intuitive eating

Intuitive Eating: 10 Practical Tips for Mindful Eating and a Healthy Lifestyle

In this post, we’ll explore the principles of intuitive eating and offer practical tips for developing a healthy relationship with food. Let’s get started.

Are you tired of fad diets and restrictive eating plans that leave you feeling deprived and frustrated? Do you struggle with your relationship with food, feeling guilty or ashamed when you indulge in your favorite treats? If so, you’re not alone. Many women in today’s society feel pressured to conform to unrealistic beauty standards and strict dietary rules, leading to disordered eating patterns and negative self-image.

But there’s a better way. Intuitive eating is a holistic approach to nutrition and wellness that emphasizes listening to your body’s natural cues and honoring your cravings and preferences without judgment. By developing a healthy relationship with food and learning to trust your intuition, you can nourish your body and mind and find peace and joy in your eating habits.

What is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach to nutrition that was developed by registered dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in the 1990s. It is based on the premise that our bodies are intelligent and capable of regulating our food intake and weight naturally, without external rules or restrictions. Intuitive eating involves tuning into your body’s hunger and fullness signals, honoring your cravings and preferences, and trusting yourself to make food choices that feel satisfying and nourishing.

The Principles of Intuitive Eating

There are ten principles of intuitive eating that can help guide your journey toward a healthy relationship with food. These include:

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality: Let go of the belief that there is a perfect diet or way of eating that will make you happy and healthy.
  2. Honor Your Hunger: Listen to your body’s signals of hunger and respond with nourishing food.
  3. Make Peace with Food: Allow yourself to eat all foods without guilt or shame.
  4. Challenge the Food Police: Recognize and challenge the negative thoughts and beliefs you have about food and your body.
  5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor: Pay attention to the sensory pleasure and satisfaction you derive from eating.
  6. Feel Your Fullness: Tune into your body’s signals of fullness and stop eating when you feel satisfied.
  7. Cope with Your Emotions Without Using Food: Learn to recognize and address emotional triggers without turning to food for comfort.
  8. Respect Your Body: Accept and appreciate your body for its unique shape and size.
  9. Exercise—Feel the Difference: Engage in physical activity that feels enjoyable and energizing, rather than punishing or obligatory.
  10. Honor Your Health: Make food choices that promote your physical and mental well-being, rather than following external rules or restrictions.

Tips for Developing a Healthy Relationship with Food

Here are some practical tips for implementing the principles of intuitive eating and developing a healthy relationship with food:

  1.  Practice Mindful Eating

 One of the most important principles of intuitive eating is practicing mindful eating. This means paying attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues while eating. To do this, try to eat without distractions such as watching TV or working on the computer. Focus on the taste, smell, and texture of your food, and listen to your body’s signals to know when you’re full.

  1. Respect Your Cravings

 Many people think that cravings are a sign of weakness, but they are actually a normal part of the eating experience. Instead of ignoring your cravings, learn to listen to your body and give it what it needs. For example, if you’re craving something sweet, try eating a piece of fruit or a small piece of chocolate instead of denying yourself completely.

  1. Don’t Label Foods as “Good” or “Bad”

Avoid labeling foods as “good” or “bad” as this can create a negative relationship with food. Instead, think of food in terms of how it nourishes your body and gives you energy. All foods can fit into a healthy diet and it’s important to have a balanced approach to eating.

  1. Cook Your Own Meals

Cooking your own meals can help you develop a healthier relationship with food as you have more control over what you eat. Plus, it’s a great way to experiment with new ingredients and flavors. Try finding healthy recipes online or in cookbooks, and make it a fun activity to do with friends or family.

  1. Avoid Dieting

 Dieting and restricting certain foods can create an unhealthy relationship with food. Instead of focusing on losing weight, focus on developing healthy habits that promote overall wellness. This includes getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet. Check out our Blog post about the 25 Best Healthy Fast Food Options You Need to Try

  1. Practice Self-Care

 Taking care of your mental and emotional health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. When you feel stressed or anxious, it can be tempting to turn to food for comfort. Instead find healthy ways to manage stress such as practicing mindfulness or going for a walk.

  1. Seek Support:

Developing a healthy relationship with food takes time and effort, and it’s important to have support along the way. Consider working with a registered dietitian or a therapist who specializes in eating disorders. They can provide guidance and support as you work towards your goals.

  1. Challenge Food Rules

Many of us have internalized food rules that dictate what we can and cannot eat. For example, you might have been told that certain foods are “good” or “bad,” or that you should always clean your plate.

However, these rules can be harmful and prevent us from listening to our bodies’ needs. It’s important to challenge these rules and replace them with more flexible and compassionate guidelines.

  1. Practice Self-Compassion

Developing a healthy relationship with food is not always easy, and there will be times when you slip up or feel frustrated. When this happens, it’s important to practice self-compassion and remind yourself that progress is not always linear.

Be kind to yourself, and remember that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process.

  1. Cook and Eat with Joy

Intuitive eating is all about listening to your body’s hunger and fullness cues and finding pleasure in eating. One way to amplify this pleasure is by cooking and eating with joy. Experimenting with new recipes and cooking techniques can not only increase the variety of nutrients you consume, but also bring excitement to your mealtime.

intuitive eating


Intuitive eating is a powerful tool for developing a healthy relationship with food. By listening to your body’s cues, practicing mindful eating, challenging food rules, and practicing self-compassion, you can break free from diet culture and rediscover the joy of eating. If you want to read more about the scientific literature and proven methods of Intutive Eating, check out this Article from Harvard University

Remember, developing a healthy relationship with food is a journey, not a destination. Be patient with yourself, and celebrate each small step along the way. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out for support. You deserve to feel good in your body and intuitive eating can help you get there.

If you want to stay fit and healthy without dieting, adding Protein to your meals is key! Check out our Blog post about 54 Simple High Protein Meals for Busy Weeknights

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