Have a healthier lifestyle by
freeing yourself from diet culture and food rules
Intuitive Eating (IE) is a nutrition philosophy based on the idea that we can be healthy when we let our bodies run the show rather than tracking foods to attain a weight that cannot be maintained. IE was introduced in the mid-1990s, and extensive research supports the health benefits and positive outcomes of this non-diet approach to health and wellness.
This framework has 10 principles that help you tune into your body’s signals, break the cycle of dieting, and heal your relationship with food.
- Reject the diet mentality
- Honor your hunger
- Make peace with food
- Challenge the food police
- Feel your fullness
- Discover the satisfaction factor
- Cope with your emotions without using food
- Respect your body
- Exercise–feel the difference
- Honor your health with gentle nutrition
Intuitive Eating Q&As
Q: Is IE the same as mindful eating?
These terms are often used together or interchangeably – but it is important to note the difference. Mindful eating is allowing yourself to become aware of your senses and food choices, and to recognize hunger and fullness surrounding meal times. Intuitive eating encompasses mindful eating but takes it a few steps further to include topics like respecting and accepting your body size, coping with emotions, exercising for purposes other than calorie burn, and rejecting diet culture and negative food judgment.
Q: Who can benefit from eating intuitively?
Everyone! Here’s a few examples, for anyone who…
- Is tired of dieting, or weight cycling up and down
- Considers themself an “emotional eater”
- Would like to become better in-tune with their body cues to regulate eating
- Has a poor relationship with food – thinks of food as the enemy or food as stressful
- Wants to be a more “normal eater”
- Wants to improve their health or medical conditions without dieting
- Would benefit from focusing on other areas other than weight loss to improve health and wellness
Q: What about IE and eating disorders?
Intuitive Eating is a long term goal in eating disorder recovery. However, if someone is engaging in harmful behaviors (restricting, purging, over-exercising, abusing laxatives/drugs) – they are NOT attuned to their body’s physical sensations, and they are likely NOT nourished enough mentally to be able to work on some of these complex topics. Malnutrition, which is likely in most eating disorders, must be addressed and corrected before IE work can begin. Months or even years of work often are required before someone with an eating disorder is able to practice Intuitive Eating.
Q: Can you lose weight while practicing IE?
IE is not a weight-loss program. Unfortunately, no one has a crystal ball to know what a person’s body will look like when they make peace with food and exercise. You may lose weight, stay the same weight, or gain weight. In our culture, we are programmed to believe that weight gain is the worst possible scenario, which leads to fat phobia and weight stigma. Intuitive Eating is focused on changing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors around food first rather than using a scale as a marker of progress.