What is Intuitive Eating

Food and eating are natural and instinctual.  All humans need to eat, and,  we are all born with the innate ability to eat and nourish our bodies, yet many individuals struggle and suffer unnecessarily on a daily basis with this aspect of life. Eating, a basic need, is meant to be enjoyed, nourish, bring pleasure and connection to our lives— is that your experience? If not, intuitive eating may be your next step?

The first principle of Intuitive Eating (IE) is: “Reject the Diet Mentality”, why, because “diet culture” and diet mentality have confused us deeply, thus impeded our ability to eat intuitively, as we did as a child. We have become rule and externally driven with our food and eating vs using our body’s internal wisdom as nature intended.  Ever notice how some people don’t fuss much about food — they eat when they are hungry, they eat what they like or want, and stop when they are full ??  That’s what intuitive eating looks like.

Intuitive Eating is NOT a diet or a specific way to eat, it is a process to help you get back to a natural way of eating.  Only you know what your body needs and feels, or what foods satisfy you over others. Intuitive Eating is based on 10 principles which help you reconnect with and honor your body cues of hunger and fullness, address emotions without using food and gives full permission to eat  — often the hardest concept to understand.  In other words, it helps us to attune to mind and body by integrating our intuition, emotions and wise mind, ultimately leading to authentic health,  and, a healthy relationship with food.

The book Intuitive Eating was first published in 1995 by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, two dietitians needing to provide a better way for their clients who struggled with weight and chronic dieting, the book is now undergoing the 4th revision.  There are currently more than 100 studies associating  IE with healthier eating patterns, lower BMI’s, lower triglycerides, blood sugar control, body appreciation, increased self-esteem, wellbeing and more.  It has become a standard of care in treating those who have weight and body concerns and disordered eating. I find it works for all as it is our natural way to eat and does not have the negative side effects that result from dieting.  This work is profound and resonates with most of my clients as they are grateful to finally learn to trust themselves and develop a healthy relationship with food, body, and self.

Intuitive Eating Principles

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality
  2. Honor Your Hunger
  3. Make Peace with Food 
  4. Challenge the Food Police 
  5. Feel Your Fullness
  6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
  7. Cope with Your Feelings Without Using Food
  8. Respect Your Body
  9.  Exercise: Feel the Difference
  10. Honor Your Health with Gentle Nutrition


Source: Tribole, E. & Resch, E. (2012), Intuitive Eating, New York, NY,  St. Martin’s Griffin

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Silvina Cox_Expert

Hi, I’m Silvina Cox, M.P.H, R.D.N. As a Registered Dietitian and Intuitive Eating Coach, I combine the science of nutrition with weight-neutral best practices that honor you and your body’s wisdom. It is my joy to help you find vibrant health, your natural weight, and lasting peace with food and your body.