If you’re trying to lose weight or just trying to eat healthier, you may choose to go on a diet. 

But some diets can end up being too restrictive or bland, leaving you wanting more food. 

Focus on your diet, not a diet. 

That’s the thought behind intuitive eating.

“Diet has always been part of my life. Some of them I’ve found, the quick ones, some of them work. You lose 2 or 3 pounds, and at the end of it you gain 5 or 6,” Christina Peretorius said. 

Peretorius says the yo-yo dieting became frustrating and wasn’t working. 

“You know what? I found I gained weight when I counted calories. Maybe it’s because I got so frustrated I stopped counting,” Peretorius said. 

Instead she changed her lifestyle and quit diets altogether to focus on what her body needs.  

“You’re more careful what you eat. You’re more conscious of it, but it’s not a yo-yo diet,” Peretorius said. 

Registered dietitian Amanda Lambrechts says intuitive eating is summed up to 10 basic principles, from saying goodbye to diets to honoring your health. 

“It goes through a process of really identifying what hunger looks like in your life. Sometimes we don’t even realize it’s not always as certain as a growling stomach, sometimes maybe we get a headache,” Lambrechts said. 

Dietitians say intuitive eating isn’t about restricting food or dieting, but instead should be sustainable throughout your life. 

Lambrechts says when your body tells you it’s hungry, don’t deny it of the fuel it needs. 

“Intuitive eating is really helpful because it can teach you how to listen to your hunger and fullness cues and sometimes through dieting over the years we kind of lose touch with those cues,” Lambrechts said. 

Focusing most on fueling your body through the food and nutrients it needs, in order to sustain this throughout your life. 

“Not having food control your life. So you’re just more at peace. You’re not thinking about how many calories are in this food, how many grams of fat, and all of those things that we’re often told in diet culture,” Lambrechts said. 

To see a full list of the 10 principles that accompany intuitive eating, click here