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9 Tips to Help You Eat Intuitively

Learning to listen to your body’s cues for hunger and eating intuitively can help you achieve a healthier mind and body.

woman_eating_tomato_asparagus_pepper_corn_picFocusing on your body’s natural hunger cues is a more effective way to attain a healthy weight than focusing on the energy and fats in foods. It’s about trusting your own instincts and creating a healthy relationship with food, mind, and body instead of dieting. There are many benefits to intuitive eating. In Tracy Tylka’s 2006 study, she found the relationship between eating intuitively and losing weight as “bidirectional.” She concluded that “attending to physiological signals of hunger and satiety are uniquely connected to well-being and to lower body mass.”

In addition, the journal Public Health Nutrition explained that intuitive eating is linked with lower BMI and better psychological health. To begin to eat mindfully, it’s important that most of the foods you eat are organic, plant-based, and whole in order to supply the nutrients and energy the body needs. You’ll feel fuller, and your body won’t be craving foods in the same way as before because the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that your body requires will be provided.

How to Eat Intuitively:

Be Mindful

The first and most important step to eating intuitively is to be mindful at all times. Paying attention will help you eat what you need instead of binging on unhealthy foods. You have to question yourself when you want to eat, “Am I really hungry?” Are you eating food because you’re hungry or are you feeling bored? Sometimes people going through emotional times use food to help them feel better. However, this is not a healthy way to cope with your feelings. Instead, go on a bike ride, talk with someone you trust about your feelings, or do something you enjoy. Always listen to how you’re feeling.

girl_eating_veggies_focused_food_healthy_lunch_picEat Without Distractions

Avoid watching television, going on your computer, or talking on the phone when eating. When you are distracted, you can easily overeat without knowing.

Stay Present and Experience It

Each meal, dessert, or snack is an experience. You should notice the appearance and physical composition of your food, the smell, the taste, and the flavors, while eating instead of gulping it down. Eat slowly, and savor each bite you put in your mouth.

Ditch the Diet

Obsessing over calories, fat, sodium, and sugar in food only leads to binging. If you stick to eating foods with clean ingredients, then your body will have more nutrients to utilize, and you won’t gain weight.

Eat When You’re Hungry, and Stop When You’re Full

Check in with yourself before, during, and after your meal to see how hungry or full you are. Don’t eat until you’re stuffed and uncomfortable, but instead eat until you are about 80% satisfied. You should feel that you have enough energy to last you about two to three hours before eating again.

Don’t Look at Food as “Good” or “Bad”

Looking at foods as good or bad is not a healthy way to live. Don’t honor the feelings in your head that it’s good to consume small amounts of calories or bad to eat a chocolate chip cookie. Avoiding these thoughts as much as possible is a step towards intuitive eating.


It’s important to exercise, but if you miss a workout, you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. Also, you should enjoy your workouts. Find an activity that you have fun doing and implement it as much as possible into your routine. Shift your focus to how your body can move instead of how many calories you are burning. You may surprise yourself with what your body is capable of.

Eat What You Want, When You Want

You can eat two breakfasts or a midnight snack without feeling bad about yourself. Other times, you can eat a small dinner, which is okay as well. If you tune in to your body, and you’re truly hungry, you can eat what you feel like in the amounts you want as long as you only eat until you’re satisfied.

You are Not Defined by How You Look

Remembering that you are more than how you look is important to mindfulness and eating intuitively. Being thin does not define your self-worth. Someone who is more voluptuous but eats clean is most likely healthier than a person who is naturally thin and eats junk food and doesn’t exercise.

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