Home Healthy Nutrition Tips Your Guide to Intuitive Eating: The Benefits and How to Do It

Your Guide to Intuitive Eating: The Benefits and How to Do It

12 min read

Want to stop tracking each morsel that you simply ingest, put aside all the principles you’ve memorized about what to eat or avoid, and develop a healthy, sustainable relationship with food? Intuitive eating, a non-diet strategy to nutrition, might aid you study to work together positively with food while maintaining a healthy weight, without stress or food guilt. The key’s turning into attuned to your physique’s hunger and satiation alerts, somewhat than eating on a set schedule or following a selected weight-reduction plan.

“We are all born intuitive eaters—babies and young children will typically eat when they are hungry and stop eating when they are full,” says Vandana Sheth, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a California-based registered dietitian nutritionist who focuses on intuitive eating. “As we get older, we go through experiences of food rules, restrictions, distractions, and gradually may get away from paying attention to our body’s signals.”

Should you think about this non-diet strategy to eating? Here’s what to anticipate:

How to eat intuitively

Many adults eat simply because it’s mealtime, they’ve met a pal for espresso, someone baked their favourite dessert, or they’re bored, drained, or upset. They might continue eating after they’re full as a result of they don’t acknowledge feelings of fullness, they’re accustomed to ending the whole lot on their plate, they don’t want to rudely depart do-it-yourself food unfinished, or they’re having fun with one thing that they normally don’t permit themselves to have.

With intuitive eating, you only eat whenever you’re hungry, and you stop whenever you’re glad. You can eat any food any time of the day: No foods are thought-about better or worse than others, even those you’d beforehand thought-about “bad.”

“Eating intuitively is definitely different than the typical diet strategies that we often use,” says Natalie Keirns, an intuitive eating researcher and medical psychology doctoral candidate at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. “Because of that, it could be difficult to adjust or adapt to and require a bit of a recalibration of how we think about food.”

An adjustment interval

If you’re having hassle recognizing your starvation and satiation alerts otherwise you’re suffering from deeply ingrained emotions of food guilt, it might take a while to embrace intuitive eating. 

“When we have avoided/banned specific foods from our diets for a long time and you suddenly are open to it, there may be a period where you overindulge,” Sheth says. “The long-term deprivation is what often leads to uncontrollable cravings and guilt that goes with overeating. [But] once you make peace with food, knowing that you can have it anytime, you will be able to truly listen to your body’s signals for hunger, satiety, and satisfaction.”

You’ll study to recognize the distinction between hunger and cravings. “If you are only hungry for one specific food, that might be a craving,” Keirns says. “Also, cravings tend to rise and fall over a relatively short period, so if you’re experiencing a craving, try distracting yourself for 10 to 15 minutes and see whether that food is still on your mind.”

You’ll additionally study to incorporate joyful motion (gratifying common physical exercise) into your way of life and get higher at arising with kinder methods to manage your emotions and side-step non-hungry eating.


Research has proven that conventional dieting may be harmful, and it’s typically ineffective. But intuitive eating shouldn’t be a weight loss plan, and recognizing your inner cues for starvation and fullness may be a greater choice. Research has shown that intuitive eating is related to a extra constructive body image, larger physique appreciation, and greater vanity.

“My work has found that higher levels of intuitive eating are most strongly associated with more positive body image in those with a BMI in the normal range,” says Keirns, an writer of the body-image research. “I have found that eating intuitively is typically associated with lower BMI levels, [and] my research suggests that individuals who eat intuitively may be less likely to develop overweight or obesity and may be more likely to feel good about their bodies.”

Other research has proven that individuals who apply intuitive eating are more doubtless to keep a secure weight, as opposed to gaining, dropping, or weight-cycling.

“This finding likely does not include individuals who transfer from a restrictive approach to intuitive eating,” says research writer Tracy Tylka, PhD, professor of psychology on the Ohio State University in Columbus and Marion. “For the general person, we cannot predict whether their weight will increase, decrease, or stay the same when they transition to intuitive eating. It depends on a lot of biological, psychological, and environmental factors.”


Intuitive eating is a healthy mind-body strategy to nutrition, and it might aid you to change your relationship with food. Some individuals might lose weight by eating intuitively, however it’s not meant as a weight-loss technique. “Intuitive eating is not a weight-focused approach,” Tylka says. “Benefits of transitioning to intuitive eating are for well-being rather than weight change/maintenance/loss.”

“People who are obese may experience dysregulated hunger and satiety signals, which may make intuitive eating difficult,” Keirns says. But with follow, the extra you study to stop, breathe, slow down, and pay attention to your physique, the better it is going to get. 

In the Fitbit app faucet Discover, and beneath the Guided Programs tap the Eat Healthy filter on the prime, and you’ll discover the Mindful Eating program. It’s a seven-day program through which you get every day audio steerage from a aware eating coach, and find out how to eat intuitively one meal and one chew at a time. If you need additional assistance, contemplate assembly with a registered dietitian who’s educated and certified in intuitive eating.

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