Mindful Eating Vs. Intuitive Eating

By Wendy Liang, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

Are you confused by the terms mindful eating and intuitive eating? This is probably due to some overlap between the two. 

Mindful Eating

Practicing mindful eating means using your physical and emotional senses to –

  • Notice how the food tastes
    • Note the aroma of the food
    • Feel the texture in your mouth
    • Acknowledge the amount of work put into making or growing the food

This helps us stay in the present and actually experience the eating.  The practice improves the overall eating experience.

Examples of mindful eating:

  • Put down utensils between bites
  • Take a moment to note the texture, taste, and flavor of each bite as it is chewed
  • Pause between bites to appreciate the food

Looking for more?  Watch Six Tips for Mindful Eating

Check out The Center for Mindful Eating

Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Eating Is a self-care philosophy created by 2 dietitians, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. It utilizes 10 principles that help to heal your relationship with food through integration of instinct, emotion, and rational thoughts.

The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating:

  1. Reject diet mentality – understanding this mentality and how it is harmful
  1. Honor your hunger – It is okay to snack when hungry → prevents getting hangry
  1. Make peace with food – Allow yourself to eat what you crave
  1. Challenge the food police – seeing food in a neutral way, there is no good or bad food, food fuels our bodies. Moderation and variation are key.
  1. Discover the satisfaction factor – finding the pleasure in food that makes you feel satisfied
  1. Feel your fullness – Is your body getting what it needs? Can you stop eating when you’re sated?
  1. Cope with your emotions with kindness  – figure out the source of your emotions
  1. Respect your body – makes you feel better about who you are
  1. Joyful movement  – incorporating movement you enjoy to feel the difference
  1. Practice gentle nutrition –  it is about progress, not perfection

Learn about the hunger scale – tool in both mindful and intuitive eating: 

Practice with the Hunger Scale

Here is another resource:

Let us know what you experience as you try some of these!

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