Intuitive Eating

An approach to eating that emphasizes listening to the body's hunger and fullness cues.


Intuitive Eating is a non-diet approach to eating that encourages individuals to tune into their body's natural hunger and fullness signals, rather than relying on external rules or restrictions. It promotes a healthy relationship with food by rejecting the diet mentality, honoring hunger, respecting fullness, and making peace with all foods. Intuitive Eating emphasizes body respect, self-care, and gentle nutrition, while discouraging emotional eating and the pursuit of an ideal body weight.

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Intuitive Eating was first introduced in 1995 by registered dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in their book 'Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works'. The approach was developed as a response to the growing awareness of the negative impacts of dieting and restrictive eating patterns on physical and mental health. Tribole and Resch drew from their clinical experience and research to create a framework that promotes a more positive, balanced relationship with food and body image. Since its inception, Intuitive Eating has gained widespread recognition and has been validated by numerous studies as an effective approach to improving eating habits, body image, and overall well-being.


  1. Improved Body Image Intuitive Eating encourages body respect and acceptance, leading to a more positive body image.
  2. Enhanced Self-Trust By learning to listen to and trust their body's signals, individuals develop greater self-awareness and confidence in their ability to make nourishing food choices.
  3. Increased Satisfaction from Eating Intuitive Eating promotes mindful eating and encourages individuals to savor and enjoy their food, leading to greater satisfaction and pleasure from eating experiences.
  4. Reduced Risk of Disordered Eating By rejecting the diet mentality and promoting a balanced approach to eating, Intuitive Eating can help prevent or reduce the risk of developing disordered eating patterns.
  5. Improved Relationship with Food Intuitive Eating helps individuals make peace with all foods, reducing feelings of guilt, shame, or anxiety around eating.
  6. Enhanced Overall Well-being By fostering a positive relationship with food and body, Intuitive Eating can contribute to improved physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

How It Works

Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach to eating that encourages individuals to listen to their body's natural hunger and fullness cues. It involves rejecting the diet mentality, honoring hunger, making peace with food, challenging the food police, discovering the satisfaction factor, feeling fullness, coping with emotions without using food, respecting your body, exercising, and honoring your health with gentle nutrition. By tuning into physical sensations and emotions, individuals learn to trust their body's innate wisdom to guide eating choices, rather than relying on external rules or restrictions.


Adopting an intuitive eating approach can be challenging for those with a history of chronic dieting or disordered eating patterns. It may require unlearning deeply ingrained beliefs about food and body image. Some individuals may initially struggle with the concept of giving themselves unconditional permission to eat, fearing it will lead to overeating or weight gain. It's important to approach intuitive eating with patience, self-compassion, and the guidance of a qualified professional if needed. It may also take time to rebuild trust in one's body and to distinguish between physical hunger and emotional or environmental triggers for eating.

How Much It Costs

The cost of intuitive eating support can vary depending on the provider and the level of support needed. Individual sessions with a certified intuitive eating counselor or registered dietitian typically range from $100 to $200 per hour. Group coaching programs or online courses may cost anywhere from $200 to $1000 or more. Some health insurance plans may cover nutrition counseling or therapy sessions related to disordered eating, but coverage varies. Low-cost or free resources, such as books, podcasts, and blogs, are also available for those seeking self-guided exploration of intuitive eating principles.

Virtual & Online Options

Virtual and online options for intuitive eating support offer convenience, accessibility, and privacy. They allow individuals to access expert guidance from the comfort of their own home, eliminating the need for travel and accommodating busy schedules. Online programs often provide a combination of self-paced materials, group support, and individual coaching. However, in-person sessions with a local intuitive eating counselor can offer a more personalized and hands-on approach. Face-to-face interactions may foster a stronger therapeutic relationship and allow for real-time feedback and support. Ultimately, the choice between virtual and in-person options depends on individual preferences, needs, and resources.


While there is no one universally recognized certification for intuitive eating practitioners, many professionals choose to pursue training through the Original Intuitive Eating Pro Skills Training program, offered by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, the co-creators of intuitive eating. This training is available to registered dietitians, therapists, and other healthcare professionals. Other relevant certifications include the Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) credential, which requires a minimum of 2,500 hours of clinical experience in eating disorders treatment. Additionally, many intuitive eating coaches and counselors hold certifications in related fields, such as health coaching, psychology, or nutrition, and have completed specialized training in non-diet approaches to health and wellness.

Complementary Practices

Mindful eating, body neutrality, joyful movement, self-compassion practices, stress management techniques, and intuitive living are complementary practices that synergize well with intuitive eating. These practices support developing a positive relationship with food and one's body, fostering self-awareness, and promoting overall well-being.

Practitioner Types

Registered dietitians, nutritionists, psychologists, therapists, health coaches, and eating disorder specialists are among the professionals who may incorporate intuitive eating principles into their work with clients. These practitioners guide individuals in rejecting diet mentality, honoring hunger and fullness cues, making peace with food, and cultivating body respect.

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  • Q: What are the 10 principles of intuitive eating?

    • A: The 10 principles of intuitive eating are: 1) Reject the diet mentality, 2) Honor your hunger, 3) Make peace with food, 4) Challenge the food police, 5) Discover the satisfaction factor, 6) Feel your fullness, 7) Cope with your emotions with kindness, 8) Respect your body, 9) Movement - feel the difference, and 10) Honor your health with gentle nutrition.
  • Q: How can intuitive eating help with eating disorders?

    • A: Intuitive eating can be a helpful approach in eating disorder recovery by promoting a non-restrictive, self-compassionate relationship with food and body. It encourages attunement to internal cues, challenges diet culture, and emphasizes nourishment and self-care. However, professional guidance is crucial for those with eating disorders to ensure safety and appropriate treatment.
  • Q: Is intuitive eating effective for weight loss?

    • A: While some people may experience weight changes as a side effect of practicing intuitive eating, it is not designed as a weight loss method. Intuitive eating focuses on fostering a healthy relationship with food and body, rather than pursuing intentional weight loss. It emphasizes body respect, attunement to internal cues, and gentle nutrition for overall well-being.
  • Q: How long does it take to become an intuitive eater?

    • A: Becoming an intuitive eater is a journey that varies for each individual. It involves unlearning diet mentality, reconnecting with body cues, and cultivating self-trust around food. The process can take time, often months to years, as it requires shifting deeply ingrained beliefs and behaviors. Consistency, self-compassion, and professional support can aid in the journey towards intuitive eating.
  • Q: Can intuitive eating and mindful eating be practiced together?

    • A: Yes, intuitive eating and mindful eating are complementary practices that can be effectively combined. Mindful eating involves bringing non-judgmental awareness to the eating experience, noticing sensations, thoughts, and emotions. It supports intuitive eating by enhancing attunement to hunger, fullness, and satisfaction cues. Incorporating mindfulness can deepen the connection with internal wisdom promoted in intuitive eating.


Intuitive eating is a powerful approach to cultivating a positive, sustainable relationship with food and one's body. By rejecting diet mentality, honoring internal cues, and promoting self-care, intuitive eating supports physical and psychological well-being. While the journey towards becoming an intuitive eater may take time and patience, it offers a path to food freedom and body respect. Complementary practices such as mindful eating and self-compassion can enhance the benefits of intuitive eating. Working with experienced practitioners can provide guidance and support in navigating the challenges and joys of the intuitive eating process. Ultimately, intuitive eating empowers individuals to trust their bodies, find pleasure in food, and nourish themselves with compassion and wisdom.