• Renee Little, R.D.

The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating

The 10 Intuitive Eating Principles were created by Evelyn Tribole and Else Resch and published in the 3rd edition of their book "Intuitive Eating A Revolutionary Program that Works (affiliate amazon link)."


The philosophy behind the evidenced based program created by Tribole and Resch is to help people break free from dieting and to be able to give permission to eat without restriction and worry.


Intuitive eating is a method of eating and moving your body which puts you and not an external diet/meal plan/program at the center of food and movement choices. Essentially it extracts you from the diet culture mentality and instead leads you on a journey inward to reconnect with your body in a positive and compassionate way. The 10 Principles are outlined in detail below to help you to understand the whole philosophy and approach of Intuitive Eating.



To change your thoughts, behaviors and actions you need a bit of support. Choose a team (non-diet dietitian, psychologist, friend support) as you embark on your non-diet journey. You've got this!


Here is a brief summary of the 10 Principles:



Principle 1: Ditch the diet mentality

If you have been on a diet, I'm pretty sure you could tell me the MANY reasons why you know diets don't work. At the core of each diet is food restriction.....and what happens when you restrict food?


Your body is SMART! When you restrict calories, your body makes you think about food ALL the time! It slows your metabolism down and causes binge eating behavior in some people. Your body is just trying to SURVIVE!


If you have failed dieting before, it is NOT your fault! Restrictive eating and deprivation to lose weight (aka dieting) does not work.



What does work?

Intuitive and mindful eating works!




Intuitive eating principles do not help with weight loss goals as this is a weight neutral approach. The principles DO help to move you away from the diet mentality and move you towards living free from food restriction and chronic dieting. This philosophy can help you make peace with food. and allow all foods into your diet.


When you get into the swing of intuitive eating your body will settle into a weight that is healthy for you.


Stepping away from the scale and embracing a new way of eating can be scary at first. BUT trust me, you got this!


Your body has a HUGE amount of knowledge and can be your guide. It will tell you what, when to eat and how much to eat, IF you listen. Intuitive eating principles take time and practice. Allowing yourself the time and patience to work through this new way of thinking is really key.

Principle 2: Honor your hunger

The concept of figuring out when your body is hungry is a simple idea but can be quite complex when practiced. Why is that?


If you have dieted in the past you have suppressed your hunger cues and got them a bit muddled up with automatic negative thoughts (dieting thoughts). The good news is that your body is able to tell how much and which type food it needs, you just need to pay attention AND start to honor the signals.




Every one of us is an intuitive eater!







You can start this practice by observing your current thoughts and connecting to the sensations of your body. Once you are able to form a good connection with your body the hunger signals come in loud and clear.



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