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Mindful Vs Intuitive Eating – Which Approach Is Right For You?

Introduction 140447260

Navigating the world of food and diet can be overwhelming, with so many conflicting advice leaving us dazed. Did you know that differentiating between mindful eating and intuitive eating may ease this confusion? In this article, we’ll delve deeper into each approach to help you understand their unique features and benefits.

Ready? Let’s explore together to find a path that makes sense for your healthy lifestyle journey.

Key Takeaways

  • Mindful eating involves paying attention to the present moment while eating, without judgment or distraction.
  • Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach that encourages listening to your body’s cues of hunger and fullness.
  • Both mindful and intuitive eating emphasize mindfulness and a non-judgmental approach to food.
  • Improving your overall relationship with food and your body is essential for physical and mental well-being. Mindful eating helps you develop a deeper connection with your body’s cues, while intuitive eating encourages trusting yourself and finding satisfaction in nourishing your body intuitively.

Understanding Mindful Eating

Understanding Mindful Eating 140447120

Mindful Eating Definition

Mindful eating is about paying full attention to your food. It means noticing the tastes and smells of what you eat. Being aware of how much you are eating is also part of it. You focus on enjoying each bite without any distractions.

In this way, mindful eating helps people connect with their body’s hunger and fullness signals. This can lead to feeling better about oneself and finding more joy in food.


Mindful eating has key rules to follow. These may help you enjoy eating and have a better relationship with food:

  1. Be present when eating: Take notice of each bite. Watch the look, smell and taste of the food.
  2. Listen to body cues: Pay close attention to feelings of hunger and fullness.
  3. Show respect for your body: Look after it by feeding it well.
  4. Put aside guilt: There is no need to feel guilty for enjoying food.
  5. Reject diet culture: Choose what you like to eat, not what diet messaging tells you.
  6. Make peace with all foods: See all foods as a chance to nourish your body.
  7. Connect with your body: Understand the mind-body link that can guide how much to eat.
  8. Don’t judge yourself too harshly: Being mindful means being kind and patient with yourself.

Mindful Eating Benefits

Mindful eating can change how you eat and feel about food. Here are some of the benefits:

  1. Mindful eating brings back joy while eating.
  2. It helps you tune into your body’s hunger and fullness signals.
  3. It stops guilt feelings for enjoying food.
  4. It makes your bond with your body stronger.
  5. Research shows that mindful eating improves well-being and satisfaction with life.
  6. It helps you to not stick to a strict diet rule, but listen to what your body wants.
  7. This way of eating can help fix problems like binge eating
  8. You will feel calm, and not afraid when you choose what to eat.
  9. You learn how much food is enough for your body.
  10. Mindful eating is a good way to keep your body healthy, without any diet plan.

Understanding Intuitive Eating

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Intuitive Eating Definition

Intuitive eating is a way of eating which puts you in control. It tells you to listen to your body’s cues for hunger and fullness. There is no diet plan or list of foods you cannot eat.

It is not a fad diet or a quick fix for weight loss. Instead, it helps us form a healthy relationship with food and our body. It teaches us to know when we are truly hungry and when we are satisfied with what we have eaten.

With intuitive eating, we can make peace with all foods without feeling guilt or shame.

Core principles

Intuitive eating holds a few key rules that one should keep in mind. They include the following:

  1. Let go of dieting: This means you should break free from the diet mentality.
  2. Make peace with all foods: This is about loving every food without guilt.
  3. Trust your body’s hunger and fullness cues: Listen to what your body tells you.
  4. Keep away harmful beliefs: Remember that intuitive eating is about self-care, not punishment.
  5. Nourish yourself mindfully: Eat with care and be aware of each bite you take.
  6. Challenge diet messaging: Put aside any ideas that make you feel guilty for enjoying food.
  7. Connect with your body: Build a strong bond between your mind and body.
  8. Embrace weight-neutral thinking: Your weight does not define you, nor does it determine your health or worth.
  9. Break away from discipline or willpower related to eating: Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full, rather than sticking to strict meal times or portion sizes.
  10. Foster a healthy relationship with food: Food is meant to be enjoyed, not feared, so strive for satisfaction and peace when eating.

Intuitive Eating Benefits

Intuitive eating has several perks. Here are a few:

  1. It helps you listen to your body cues such as hunger and fullness.
  2. This method helps people feel good about their body.
  3. Intuitive eating gives people a good link with food.
  4. It also helps people stop following strict diets that may harm them.

Similarities between Mindful and Intuitive Eating

Use of mindfulness

You make use of mindfulness in eating to connect with your body. This helps you feel when you are hungry or full. You pay more attention to the food you eat. You limit things that take your mind off your meal, like watching TV.

Mindfulness teaches you to enjoy each bite and know how much food is right for you. It brings peace to eating by shaping a healthier relationship with food and the body.

Non-judgmental approach

Both mindful eating and intuitive eating share a non-judgmental approach towards food and eating. This means that instead of labelling foods as “good” or “bad,” individuals are encouraged to let go of guilt, shame, and judgment when it comes to their food choices.

Both approaches emphasize the importance of listening to your body’s cues and honouring its needs without criticism or restriction. By adopting a non-judgmental approach, you can cultivate a healthier relationship with food and develop a greater sense of satisfaction and peace when eating.

It allows you to move past fear and judgment, break free from a dieting mentality, and find true satisfaction in nourishing your body intuitively.

Differences between Mindful and Intuitive Eating

Focus on eating experience vs. overall relationship with food and body

Mindful eating and intuitive eating have different focuses when it comes to our relationship with food and our bodies. Mindful eating is all about the experience of eating. It encourages us to be present in the moment, paying attention to the tastes, smells, and textures of our food.

It’s about savouring each bite and truly enjoying the act of nourishing our bodies.

On the other hand, intuitive eating looks at the bigger picture. It addresses our overall relationship with food and our bodies. This approach goes beyond just being mindful during meals – it dives into understanding hunger cues, listening to our body’s needs for nourishment, and rejecting harmful diet culture messages.

While mindful eating helps us appreciate every aspect of a meal, intuitive eating promotes a healthy relationship with food on a deeper level. It encourages us to trust ourselves, make peace with all foods without guilt or judgment, and find satisfaction and peace when we eat.

Use of structure and tools vs. trusting instincts and emotions

Mindful eating emphasizes the use of structure and tools when it comes to our eating habits. It encourages us to be intentional, practice awareness, and follow guidelines for a more mindful experience with food.

On the other hand, intuitive eating focuses on trusting our instincts and emotions when it comes to nourishing ourselves. It encourages us to let go of diets and restrictionslisten to our bodies’ cues and signals of hunger and fullness, and make choices based on what feels right for us.

Both approaches promote self-compassion and understanding of our body’s needs but differ in their emphasis on structure versus trusting ourselves.

How Mindful and Intuitive Eating Can Work Together

Combining principles and techniques

Combining principles and techniques of mindful eating and intuitive eating can improve your relationship with food and body. Here’s how:

  1. Pay attention to your body’s cues, such as hunger and fullness.
  2. Develop a mind-body connection by being present while eating.
  3. Practice non – non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts and emotions related to eating.
  4. Use mindfulness techniques to savour the experience of eating.
  5. Trust your instincts and emotions when making food choices.
  6. Focus on nourishing your body rather than following strict rules or diets.
  7. Find satisfaction and peace in all types of foods, without guilt or judgment.
  8. Break free from the diet mentality and listen to your body’s needs instead.
  9. Move past fear and judgment to find true satisfaction with food.
  10. Make peace with your body and let go of negative body image beliefs.

It’s also important to note that in the journey towards mindful or intuitive eating, having access to home-cooked delicious solo meals can simplify honouring your body’s hunger signals and indulging in the satisfaction of nourishing food.

Which Approach is Right for You?

Factors to consider

Factors to consider when choosing between mindful and intuitive eating include:

  1. Your personal goals: Consider whether you want to focus more on the experience of eating (mindful eating) or your overall relationship with food and body (intuitive eating).
  2. Your eating habits: Reflect on whether you tend to eat mindlessly, without paying attention to cues like hunger and fullness, or if you struggle with emotional eating or binge eating.
  3. Your preferences: Think about what approach aligns better with your values and what feels more natural and sustainable for you.
  4. Your mindset: Evaluate whether you’re open to using tools and structure (mindful eating) or if you prefer to rely on your instincts and emotions (intuitive eating).
  5. Support available: Consider whether you have access to resources like registered dietitians who specialize in mindful or intuitive eating, as professional guidance can help navigate these approaches.

Finding the right fit

To determine which approach, mindful eating or intuitive eating, is right for you, there are a few factors to consider. First, think about your goals and what you hope to achieve with your relationship with food.

If you want to focus on being more present and aware during meals, then mindful eating might be the best fit. On the other hand, if you’re looking to trust your body’s cues and make peace with all foods, intuitive eating could be the way to go.

It’s also important to consider your individual preferences and needs. Some people may find structure and tools helpful in their journey towards a healthier relationship with food, which aligns more with mindful eating principles. Others may resonate more with trusting their instincts and emotions when it comes to making choices around food.

Ultimately, both approaches can work together harmoniously as well. Combining principles from mindful eating and intuitive eating can cultivate an even stronger connection between mind and body while improving your overall relationship with food.


In conclusion, understanding the distinctions between mindful and intuitive eating can help you determine which approach is right for you. Mindful eating focuses on being present in the eating experience, while intuitive eating is a broader framework that encompasses mindful eating.

Both approaches offer holistic ways to nourish your body and develop a healthier relationship with food. So whether you choose to be more mindful or embrace intuitive eating, both can support you in developing a healthier mindset around food and eating.


1. What is the key difference between intuitive eating and mindful eating?

The main difference lies in scope: intuitive eating is a broader framework that includes emotion and rational thoughts about food, while mindful eating focuses on the present sensation of hunger and satiety.

2. Can you explain the 10 principles of intuitive eating?

The 10 principles of Intuitive Eating, founded by dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, aim to help you become aware of your body’s needs, move past fear and judgement, find true satisfaction in food, make peace with it and use external knowledge like nutrition information as needed.

3. How does one engage in mindful eating?

Mindful eating means becoming aware of each bite you take. It’s about focusing on the taste, texture or smell of your food. A famous exercise involves slowly savouring a single raisin!

4. What are some ways to incorporate mindful practices into our daily life?

One can easily add mindfulness into their daily routine! This could be through paying attention to how much they eat at each meal or taking time to enjoy each dish with its unique flavours before moving on to the next.

5. Is there any evidence supporting these approaches to healthy eating?

Yes! According to studies like those done by Tylka’s team using CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), individuals practising these methods show an improvement in their relationship with food.

6. Are these approaches suitable for everyone?

While many may benefit from them, these tools might not be right for everybody all the time especially if someone has faced trauma or dealing with conditions such as an eating disorder.

Mindful Vs Intuitive Eating – Which Approach Is Right For You?
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