What Is Mindful and Intuitive Eating?
Mindful eating is a mind-body health approach to help prevent overeating by slowing down, tuning into your body’s hunger and fullness signals, and becoming more aware of what you’re eating.
Intuitive eating encompasses the principles of mindful eating, but extends further to incorporate your instinct, emotion and rational thoughts about food to help you to move past fear and judgment and find true satisfaction and peace when eating.
“We are born intuitive eaters. When we’re young, we trust our body’s cues, which let us know when we are hungry and need food, and when to pull away or push food away when we are full/satisfied. Unfortunately, as we age, things like diet messaging, rules of having to finish our food before leaving the table, or "nutrition education" that categorizes foods as “good” or “bad”, result in us losing touch with our intuitive eater.” - Yale Town Nutrition
How They Help
Studies have found mindful and intuitive eating techniques to be helpful with preventing or reducing overeating, emotional eating, and binge eating.
When we become more aware of our habits and attitudes towards food, we gain a stronger ability to make choices that align with who we want to be.
For many people, adopting mindful eating practices is a way to get off the dieting rollercoaster and develop a healthier relationship with food for the long-term.
A healthier relationship with food can lead to sustained weight loss, less health complications, and a happier and more relaxed you.
If you want to dive deeper, check out the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating.
Tribole, E. & Resch, E. (2019). 10 principles of intuitive eating. Intuitive Eating. https://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/
Nelson J. B. (2017). Mindful Eating: The Art of Presence While You Eat. Diabetes spectrum : a publication of the American Diabetes Association, 30(3), 171–174. https://doi.org/10.2337/ds17-0015
Warren, J. M., Smith, N., & Ashwell, M. (2017). A structured literature review on the role of mindfulness, mindful eating and intuitive eating in changing eating behaviours: effectiveness and associated potential mechanisms. Nutrition research reviews, 30(2), 272–283. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954422417000154