What Is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive eating is based on the work of Evelyn Tribole. Her goal was to help people understand why fad diets and weight measurements were not working. The alternate approach, known as Intuitive Eating, explains how to reset your mind and body to natural hunger cues. The goal is more than just stopping when you are hungry and full. It is a method that helps you improve your relationship with food, mind and body, by being able to fully understand the various messages that your brain and body give you. Eating intuitively means that you are able to separate emotional and cultural signals to food, and to gain a deeper understanding of your bodily needs. The approach also encompasses mindfulness and lifestyle attributes.

The Ten Principles Of Intuitive Eating:

  • 1. Reject the diet mentality
  • 2. Honor your hunger
  • 3. Make peace with food
  • 4. Challenge the food police
  • 5. Respect your fullness
  • 6. Discover the satisfaction factor
  • 7. Honor your feelings without food
  • 8. Respect your body
  • 9. Exercise- Feel the difference
  • 10. Honor your health


Although media has portrayed intuitive eating similarly to other diet fads, there is a distinct difference between the diet culture Tribole is trying to combat and the consciousness of mindful eating.

Can Intuitive Eating Help Me With Weight Loss? [Research]

While the principles Tribole has outlined are not focused on losing weight, research has suggested that it can, in fact, reduce the tendency to binge on food and guide people towards a lower body weight. The current research examined 120 in-patients with eating disorders and analyzed their behaviours towards eating and their body image after the skill of intuitive eating was taught. The study found that people with bulimia nervosa were the most successful in adapting the new eating principles. Not only did the study find intuitive eating and weight loss can be achieved, but the suggested that people with anorexia nervosa were also able to regain a sense of normative eating behaviours. This means that intuitive eating may correlate with great trust in the body’s ability to monitor food requirements. When patients were able to trust their bodies, they were also able to relax their stressed mindset.

Can I Learn How To Eat Intuitively By Myself?

Intuitive eating is a skill most of us are out of touch with and must relearn. It can be a helpful tool in managing emotional and physiological problems surrounding weight and body image but is only successful when used correctly.

For people with eating disorders, researchers stress that although intuitive eating can be the end goal, it should not be used as an immediate intervention for people with eating disorders who require medical stabilization and weight restoration. Eating intuitively is not meant to be a tool that will justify disordered eating behaviours. Most importantly, intuitive eating is a process and is meant to be taught within a broader set of skills.

For people who struggle with poor body image and anxiety or stressful eating, working with a nutrition therapist can help you find touch with your emotions around food and weight. Our team at WeightMatters will help you understand the principles of intuitive eating and help you regain control of your food thoughts.