Intuitive Eating For Dancers

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“Diet” is a common word for dancers. This is why most dancers have had some type of issue related to their eating habits. “Diet” is a term that needs to vanish as we start to approach food in a much healthier way.

Your Body Knows What It Needs

Intuitive Eating is an approach that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body–where you ultimately become the expert of your own body.

Source: Evelyn Tribole

Smart Food ChoicesThe idea of Intuitive Eating is to make peace with food and actually feed our bodies what they need when they need it. This approach is all about body awareness. Although it may sound simple, it’s actually a rather complex task because we tend to rely on external cues to provide fuel for our bodies. However, it is not impossible.

Principles of Intuitive Eating

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality: No more crazy fad diets or diet books. All that does is put your body under unnecessary stress.
  2. Honor Your Hunger: Hunger means your body needs to fuel to continue with its tasks. Don’t keep your body from getting what it needs; just make sure you make good food choices at every meal.
  3. Make Peace with Food: Food is not the enemy. The right foods have all kinds of powerful ingredients that keep you healthy. Avoiding processed foods is always a good idea. It’s OK to indulge from time to time, but embrace real food on a regular basis.
  4. Challenge the Food Police: Challenge your mind and get rid of those negative thoughts that induce guilt.
  5. Respect Your Fullness: Your body is smart. Once you’re full, just stop eating.
  6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor: Food is meant to nourish our bodies, but it’s also a pleasurable experience. Take time to enjoy the food you’re eating. This will also change how you see food.
  7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food: Learn to identify if you’re physically hungry or just using food to cope with your emotions.
  8. Respect Your Body: Understand that all bodies are different and embrace yours no matter what.
  9. Exercise – Feel the Difference: Even if you’re not a pro dancer, you work out by taking dance classes on a regular basis. Choose a dance style that motivates you and never approach a dance class as revenge on your body for not eating properly over the weekend. Enjoy dance and the benefits that come with it.
  10. Honor Your Health with Gentle Nutrition: Make smart food choices and provide your body with proper nutrients.

As a dancer, you are used to listening to your body to generate movement that reflects your thoughts and feelings. Now it’s just a matter of translating that into the way you approach food and developing the ability to respond to inner body cues, but most importantly, trusting yourself to make the right calls.

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