The difference between mindful eating and Intuitive Eating

Have you heard of mindful eating and Intuitive Eating? Perhaps you don’t really know the difference.

We outline what they are, the differences, and how they can help build a healthy relationship to food.

Let’s start off by explaining what mindful eating is.

What is mindful eating?

Mindful eating is focusing on your eating experience. Including body sensations, thoughts and feelings related to food.

All without passing any judgement.

To practise mindful eating, you must learn to examine your feelings, thoughts, and physiological sensations without judging them.

Along with eating, mindfulness can also include the actions of purchasing, preparing, and serving food.

Where did mindful eating come from?

Mindful eating originally came from a widely used, age-old technique used in many religions.

Deliberate attention to one’s thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations in the present is known as mindfulness.

These days, mindful eating has been incorporated by many people into diet culture, as a way to lose weight or manipulate their intake somehow.

But that’s not what mindful eating is. Mindful eating is a skill that some people that have a healthy relationship with food acquire.

The principles of mindful eating

There are seven principles of mindful eating.

They are:

    1. Eating and chewing food slowly with little or no distractions
    2. Listening to your body’s physical hunger signals and stopping eating when you are full (most of the time)
    3. Acquiring coping mechanisms for guilt and food anxiety
    4. Recognizing eating cues that are not caused by actual hunger
    5. Observing the impact that eating has on your body and emotions
    6. Using your senses by taking in the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of the food and environment around you
    7. Maintaining overall health and well-being with nutrition

Our view of mindful eating

Mindful eating is certainly something we see the benefits of.

Those who can be mindful of what they’re eating might have a good relationship with food. It’s not really a real-life way of eating.

We think that eating every meal or snack ultra mindfully could be disordered.

And we’re in the business of helping clients build healthy relationships with food and recover from disordered eating.

So we encourage clients to incorporate mindful eating skills. But not as a die-hard way to eat.

We encourage them to develop their mindful awareness when they’re ready, and if it’s going to be helpful to them.


Now onto Intuitive Eating…

What is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive Eating is designed to build a healthy relationship with food.

It’s not an idea or something you just do – it’s a psychological and nutritional framework.

The goal of Intuitive Eating is to let your body guide your food choices – free from self-criticism or diet culture’s influence.

Those who are Intuitive Eaters have been shown to have lower risks of binge eating, eating disorders, and have more connection to themselves (known as Interoceptive Awareness).

You can learn more about Intuitive Eating by reading the creator’s book (*) or reading this blog for more clarity

The differences: Summary

Intuitive eating focuses on your body cues by using 10 principles to help you do so.

Mindful eating can help people reduce stress and alter their eating habits.

Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach. Whereas mindful eating has been used in weight-loss plans and diet culture to manipulate weight

Mindful eating is a skill people that have a healthy relationship with food have.

Intuitive eating extends beyond the eating experience, unlike mindful eating.

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