Image of fruity beverage to convey intuitive drinking

The Role of Beverages in Intuitive Eating

Are you struggling with healthy meal choices, calorie counting, and restricting your favorite foods? Instead of focusing on what you can’t do with your daily diet, you can make the switch to focus on intuitive eating and drinking instead. The practice helps you listen to your body and hunger and thirst cues for a harmonious way to eat better, get healthy, and stay satiated.

What is Intuitive Eating?

woman enjoying a salad in a dimly lit room to convey benefits of intuitive eatingIntuitive eating is based on the idea of how your taste, emotions, thoughts, and body respond to what you're eating. Instead of focusing on what you assume is healthy, you listen to how your body feels after enjoying that salmon entree or whole-grain-fueled dinner. Although many people already practice intuitive eating without much thought, less importance is focused on intuitive drinking and the role of beverages.

Hydration as a Cornerstone of Intuitive Eating

You already know the importance of water in any healthy eating regimen to keep your body optimized and healthy. Water helps with everything from hydrating sore muscles to curbing appetite and keeping our digestion moving.

When practicing intuitive eating, you should pay attention to how much you’re drinking and how your body reacts. If you already work-out, it’s easy enough to know when you need some water or an electrolyte drink. But you should also pay attention to your body’s thirst signals throughout the day and experiment with what works. You may find you’re having trouble drinking enough water, but adding some cucumber, lemon, or switching to a herbal tea for your next drink can help you get on top of those signals and satisfy your thirst.

Avoid Hydrating Foods and Focus on Nutrition

Intuitive eating and drinking works better when you’re not consuming dehydrating meals and sugary snacks. Salty, processed foods are dehydrating and can quickly derail your efforts. Instead, think about hydrating your body with nourishing foods and meals.

​​For example, melons, watercress and zucchini have high water density and quickly dress up a meal. Or you can shop for one of our meals, like our Korean Bulgogi Ground Beef Rice Bowl to enjoy some hydrating grains. Need more ideas for foods and meals with high water content? Go here.

Practice Mindful, Intentional Sipping

If you practice intuitive eating, you’re thoughtfully chewing when enjoying food and paying attention to the taste and texture. Mindful sipping and drinking are the same concept. Savor every moment and pay attention to the taste, temperature, texture, and how the beverage makes your body feel. The goal is to develop a deeper connection with your body’s signals and develop better hydration and health.

Choose the Right Beverages

Image of refreshing water with mint and cucumber to convey intuitive drinkingIntuitive eating doesn’t have a lot of rules, and neither does intuitive drinking. But there are ways to improve your health and positively impact your body.

Reach for Nutrient-Rich Options

There are plenty of beverages rich in nutritional value. Reach for smoothies packed with berries, protein powder, yogurt, kale, or freshly squeezed juices. Herbal teas are also a good choice for essential vitamins and antioxidants. But if you’re looking to shed some pounds, keep in mind that juices and smoothies can quickly rack up calories and should be consumed with your goals in mind.

Reduce Sugary Drinks

If you drink sodas and sugary drinks as your go-to indulgence, they still have a place in intuitive drinking. But keep in mind that too many juices or energy drinks have added sugars, which can lead to sugar and interfere with your hunger and hydration cues. If you do load up smoothies, keep an eye on the rest of your dairy and overall caloric consumption if you’re focused on optimizing and maintaining your weight.

Be Mindful About Alcohol Consumption

Any alcohol should be consumed in moderation. Beer, wine, and hard liquor quickly dull your senses and can trigger insatiable hunger. Studies show that alcohol stimulates the same neurons in the brain that are triggered when you go into starvation mode, which quickly derails any of your intuitive eating goals.

Instead of alcohol, you can also switch to healthy mocktails. Check out our round-up for healthy, alcohol-free drink ideas to make imbibing fun.

Drink Plenty of Water

Smoothies, juice, energy drinks, and even alcohol can have their place in intuitive eating or drinking. But the cornerstone of your hydration and beverages should be water. It’s good for your body and mental health, and it's also a free or low-cost way to stay hydrated.

Stay Mindful About Emotional Eating and Beverages

Just like food, beverages can provide emotional comfort. Soothing teas and warm milk may feel comforting when you're upset or stressed. But too many of these drinks can make it difficult to cope without them and potentially over-consume. You end up creating a habit around emotional drinking instead of handling it through mediation, a walk, or talking to a friend.

Next Steps

Beverages are an integral part of intuitive eating and help support better health and an optimized weight. Want to make health and nutrition even easier? Get done-for-you meals with lean protein, fibrous vegetables, whole grains, and more to optimize your day. FitTrax helps fuel your performance with macro-friendly meals and dishes with weekly to 21-day meal options. Or choose from our a la carte option and bulk items to maximize your favorite flavors and nutrients. Get started today.

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