Intuitive Eating Explained

Mother making sandwich with her kids

Intuitive eating is being able to trust your body and honoring internal cues of hunger and satiety. This means being able to recognize physical cues of hunger and acknowledging when your physically full. In short, intuitive eating is the ability to connect food, body and mind.

Interestingly, intuitive eating is something that everyone is born with. However, as we develop in the world around us, we can often lose touch of this ability to eat mindfully. There are many influences that can impede our body’s natural ability to eat intuitively such as restrictive dietary approaches, emotional eating, the way we were raised around the table, our environment, our culture, diet trends, media and more. Every time we override those internal cues, we are overriding our bodies natural biological needs. In turn, this can later lead to excessive hunger and overeating. The good news is that it is possible to learn to eat intuitively once again.

Here are the ten principles of intuitive eating.

  1. Reject the diet mentality. Rediscover a life without dieting.
  2. Honor your hunger. Eat when you are physically hungry.
  3. Make peace with food. Allow yourself to eat without guilt.
  4. Challenge the food police. Allow all foods in moderation.
  5. Respect your fullness. Take your time and listen to your body when you’ve had enough.
  6. Discover the satisfaction factor. Sit down and take time to really enjoy your food.
  7. Cope with your emotions without using food. Don’t use food as an emotional solution.
  8. Respect your body. Accept that we are all built differently and embrace it.
  9. Exercise and feel the difference. Exercise for your health and not to burn calories.
  10. Honor your health. Select foods that are healthful and make you feel good!

The ten principles of intuitive eating can help guide your body and mind. Be mindful that this non-dietary approach does take time and practice. Overtime you can learn to trust your body and create a positive relationship with food once again. The beauty of intuitive eating is that it can help you to trust your food choices, embrace balanced nutrition and make each and every eating occasion an overall enjoyable experience.