What Is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive Eating is a nutrition philosophy based on the premise that becoming more attuned to your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues is a more effective way to attain a healthy weight or trust your body just as it is rather than tracking calories, fats, sugars, or even food intake.

It is getting rid of all of the learned messages and getting back to a healthy and normalized relationship with food and your mind and body — where you ultimately become and remain the expert of your own body, just as it should be.

You learn how to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings and gain a sense of body wisdom to trust when you’re actually hungry and when you’re satisfied.

It’s also a process of making peace with food so that you no longer have “food worry” thoughts or guilt.

It’s knowing that your health and your worth as a person do not change based on your size, weight, shape, or what you eat.

There is freedom and acceptance in knowing what you need for YOU and the research shows improved psychological health, self-esteem, body image, and quality of life when one eats intuitively.

10 Principles of Intuitive Eating

1. Reject the diet mentality. This idea that there’s got to be some diet that will work for you, often with lots of unreasonable rules.

2. Honor your health.

3. Honor your hunger. Keeping your body biologically fed with adequate intake.

4. Make peace with food. The goal is for food (just like the scale or mirror) to not have power over you – there are no “shoulds or shouldn’ts”.

5. Challenge the food police. Food is not hierarchical. It’s not good or bad and neither are you for what you eat or don’t eat.

6. Respect your fullness. Checking in with yourself intentionally for your body’s physical cues.

7. Discover the pleasure factor of eating and food. Eating mindfully helps with this.

8. Honor your feelings without using food. Finding ways to comfort, nurture, and cope with emotions without using food.

9. Feel the difference in exercise. Shifting your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the caloric expenditure.

10. And finally, respect your body. Accepting yourself versus trying to manipulate your body or shame yourself.

Click here for more content by Juliet Kuehnle, MS, NCC, LPC!

Juliet Kuehnle, MS, NCC, LPC
Juliet Lam Kuehnle is a licensed professional counselor. She specializes in helping all ages with eating disorders, body image, self-esteem, picky eating, grief & loss, mood disorders, trauma, and with the LGBTQ population. She also works with lots of middle and high schoolers to help them navigate their challenges and stressors. She is trained in EMDR therapy and uses this often with trauma, phobias, anxiety, and other areas in which clients feel stuck. She spends her free time with her husband and two young daughters, watching Duke basketball & golf, and in the music scene!

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