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Diets Fail: Intuitive Eating Helps You Lose Weight Forever

Most diets are doomed to death. Your body does not like starving, eating the same food every day, or receiving less nutrition than it needs.

When you torture your body with a diet, it will bombard you with stronger hunger signs, making you crave baklawa and bags of chips.

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Soon you will throw your diet away and gain back the same weight (if not even more) you started with. Diet plans might seem to work at the beginning.

However, depriving yourself of food is the worst thing you can do if you want to lose that extra weight forever.

So prepare for a revolutionary way of eating!

How Food Deprivation Effects Your Body: The power of food deprivation was keenly demonstrated in a landmark starvation study conducted by Dr. Ancel Keys during WWII, designed to help famine sufferers. The subjects of the study were thirty-two healthy men. 

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During the first three month of the study, the men ate as they pleased, averaging 3,492 calories per day.

The next six months were the “semi starvation period”. Calories were cut nearly in half. The effects were:

  • The metabolic rate decreased by 40 percent. 
  • The men were obsessed with food: they had heightened food cravings, talked about food, and collected recipes. 
  • Their personalities changed; they became more irritable, moody, and depressed.

Moreover, strict dieting can lead to eating disorders that affect at least 9% of the population worldwide.

The psychological terror of hunger is profound.

Despite All the Contrary Evidence, Why Do We Keep on Dieting?

Analyzing many food diaries as a fitness trainer made me recognize something other studies have also found.

We keep dieting because it gives us back that sense of control over our bodies that we’ve lost in the comfort of the 21st century.

Thanks to mass production and automation, most of us today live a super convenient life compared to previous centuries.

Modern life provides many options, but it also creates fitnah. It induces us to become indecisive, lazy, emotionally insecure, and hedonistic over our choices. 

It persuades us to eat more calories while depriving us from moving as much as people in the past did.

When we feel its negative consequences, we start dieting as the solution.

After all, humans can’t live without guiding principles. Rules are cozy; finally, no need to think: just follow the plan.

Therefore, for some, the strategy of dieting could serve as the “red pill” to get out of the Matrix. 

However, people are different. What works for one body does not work for another.

Diets Fail: Intuitive Eating Helps You Lose Weight Forever - About Islam

Eventually, we need to leave those one-size-fits-all diet plans and take responsibility for making our own personalized choices that fit our own bodies.

That is, if we truly want to live a healthy lifestyle. 

Find Your Own “Food Fitrah”

We can only make the right health choices when we have established a strong relationship with our body.

This bond enables us to hear the voice that tells us what our organs want, when, and how much.

No, not the whisper of our craving soul; not our insecurities, not our desires, or the social pressure. The talk of our body’s real needs.

We need to find our “food fitrah” again. We need to nurture our bodies by eating intuitively.

Apply the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating to Loose Weight 

Intuitive eating has 10 principles that help you tailor your food choices and eventually reach your ideal weight—forever.  InshaAllah you will also feel much better.

1 – Reject the diet mentality

We talked about this. Dieting can be a good start, but do not take it as the ultimate solution.

2 – Honor your hunger

Don’t be in a hurry. Listen to the hunger signals of your body. 

3 – Make peace with food

We still think black and white. We still label food as ultimately “good” or “bad.”

Also, we still “commit crimes” and feel “guilty” over eating “bad food.”    

Let’s be clear: Where mass production exists with a food product, forget about it being purely healthy food. Fish might contain plastic. Meat and milk might have antibiotics.

Whole grain food has toxic plant protection products, and biofactories have too often disappointed us.  

Foods are not good or bad, but “more nutritious” or “less nutritious.” More or less beneficial for the functioning of your body.

What makes a food “good” or “bad” is mainly the amount, the frequency, and the reason you eat it. 

4 – Exercise feel the difference

Moving your body is one of the best ways to release stress and change yourself with positive vibes.

Diets Fail: Intuitive Eating Helps You Lose Weight Forever - About Islam

Walk, run, go to the gym, or exercise at home. See and feel the difference both physically and mentally.

5 – Feel your fullness

Again, when you have that warm relationship with your body and are not in a constant hurry, you will know when to stop eating.

6 – Discover the satisfaction factor

Honor your taste buds. Focus on the food, not the guilt. Enjoy your meals. After all, eating is a culinary “experience.”

7 – Cope with your emotions without using food

Catch when you use food to fill an emotional gap. It’s not about that occasional cup of hot chocolate that warms your heart up on a depressing winter day. It’s sneaking into the fridge at 2 AM.

Asking for XL size meal. Watching series night after night with those yummy snacks. You know what I’m talking about.

8 – Respect your body

Stop saying to yourself in the mirror that you are fat and ugly. Negative self-talk leads to a lack of motivation, depression, and helplessness. Catch your critic. Accept yourself the way you are now, and love yourself. 

9 – Challenge the food police

The more you restrict something, the more interesting it becomes. It’s pure psychology, and it works in the kitchen too.

So, the next time you open the fridge, give your body the ultimate freedom to choose. It will crave less the “bad food-”

10 – Honor your health with gentle nutrition

Once we have got rid of the “food worry,” we no longer believe a particular food will automatically make you unhealthy and unfit, we will be able to establish a healthy balance of foods based on the science of nutrition. 

Intuitive eating is, thus, a philosophy. Our natural fitrah.

While today’s health conscious society bombards us with commercial messages on nutrition, food, and diets, we fail to understand what “healthy” actually means.

Only when we realize the knowledge within us—that our body tells us how to eat—will we reach our ideal body weight, bizbullah!

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This article is from our archives.

About Timea Aya Csányi
Timea Aya Csányi studied Psychology and Islamic Studies Bsc. at the International Online University. She is a certified NLP® Practitioner, one of our writers and counselors at the "Ask the Counselor" section. She has been the editor of the "Ask the Counselor" section for 10 years. Now she mainly works as a fitness trainer and journalist.