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Intuitive vs Mindful Eating: what's the diff?

eating a peach by the coast

Intuitive Eating is kinda like mindful eating, right? You just need to pay closer attention to your eating, like chew your food well, taste all the flavours, and savour the food?   

Not quite. Let me explain.

Key differences between Intuitive vs Mindful Eating

While there are elements of mindful eating within Intuitive Eating, mindful eating doesn’t address one very important thing. And that is…

REJECT THE DIET MENTALITY (aka diet culture)

In other words, mindful eating isn’t anti-diet. In fact, eating mindfully is often practiced with the intention of weight loss. Intuitive Eating, on the other hand, is anti-diet. And that makes it a little more rebellious. 

Rebellious why? Because rejecting diet culture and being anti-diet is counter cultural. 

You’re crazy when you say all foods are neutral!

What do you mean 'thin' does not equate to 'health'? Sure it does!

Intuitive Eating helps you make peace with food and your body, whether or not you eat mindfully. 

Intuitive Eating has you challenge the reasons behind your food rules and restrictions, which usually tie to body image.

Intuitive Eating emphasizes that diet isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of health. And acknowledges that stressing about food and your body is counterproductive to your mental well-being. 

Ok. Those are some key differences. Onto some similarities. 

Similarities between Intuitive & Mindful Eating

Eating slowly and mindfully, distraction-free, savouring the flavours and textures of your food allows you to be more connected to, not just your food, but your body’s sensations, including fullness. 

Having dinner distraction-free with your family, for example, can enhance your meal satisfaction and pleasure. And it's a great way to connect with your loved ones.


In both Mindful and Intuitive Eating you want to pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues. And honour those cues by eating, or stopping, respectively. This is also a form of attunement (paying attention and connecting to your body’s signals). 

So while you can certainly incorporate Mindful Eating into your daily life, it won’t take you as far as actually “healing” your relationship to food and body. 

Reasons you might consider Intuitive Eating

If you’ve had enough with dieting, or restricting food because you dislike your body or because you feel you “should”, or you exercise to burn off calories because you ate too much instead of for enjoyment or to feel good…

…if you’re tired of feeling like you’ll only be happy if you lose weight, or tired of feeling that there’s something wrong with you when you can’t consistently eat “the right foods”, or lose weight and keep it off...

…then Intuitive Eating might be the path for you. 

Why I got into Intuitive Eating (brief version)

I'm an Intuitive Eating counselor and I strongly believe in it.

Without going too off topic, I wanna briefly tell you why I got into Intuitive Eating. Super brief.

When I did my blood sugar balancing work as a Holistic Nutritionist (I was genuinely interested in blood sugar balance),  it was heartbreaking to hear women talk so negatively about their bodies. I wasn’t expecting this. I was very new at this work.

They spoke as if there was something wrong with them and they were fundamentally flawed. 

As if weight loss was the only solution to their body dissatisfaction, and the answer to their happiness. 

And I didn’t want to participate in perpetuating body hate. It felt wrong. And one day I stumbled onto Intuitive Eating. I never looked back.

Final Thoughts...

But yes, you can incorporate Mindful Eating into your daily life if you want to connect more with your food and your body's sensations. It’s a pretty simple practice. 

Intuitive Eating is more involved. If you're struggling with a food and/or body image concern and would like to find out if Intuitive Eating is an option for you or right for you, book a consult call with me and we can chat about it.

I will conclude with a brief summary:

Mindful Eating --> pay attention to your food and eating and eat distraction-free

Intuitive Eating --> you can pay attention to your food and eating in order to experience greater food satisfaction and to connect to your body's signals, but it's not a requirement to improve your relationship to food and your body; ultimately, you need to reject the diet mentality


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