Intuitive Eating: A Beginners Guide

Intuitive Eating: A Beginners Guide

Intuitive Eating: A Beginners Guide

Hillary Cecere MS, RDN


Intuitive eating is a simple practice that reconnects you to your internal hunger and fullness cues. It can help a chronic dieter or someone with an unhealthy relationship with food make peace with food. The end goal is a healthy relationship with food and a greater appreciation for your body.

We were all born as intuitive eaters. As an infant, you listened to your internal cues, and you ate when were biologically hungry and turned away from the bottle or breast when you were full. 

As you got older, external cues begin to creep in and dictate your food choices, food timing and food amounts.  An example of this is being told to finish dinner before getting dessert as a child.  Or certain foods may have been labeled as “junk.”  In adolescence, you might have taken note that certain body types were favored or observed an adult on a restrictive diet. These types of external cues follow us and even heighten in adulthood as diet culture gets louder. Your friend does intermittent fasting, an influencer drinks celery juice, your aunt puts butter in her coffee, a celebrity eats a strictly organic, your coworker doesn’t eat carbs, your neighbor uses a food scale. Diet culture is everywhere.

It’s challenging to listen to your body when there are so many outside influences telling you that you can’t trust it. Unfortunately, when we stop listening to our bodies, it can lead to unhealthy behaviors like chronic dieting, obsessing about food, restriction, binge eating, emotional eating, excessive exercise, and poor body image.

Intuitive eating is your birthright, and you deserve food freedom. So, how do you start listening to your internal cues and quiet diet culture noise? Here are a few tips to get you started!

It’s no secret that diets don’t work long term. Ninety-seven percent of dieters regain the weight they lost within three years. Most diets tend to be restrictive to create a calorie deficit and restrictive diets are hard to maintain.  So, after failing, you feel guilt and shame. Get angry at the diet, not yourself.

It’s difficult to love your body when our society has unachievable body standards, social media filters and the belief that smaller bodies are healthier bodies.  But, believing that your body deserves respect, nourishment and love no matter its size is essential.  Plus, give yourself the reminder that genetics are powerful, and bodies are meant to change, evolve, and age.


Reconnecting to your body takes practice, especially if you have been suppressing hunger, eating based off a list of allowed foods or eating when the clock says you can.  A good start is to check in with yourself before, during and after a meal.  Let your body guide the eating experience. Keep yourself properly fed to prevent excessive hunger which can lead to overeating or binge eating.

If the exercise you are currently doing didn’t change your body, would you keep doing it? Intense exercise routines that you dread doing and that leave you feeling drained need to be forgotten. Choose exercises that you enjoy, relieve stress and that energize you. Movement doesn’t have to be timed, counted, or logged to be beneficial.

Food isn’t just fuel. It’s also enjoyment, memories, celebrations, culture and traditions. The human body likes a variety of foods to feel full and satisfied and when you are trusting your body, there is room for all kinds of foods. Make peace by unconditionally allowing all foods without judgement.  Envision every food as neutral.  Once a food is no longer forbidden, watch how it loses its lure.

Can you incorporate Eat Clean Bro into your intuitive eating journey? Absolutely.  When you are intuitively eating, all foods fit. View the menu and decide your meal choices based on food preference, not macros. The a la carte menu is a great option to utilize when eating intuitively. You can choose various a la carte menu items and create a satisfying meal.

When you eat your meal, remove it from the container. Take a portion that feels right to you and put it on a plate. Take your time to enjoy your food in a pleasant environment. Notice the presentation, aroma, taste, and textures.  Check in with yourself while eating.  If you are feeling full and satisfied, save the rest for later. If you aren’t quite satisfied yet, have more.   Listen to what your body is asking for. This is eating as nature intended.

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