What is Intuitive Eating?

June 21, 2022

We’ve explored how Primal Kitchen products can help make eating plans like the Carnivore Diet or the Keto Diet more delicious, but what about Intuitive Eating? You might have heard of this approach on Pinterest, or seen workbooks on this topic, but what is the definition of intuitive eating? According to IntuitiveEating.org, “Intuitive Eating is a self-care eating framework, which integrates instinct, emotion, and rational thought.” 

Eating Intuitively Versus Intuitive Eating

Developed in the mid-1990s by two registered dietitians, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, Intuitive Eating is based specifically around self-care and developing a positive relationship with food and with your body, not around particular food groups, rules, or tactics surrounding weight loss and eating. 

Eating intuitively (meaning: listening to your body's cues and when, what, and how much to eat) can still be done while following a specific diet (like keto or primal, for example), while Intuitive Eating formally rejects traditional dieting and parameters associated with it. You can eat intuitively without ascribing to the formal Intuitive Eating approach developed by Tribole and Resch.

What does Intuitive Eating mean?

Intuitive eating rejects traditional weight loss dieting and is considered equal parts a self-help technique and eating strategy. As the two founders Tribole and Resch state on their site, “all bodies deserve respect.” 

While folks practicing intuitive eating may also align with the same specific food choices of a Primal, paleo, or keto diet, their ingredients, recipes or routines aren’t dictated by a specific eating plan. Intuitive eating focuses on connecting to and honoring your body’s signals, instead of controlling them.

Intuitive Eating Principles 

On their website, founders Tribole and Resch have laid out the 10 principles of intuitive eating. 


Similarly to the Primal Blueprint, these principles are holistic and represent a lifestyle that is meant to be personalized and unique. Intuitive Eating is not a “one size fits all” approach to eating. 

1. Reject the Diet Mentality

2. Honor Your Hunger

3. Make Peace with Food

4. Challenge the Food Police

5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor

6. Feel Your Fullness

7. Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness

8. Respect Your Body

9. Movement—Feel the Difference

10. Honor Your Health—Gentle Nutrition

How Intuitive Eating Works

Given the highly personal nature of Intuitive Eating, a day practicing this plan will look totally different depending on the person. Unlike, for example, intermittent fasting, the “meals” of the day might come at alternating times, meal sizes will vary, and dishes may buck more traditional flavors or textures for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Folks practicing Intuitive Eating are encouraged to eat when they feel hunger, trust their bodies to know how much of a serving is enough, and embrace that nutrition is based on “progress, not perfection.” 

Who might want to try Intuitive Eating?

Folks who might want to try Intuitive Eating might include people who want to reconnect to their bodies' internal hunger and fullness cues, or those who are burned out from traditional 'dieting'.


Intuitive Eating is unlike other diets or eating plans–it is deeply personal, and focuses on healing the participant's relationship to their body and food.


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