Mindful Eating vs Intuitive Eating | Finding Balance in Our Relationship with Food

With the constant barrage of diet trends and conflicting health information, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and confused about how we should approach our relationship with food. Should we meticulously track our calories and restrict certain food groups? Or should we simply listen to our bodies and eat whatever we crave? The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to eating.

However, two popular methods that have gained attention in recent years are mindful eating and intuitive eating. Both promote a more mindful and intentional way of nourishing our bodies, but they differ in their principles and practices. In this article, we will delve into the differences between these two approaches and explore how they can work together to help us find balance and peace in our relationship with food.

What Is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating is a practice rooted in Buddhist teachings, which encourages us to be fully present and aware of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations while eating. It involves paying attention to the process of eating without judgment or distraction. This means savoring each bite, noticing the taste and texture of our food, and being mindful of how we feel physically and emotionally. Mindful eating also focuses on slowing down and taking time to appreciate our meals, rather than rushing through them.

One of the key principles of mindful eating is non-judgmental awareness. This means acknowledging our thoughts and feelings about food without labeling them as good or bad. For example, instead of feeling guilty for eating a slice of cake, we can simply observe our thoughts and emotions without attaching any value to them. This allows us to develop a more positive and compassionate attitude towards food.

What Is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach to food that emphasizes trusting our body’s natural cues for hunger and fullness. It encourages us to reject diet culture and external rules about food, such as counting calories or restricting certain foods. Instead, it focuses on listening to our body’s signals and honoring its needs.

Mindful Eating vs Intuitive Eating

Intuitive eating is based on ten principles, including rejecting the diet mentality, honoring our hunger and fullness cues, making peace with food, and discovering satisfaction in eating. This approach also encourages us to be mindful while eating, but it differs from mindful eating in that intuitive eating does not have a goal of weight loss or changing our body shape. Instead, it emphasizes building a healthy relationship with food and our bodies.

How Mindful and Intuitive Eating Can Work Together

While mindful eating and intuitive eating may seem similar, they have distinct differences that can complement each other. Mindful eating focuses on the present moment, while intuitive eating takes into account our past experiences with food and body image. By combining these two approaches, we can develop a more holistic and balanced relationship with food.

Practicing mindful eating can help us become more aware of our thoughts and emotions around food. This self-awareness can then inform our choices when it comes to eating intuitively. For example, if we notice that we tend to eat when bored or stressed, we can use mindfulness techniques to tune into our body and determine if we are truly hungry before reaching for food.

Likewise, intuitive eating can enhance the practice of mindful eating by bringing in an element of satisfaction and pleasure in our meals. By making peace with all types of food and rejecting the idea of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods, we can savor our meals without any guilt or shame. This approach also encourages us to listen to our body’s cravings and honor them, rather than ignoring them.


In this section, we will be delving into some of the most common inquiries and curiosities that surround our topic.

Is mindful eating a diet?

No, mindfulness is not a diet. It is a practice that helps us become more present and aware of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations while eating.

Can I lose weight with intuitive eating?

Intuitive eating is not focused on weight loss. Its primary goal is to help individuals build a healthy relationship with food and their bodies by listening to internal cues rather than external rules or restrictions.

Can mindful and intuitive eating benefit my mental health?

Yes, both mindful and intuitive eating can have a positive impact on mental health by promoting self-awareness, reducing stress and anxiety related to food, and improving body image.

Conclusion: Mindful Eating vs Intuitive Eating

In conclusion, both mindful eating and intuitive eating offer valuable insights into developing a more balanced relationship with food. By being present and aware while eating, listening to our body’s cues, and rejecting diet culture, we can find harmony in nourishing our bodies and minds.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that there is no one perfect way of eating for everyone. The key is finding a personalized approach that works best for us and our unique needs.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Teri Franks, the voice behind Prescott Voice. I've spent years immersing myself in all that Prescott has to offer, and I love sharing the unique stories and experiences I've discovered. When I'm not writing, you'll find me exploring Prescott's trails or tasting our local cuisine. I believe that the vibrant lifestyle here in Prescott inspires us to live a healthier, happier life. Come join me on this exciting journey as we explore Prescott together.

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