Intuitive Eating

We are all born as intuitive eaters.  

As infants, when we were hungry, we would scream, cry and demand to be fed.  As we became satisfied, we would lose interest in food – turning our head away and becoming fidgety to get out of our chair.  However, life, media messages, emotions, and several other factors influence our eating habits. As a result, we listen less to our body’s natural cues and more to outside messages.  

Intuitive eating is important for several reasons.  It is about making peace with food, respecting your body, and valuing your health.  Also, diets don’t work. Research shows that most diets actually result in weight regain.

At Main Line Nutrition, the staff believes in intuitive eating.  It is being conscious about what you eat and why you are eating it.  In a world full of busy-ness, we can be found eating on the go, while watching television, while working, and the list goes on-and-on. It is about focusing on internal cues of hunger, rather than external such as party platters and office meeting snacks.  

The Hunger-Fullness Scale helps with intuitive eating.

One simple way to practice eating intuitively is to check in with yourself on the hunger-fullness scale.  

2Really hungry, need food ASAP
3Stomach pretty empty, should eat soon
4Stomach a little empty, could eat
5Neither hungry, nor full
7A little full, feeling should subside in thirty minutes
8Too full, changing into sweatpants
9Overstuffed.  Unbuttoning pants
10Feeling sick
  1. Before you eat a meal or snack, ask yourself to rate yourself on a 1-10 hunger-fullness scale.  
  2. Ideally you would be a 3 or 4 prior to eating.
  3. Pace yourself through your meal and snack. Check in with your hunger and fullness.
  4. Eat until you reach a 6.
  5. We want to avoid numbers 1,2,8,9,10.  We would want to address our cues before we reach those numbers.

You may not have normal hunger and fullness cues, and that is okay.  That comes with not listening to our body’s natural cues over time. It is possible to get those cues back.  Main Line Nutrition works with Living Plate to provide a comprehensive menu plan. Our dietitians can work with you in creating menus and meal plans to help you achieve your goals and jump start your path to intuitive eating.  

If you are interested in learning more about intuitive eating or want to learn about other healthy eating strategies, please visit our scheduler to setup an appointment with an Eating Disorder Dietitian.

Written by Taylor Aasand MPH, RDN

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