feeling of satiety. What products are high in water? That's right - in fruits and vegetables. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits - it's a great way to reduce your calorie intake and create a feeling of satiety.
One of the reasons why processed foods offered in supermarkets have a lower saturation index and increased calories is that these products lose water during processing. When fruits or vegetables are dried, at some point they turn into chips, because all the water disappears from them. This is why refined products are so easy to eat compared to fruits or vegetables.
How to eat and not gain weight
To get enough minerals and vitamins without extra calories, make vegetables, fruits and berries a key part of your daily diet. Do you realize now that you can eat watermelon to lose weight? To eat hearty and low-calorie you also need to drink plenty of water. Carbonated is also allowed. In this case, the amount of water you drink is important, and you already understand that this is not about "liquid" calories - sweet carbonated drinks. If the food has not been full enough, a feeling of satiety can be achieved by drinking more water. But as you already know, it is difficult to reach satiety with "bare" water alone, so it is mandatory to eat vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes). And yet, don't forget to drink water.
Practical tips for drinking water
- It is recommended to drink 1-2 large glasses of water (0.5-1 liters) 20-30 minutes before a meal;
- Also be sure to drink water between main meals;
- Always start your meal with fewer calorie dishes, leaving the most high-calorie ones at the end of the meal, and who knows, you may not want them at all - :).
Studies have shown that high protein products creates a greater feeling of satiety than low-protein products. As a result, it is believed that protein causes more satiety than carbohydrates and fats. In fact, this is not the case.
The body has an efficient system for storing carbohydrates and fats. Carbohydrates accumulate in the muscles and liver as glycogen. Fat accumulates as subcutaneous and visceral fat. But since there are no such "storage" systems for amino acids (proteins), in the process of evolution, the body itself has adapted the mechanisms that ensure the regular intake of these nutrients that are important for life and health. Scientists are now leaning towards the theory that protein creates a greater sense of satiety than carbohydrates and fats, only as long as the protein is ingested in sufficient quantities. That is, we will want to eat until the body has received its "dose" of protein.
How much do we need to consume per day to get the body feeling full of protein? Studies say that from 1.2 -1.6g to 1kg of our body weight. For example, if a girl weighs 50 kg - to get a feeling of satiety, she needs to take 60-80g of protein a day.
Fats and carbohydrates
Many books and sources say that carbohydrates are more saturated. Unfortunately, this information is also out of date. There are products with a saturation index equal to their caloric content. It turns out that high-fat products are just as rich as high-carbohydrate products. For example, chocolate, nuts and rice cakes create an equally low feeling of satiety. Avocados and eggs, on the other hand, also have a high fat content, but relatively less kcal.
So: high-fat products have the same feeling of satiety as high-carbohydrate products if they are equivalent in calories to these products. Saturation index is related to the caloric content of products, but not to the amount of fat or carbohydrates in them. Products high in fat and carbohydrates are "dangerous" because they can be easily eaten too much.
In any case, in order to know the calories of each product, and not to eat the thickness of the coffee, you should try to keep track of what and how much you eat. Well, at least a month. This way, you will gain an understanding of the products and their calories.
You probably already know something about products that are rich in fiber and their ability to fill the stomach. Fiber creates a feeling of satiety because:
- Fiber is low in calories, which is either absent or negligible, reducing the caloric content of the product;
- Fiber slows down the absorption and passage of food in the intestinal tract, thus allowing a longer feeling of satiety;
- Fiber has a relatively hard structure that promotes digestion, which in turn improves the "rejection" of satiety;
- When the fibers enter the colon, they are fermented ('acidified') in the intestinal microflora. The fermentation process produces short-chain fatty acids. The brain "eats" these fatty acids and signals a feeling of satiety.
According to research, following the intuitive eating method, every 14g of fiber reduces energy consumption by 10% (the thinner a person, the less %). Significantly increasing the amount of fiber in your diet can increase your calorie deficit by as much as 20% - think seriously about increasing the amount of fiber in your diet.
However, additional additives such as bran do not offer the same benefits as whole grain products, which are rich in fiber. Whole grain products will provide a much greater sense of satiety and be more useful in this regard. In terms of effectiveness, additives tend to be different, both better and less good. But practice shows that those who try to "collect" fiber for a long time with various additives rather than whole grains over time have problems with the digestive system and weight maintenance.
However, fiber supplements will look better than nothing (if you don't have too many vegetables and fruits in your diet). Supplements reduce appetite, as a result of which a person begins to absorb less kcal and, consequently, weight loss.
To understand this product feature, present the consistency of the product. As an example, let's take dairy products. The milk itself has a liquid consistency and you can easily drink up to 300ml in one go.
The feeling of satiety from milk is quite high, but it can be increased by turning the milk into cottage cheese, and now it will not be so easy to eat these 300g of cottage cheese, and the feeling of satiety from it will be much greater. In addition, from 300g of cottage cheese you will get 2-3x more protein than from 300ml of milk. But protein, as I said, is quite rich and definitely needed in the diet. If we expand the chain, it would look like this: water <milk <yoghurt <cottage cheese <hard cheese.
Another example: water <apple juice <apple puree <apples
1 orange = 62kcal (15.4g OH) and 1 glass of orange juice = 164kcal (36g OH)
How is this knowledge useful for intuitive slimming?
If you want to become slender, then eliminate all liquid calories from your diet. From one type of product, choose a product with a higher viscosity (denser in consistency). That is, if you have to choose between apple juice and apple - prefer apple, both kcal and fiber intake. 1 glass of apple juice = 3 apples. Drinking 1 glass of apple juice, you will get 3x more kcal than if you eat 1 apple and you will also be left without fiber and you will not get a special feeling of satiety.
So: thirst is best quenched with water, but eat the fruit whole.
Glycemic index (GI) is an indicator of how quickly a product you eat affects your sugar levels. It is a fixed indicator that is set for each product and people with diabetes use this knowledge to control their blood sugar.
It is a mistake to think that the GI index affects weight loss or weight gain. Scientific studies show that there is no link between overweight and GI in healthy people. GI also does not affect the satiety index. Products with a low glycemic index may be richer, but this is due to their low calorie content and their 'tastelessness'. In other words, if we like products with a high glycemic index, we can safely eat them.
Blood sugar affects your appetite. You've probably heard something like that? This is also a myth. In one experiment, people were unknowingly given glucose through the system, which did not reduce their appetite or hunger. Appetite increases at a time when it is deep hypoglycaemia. This usually happens to people with diabetes.
Practical advice: Healthy people do not need to follow the glycemic index of the products.
The richest products to help you lose weight
Based on the above, we can compile a list of the richest products that will help you lose weight more successfully:
- Skimmed curd (both sachets and cereals);
- Egg whites;
- Fiber-rich vegetables, including pumpkin, zucchini, sprouted beans, green vegetables, mushrooms, cauliflower, potatoes;
- Strawberries, gooseberries, grapefruit, papaya, plums and peaches.
Are you ready to eat intuitively?
At the end of the test. By doing this, you will understand whether you are ready to switch from weight loss to calorie counting to intuitive eating.
Answer YES / NO.
- How Long Do You Count Calories? Do you have enough experience in kcal accounting?
- Do you remember the nutritional value of your everyday products?
- Are you clear about your product and food choices? "Yes" - if you are already clear about it, "NO" - if you are not really clear yet and are still searching and "experimenting" without knowing which products you will "collect" the necessary nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fat)?
- When choosing products, you evaluate them according to what they will provide your body: "YES" - if you choose whole grain products in the store, with less kcal, rich in vitamins and fiber.
- You know your daily menu by heart and you can do without weights and calorie tracking programs.
- With the existing menu you feel good - you have enough energy for both training and daily work.
- Your menu allows you to lose weight.
- Follow the basics of a healthy diet regularly and it is already your daily routine.
If you have answered "YES" to most of the questions, then you can move on to the next "level" - intuitive eating.
Product Saturation Index.
Flakes without additives
Oven - baked legumes
Popcorn without additives
Chocolate bar "Mars", "Snickers"…
Flakes with honey
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