Intuitive eating 101

Intuitive eating is a form of adaptive eating that’s gained popularity in recent decades as an alternative to traditional dieting methods. The premise is that individuals become in touch with their body’s physical needs and ultimately learn to eat in a way that allows them to maintain a healthy bodyweight, fulfill their nutritional needs, and overall avoid disordered eating behaviors and symptoms.

Its three central elements according to the Intuitive Eating Scale are:

1.unconditional permission to eat when hungry and what food is desired
2.eating for physical rather than emotional reasons on internal hunger and satiety cues to determine when and how much to eat

It’s not a diet or a fad or a quick fix; it’s not about hitting specific calorie targets or weighing out food with a food scale. There’s no meal plan or black-and-white rules involved.

Intuitive eating has been associated with an increase in enjoyment of food, lower BMI, and less food-related psychological distress. Getting good at this is a skill, though, that takes time and dedicated practice.

The specific details of intuitive eating will differ from one person to the next – and that’s the beauty of it. Whether you’re an omnivore, vegan, or what have you, you get to figure out the best nutrition strategy for you.


Denny, K. N., Loth, K., Eisenberg, M. E., & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2013). Intuitive eating in young adults. Who is doing it, and how is it related to disordered eating behaviors?. Appetite, 60, 13-19.

Schaefer, J. T., & Magnuson, A. B. (2014). A review of interventions that promote eating by internal cues. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 114(5), 734-760.

Smith, T., & Hawks, S. R. (2006). Intuitive eating, diet composition, and the meaning of food in healthy weight promotion. American Journal of Health Education, 37(3), 130-136.

Tylka, T. L. (2006). Development and psychometric evaluation of a measure of intuitive eating. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53(2), 226.

Post from @Sohee Fit

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