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Intuitive Eating Before And After

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Intuitive eating or IE is not a diet. It’s not about shrinking our body or eating foods in the name of health. What then might you ask is the transformation we can expect?

The before and after we experience in intuitive eating include:

  • Radical mindset shifts
  • Honoring our body for its wisdom in hunger and fullness
  • Body changes
  • Unconditional permission to eat
  • Inclusion of all desired food choices
  • Honoring your body through joyful movement

Let’s dig into exactly what intuitive eating is, what life is likely to look like before and after we start to eat intuitively, and how we can truly experience true food freedom.

What Does It Mean To Eat Intuitively?

Intuitive eating is the process of learning to use your bodies cues, intuition and natural wisdom to make choices surrounding food. 

We can thank the wisdom of Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch for their brilliant work in this area. They work through 10 principles designed to give you access to the wisdom your own body has about food, movement and emotion.

10 Principles of eating intuitively

  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. Gentle Nutrition

If you are looking to dig deeper into eat of these principles and how they can change your life, check out the latest version of their book where they give. you ALL the details

Reminder: The links below are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Grocery Shopping

Before Intuitive Eating

  • May be rigid about sticking to a list
  • Carefully counts calories
  • Doesn’t eat foods with certain ingredients
  • Feels Guilty when you don’t shop the perimeter
  • Doesn’t buy fear foods
  • Creates off limits foods such as those with gluten, carbs, gmo’s, sugar, and/or dairy for no medical reason
  • Avoids processed foods
  • Limits themselves to the perimeter of the grocery store as much as possible
  • Keeps a rigid grocery list and refuses to go outside of it
  • May spend large amounts of time finding the “right foods”
  • Anxiety at the grocery store

After Intuitive Eating

  • Keeps a grocery list with all foods craved/needed
  • Shops all grocery aisles and chooses food from all of them
  • Allows all food types that fit the budget
  • Doesn’t look at calorie information
  • Does not have off limits foods
  • No anxiety about going grocery shopping

Meal Prepping

Before intuitive eating

  • Preps food with a goal of losing weight or changing the body
  • Avoids oils, sauces, or condiments that might spike calories
  • Sticks to a rigid meal plan
  • Doesn’t allow meals/snacks that don’t follow the meal plan
  • Doesn’t modify the meal prep based on cravings/desires

After Intuitive Eating

  • Meal prep is for convenience not restrictive purposes
  • Starts with a meal idea and adds to it as notices new cravings
  • Doesn’t limit any food choice
  • Chooses other options if they are available and sound more appealing
  • Mixes and matches meal prep items. Is not rigid

Body Image

Before Intuitive Eating

  • Frequently looks for flaws in the body in mirrors or other reflective surfaces
  • Pinches skin to see if there are places they are not okay with
  • Fixates on body flaws
  • Holds onto old clothing that no longer fits
  • Feels guilty if they can’t fit into a former clothing size
  • Frequently body checks against other peoples bodies, social media bodies, or old photographs
  • Believes their body size or shape is a reflection of their self worth
  • May experience body dysmorphia
  • Honors thin privilege believing that thinner bodies are better bodies
  • Frequently changes clothes to cover up flaws
  • Fatphobic beliefs about themselves and/or others

After Intuitive Eating

  • Non-ritualistic mirror glancing
  • Unfollows weight focused social media accounts
  • Practices body respect
  • Journals using body positive journal prompts if having a bad body day
  • Chooses clothing that fits the body. and discards clothing that doesn’t fit


Before Intuitive Eating

  • Exercises to change the body
  • Does exercises even if they don’t enjoy them
  • Feels obligated to exercise for a certain amount of time
  • Wears a pedometer and tracks steps
  • Exercises to earn food

After Intuitive Eating

  • Practices joyful movement
  • Does not do exercise they dislike
  • Does not feel obligated to do exercise
  • Does not do physical activity to lose weight


Before Intuitive Eating

After Intuitive Eating

  • Understands and accepts all levels of fullness
  • Learns from the information of feeling “too full” without self judgement
  • Moves onto the next meal without restriction
  • Talks to self in a kind voice that acknowledges this level of fullness doesn’t feel the best
  • Fact checks: Did I truly overeat? Or did I just eat more than I was used to?

Dining Out

Before Intuitive Eating

  • Primary focus is what you will or will not eat
  • Chooses “safe foods” from the menu
  • Avoids dining out because of food guilt
  • Anxious around foods you don’t cook yourself

After Intuitive Eating

  • Chooses food from the menu that look appetizing
  • Looks forward to dining out with friends and/or family
  • Able to focus on connections with those dining with
  • Appreciates food choices offered
  • Does not feel guilty for dining out


Before Intuitive Eating

  • Only eats at certain times of the day, even if hunger cues are present
  • Only eats at one level of hunger
  • Holds off on food as long as possilbe
  • May require certain hunger cues to be present like a growling tummy or agitation
  • Tries not to eat if not physically hungry or feels guilty if they do

After Intuitive Eating

  • Understands there are many types of hunger and all are valid
  • Tries to avoid very strong hunger cues and eat when the first signs of hunger arise
  • Does not wait to eat until “meal times” if hungry before them
  • Understands there is no “right portion size” and eats until they are satisfied
  • Understands hunger varies from one person to the next

Weight Loss

Before Intuitive Eating

  • Thinks about how it will impact body size with most meals/snacks
  • Restricts food to keep the body a certain size or lose weight
  • Wont eat certain foods because of fear of gaining weight
  • May binge/restrict

After Intuitive Eating

  • Chooses all foods based on physical and emotional desire
  • Is not focused on how the food choice will change the shape of the body
  • Does not restrict foods
  • Eats until satisfied
  • Honors that the body may change as all foods are included in the diet
  • Accepts all body weights/shapes/sizes as equally valuable

Before And After Photos

These should not exist in the intuitive eating world.

In fact, if you are seeing before and after photos glorifying body changes from intuitive eating, this person is not in fact following the principles.

Intentional before and after photos are a form of body checking, and will ultimately lead us back to die culture.

Intuitive Eating PDF

“but… how do I do that?”

Eating intuitively can seem simple but feel impossible to truly put into action.

This short & simple pdf was built to give you “just the facts” and get you moving in the right direction. It will help you to

  • Simplifies the 10 principles of IE
  • Key points from each principle
  • Helpful tips for eating intuitively with body changes
  • Guidance on how to make food freedom easy
Download The Intuitive Eating 101 PDF
Just the basics of intuitive eating all in one spot. 
Thank you!

Why Intuitive Eating Doesn’t Work

Here’s the reasons healing your relationship with food through IE doesn’t work for some people: 

  • Your treating it like a diet
  • You desire an end result that yields a smaller body
  • You’re expecting the process to be linear
  • You don’t embrace challenges with kindness
  • You’re desperate for “progress” which isn’t what intuitive eating is about
  • You have a loud eating disorder voice that disrupts your bodies internal cues and have not worked through recovery from an eating disorder

There are some people who should NOT be using these principles.  This includes people experiencing an eating disorder where hunger and fullness cues are deeply skewed. 

If this is you, consider working with an eating disorder dietitian to develop a carefully constructed eating disorder recovery meal plan. 

What Are The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating?

1. Reject the diet mentality 2. Honor your hunger 3. Make Peace With Food 4.Challenge The Food Police5.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. Gentle Nutrition

Can You Eat Intuitively And Lose Weight?

Yes. But it is never the goal of intuitive eating. Making weight loss your reason to intuitively eat will ensure you do not achieve true food freed. Those that intuitively eat will either lose weight, gain weight or their weight will remain the same.

What Does Intuitive Eating Look Like?

Intuitive eaters honor both their physical and emotional hunger and practice food neutrality to achieve food freedom.

How Long Does It Take To Learn Intuitive Eating?

We will begin to see intuitive eating choices in about 6 months of consistently implementing the practice. To be a solid intuitive eater, you should expect it to take about 2 years. Intuitive eating is a cumulation of learning and unlearning and the process is not linear.

Shena Jaramillo. Registered Dietitian

Hi I'm Shena. I'm an eating disorders dietitian in Washington state. I hold bachelors degrees nutrition & dietetics, cultural anthropology & psychology. I believe in honoring your hunger, having your cake whenever you want it, and that critically analyzing diet culture can change the world!