Intuitive Eating – A blessing or a curse?

I was a bad blogger last week and hinted at a confession but didn’t spill.

I know, I know… I hate it when bloggers do that too but sometimes it just has to happen.

The thing is, what I’m about to discuss isn’t a confession about me, per say – It’s more of a confession about how I feel about a new “trend” in the HLB (healthy living blogger for y’all that don’t know that acronym) world.

Intuitive Eating.

This topic deserves its own post and since I’m thinking out loud today (very loudly, BTW…), I’m linking up with Amanda.


One more note before I start – before y’all go on the defensive, read the entire post. Please and thank you :)

I’m getting a bit fed up with this “intuitive” eating trend.


Yep, you read that right. Fed up.

I get the concept. Trust me, I really do get it.

Eat what you’re craving only when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.

Easy peasy, right?

Well the thing is, if I were being 100% intuitive with what my body craved, this is what my day’s eats would look like:

  • Breakfast: Bagel + Cream Cheese and a Banana
  • Morning Snack: Donut with chocolate frosting and sprinkles, maybe 2 ;)
  • Lunch: Half of a large black olive pizza (for real – I can put down a pizza like no other…)
  • Afternoon Snack: Another slice of pizza and probably a few pieces of Reese’s fun-sized candy
  • Dinner: Jimmy Johns (#6, no mayo) with Cooler Ranch Doritos
  • Midnight Snack: Chocolate, lots of chocolate… and peanut butter!

Hellooooo carbs! And hello unhealthy eating. Yes, I love fruits and vegetables but do I ever crave them? H to the ell no… If it were up to my food cravings, I’d pick pizza and pasta and bagels and all things carbs before I’ll ever choose to eat a healthy protein or a carrot.

This leads me to my issues with intuitive eating…

Issue #1: I believe that saying we’re being “intuitive” with our eating habits gives us the excuse to eat unhealthy.

If you read my blog, you know I’m all about balance and everything in moderation. (Read: Balance out that cardio session with a large portion of peanut butter and chocolate.) Yes, it is important to eat well but it is also important to enjoy life and eat a slice of cake if it is your birthday or have a drink on your friend’s birthday. I do like the approach intuitive eating encourages when it comes to balance.

The issue I have with intuitive eating is that it seems to be giving us HLB-ers an excuse to eat unhealthy more than normal.

I mean, have you looked at your Instagram or Facebook feed lately? “Look I’m being intuitive, check out this sugar-laden pancake topped with chocolate and syrup that I’m having for breakfast!” or “Woohoo! I can finally eat what I want – bring on the pizza and ice cream and brownies… oh and I had a small salad because my body is also telling me to be healthy!”

Issue #2: I’m tired of people using intuitive eating as the next diet trend. I’ve seen a few things on social media recently that have really gotten under my skin. All include marketing campaigns that shout “Lose weight the natural way via Intuitive Eating!” or something along those lines.

No, just no. Don’t use something that is supposedly natural (intuitive is natural, right?) and tout it as the next easy way to lose a few pounds in the new year. You’re turning intuitive eating into the next fad diet and that makes me mad.

Yes, some people that begin to eat intuitively will lose weight but those that have restricted calories in the past are more likely going to GAIN weight when they switch over to eating more intuitively.

In the end, losing weight is all about calories in vs. calories out (yep, I just went there…). And if weight loss or weight gain is your main goal, being intuitive is important but making sure you’re consuming the correct amount of energy for your body and weight goal is more important.

Issue #3: Food obsession.

Maybe it is just me that feels this way but it seems as if intuitive eating almost leads its followers to an unhealthy obsession with food, the same as with any other “diet.” (I’m talking beyond the normal level of obsession because, I’m obviously – check out my Instagram! – obsessed with food on a daily basis ;) )

Yes, there is the initial “I can eat ALL the food” feeling once you remove the food restrictions you once held. Yes, at first you want to eat EVERYTHING. But once that initial cycle is complete, you still overthink food.

“Is this what I’m really craving?”

“Well, this is what I brought for lunch today and I don’t want it but I also don’t want to spend money to buy lunch. I guess I’m not being intuitive.”

“I’m not hungry tonight even though I worked out like a beast this morning. I guess I’ll just skip dinner because that’s the intuitive thing to do.” <– This is NEVER okay in my book… unless you’re sick or have absolutely no food in your cupboards and it is -20 degrees outside AND you live away from any and all food delivery.

“Is weekly meal planning intuitive? I have a busy work schedule so I have to meal plan on the weekends but does this mean I’m not listening to my body during the week?”

Sometimes being intuitive is just not possible. We all lead busy lives and don’t have the time or the money or the energy to run to the store every time we’re craving spaghetti or steak or orange juice or a cupcake. And then we start to feel guilty. We start to feel guilty about not being intuitive or not giving our body what it wants. We start feeling guilty because we’re beginning to fail another diet. (But intuitive eating isn’t supposed to be a diet… #amiright?) And feeling guilty about anything related to food or eating should NEVER happen.

While I appreciate and 100% agree with the movement’s approach to loving your body and being happy with your life, I cannot get past the issues I listed above.

The answer for me is plain and simple, don’t put a label on the way you eat. Labels have the tendency of causing feelings of guilt and shame and embarrassment and tend to cause more problems than they solve.

Eat what you want, when you want it and be okay with it. If you want to lose weight, eat less. If you want to gain weight, eat more. Just do me a favor and don’t refer to it as a diet or any “type” of eating.

Just eat.

No question today but I’d love to read your thoughts on this topic in the comments section.


  1. AMEN AMEN AMEN i absolutely love this post! Thanks for going there and talking loudly :) about it!
    Sarah@creatingbettertomorrow recently posted…Holiday Hustle #2My Profile

  2. I think a huge misconception about intuitive eating is it is just a free for all eat whatever you want whenever you want but I think there’s a few things that take a lot longer to wrap your head around. In the beginning of the IE book they say eat whatever you want whenever you want but at the end of the book they actually have a chapter dedicated to gentle nutrition. I’ve been reading a lot about how it is all meant to work and two of the best explanations I’ve heard is that you need to check in how you feel after you eat. Yes your ideal day says you could eat a bagel, donut, pizza and candy but then you are meant to rate how all that physically makes you feel and with some foods you realize over time how crap they can make you feel, which is meant to make you learn that you want food that will make you feel good. The second thing I read recently about a woman who thought IE was the bees knees but gained 40 pounds in 2 months doing so by eating whatever and whenever she wanted, years later she finally got IE for her which was not to listen to what her mind told her to eat but her body of how things made her feel.

    I love IE for the principles of eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full. I struggle with eating whatever I want though, removing good and bad food labels and completely forgetting weight loss as an outcome. All I know is I’m much happier for having given up weighing myself and calorie counting, is it the be all and end all for me? I really don’t know but I think you’ve brought up a great debate about it.

    I’ve actually wondered whether blogging helps to feed a food obsession sometimes too :/
    Jan @ Sprouts n squats recently posted…Thinking out loudMy Profile

    • You make great points here, Jan! I obviously didn’t cover all of the points of IE and am being a bit dramatic in some of this post (hopefully it is somewhat obvious…). I love all of the principles too but sometimes I think it has been taken too far and it bothers me when the concept is being turned into a diet.

  3. I totally echo some of your concerns.. I think people use IE as an excuse & as an obsession, but I have a few thoughts:

    1. Perhaps those examples are not intuitive… But rather a response to restricting for an extended period. If one really listened to how their body felt, you simply wouldn’t crave donuts and bagels every day. Why? Because you’d feel like crap after a few days. If we dont assume we all secretly want a carb-and-sugar-free-for-all, maybe we would realize we don’t really crave that.

    2. I think the blogging community needs to be careful about the perception of balance we give. Many of us work out a TON, and can therefore eat a lot. Not everyone has that luxury and perhaps we give a false perception. I, for one, could stop showing my eating on a day after a 20 mile run. Because that isn’t everyone’s balance. All the instagramed photos of sugary treats isn’t helping anyone.

    Great thoughts!
    Hannah @ SprinTs & scones recently posted…WIAW # 17My Profile

    • Omg, I agree with everything you just said 100%!!!!
      Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli recently posted…Thinking Out LoudMy Profile

    • Very true, perhaps I would not eat pizza and a bagel everyday if I were truly being intuitive. I can say, however, that I let myself eat pretty much whatever I want and I pretty much always like bagels and pizza no matter how often I eat them ;) Love your thoughts on that the blogging community needs to be careful about what we portray. We all work out a lot and therefore eat a lot. Love your post this morning too!

  4. Oooooooookay…where do I start? First off, I want to say that I agree that there are WAY too many people out there announcing to the world that they are “eating intuitively” but really don’t know two shits about the term and are just using it as a way to eat all the food. I personally have been working on getting back to my intuitive eater for some time now after giving up calorie counting earlier this year. Counting and restricting definitely messed me up in the head, but honestly, I was living with disordered thoughts about food far before that. The more I learned about health and nutrition, the more rules were added to my list…to the point that I had absolutely NO CONCEPT of moderation. I’ll admit, when I first gave myself permission to eat any and all foods, I definitely overdid it on the sugar and processed stuff, but now? Now so much of the things that used to be on my “food pedestal” are now just food…plain and simple. I don’t believe that I could maintain a diet of pizza, donuts, and chocolate over a long period of time because I know how all of that makes me feel…bloated and sluggish. I actually DO crave vegetables…especially after vacations or holidays where I tend to eat things I don’t normally. Also, now that I’ve reintroduced those once forbidden foods back into my diet, I don’t feel at all that I have an abnormal obsession with food. While I think my senses were heightened at the earlier stages of the process, now I rarely second guess my food choices. Of course I say that NOW…it has taken me a while to get to this point but most of my problem before was emotional eating and food guilt.

    Another thing with the whole eating intuitively that I think people misconstrue is the practicality aspect of it. Like you said, it’s just not possible to eat intuitively all the time and that is not what the theory behind the concept expresses. The main thing is just to get back to thinking simply (like a child) when it come to eating…without all the diet talk clouding our judgement.

    I agree with you…intuitive eating is NOT a diet and it is NOT an excuse to eat crap all the time. This is just one of the MANY ways that people have of mucking something up that actually works. It’s like the whole gluten-free movement. I mean, seriously? That was NOT meant to be a diet people!

    *steps off soap box*
    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli recently posted…Thinking Out LoudMy Profile

    • Awesome, awesome points, Heather. I actually think you’re one of the bloggers that does IE well and healthy and promotes a positive image of it to the world. While I do believe in the concept of IE, it drives me crazy that it is being turned into a diet! It is supposed to be something natural, that you don’t think about and it is being used in other ways.

  5. I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about this one honestly. I don’t like the idea for myself because it makes me focus too much on food which causes a whole host of problems for my head, but I’ve seen how it can be beneficial to others, so I guess I look at it as a to each his own thing. I did get more than a little aggravated to see it posted almost everywhere for a bit, since it did start to mess with my head, but I made a move to stop subscribing to blogs that heavily promoted it, so I haven’t seen it around much at all and have been a lot happier for it. I think you’ll spark some interesting discussion with this one girl…i’ll be interested to read the comments
    Caitlin recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #2My Profile

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Caitlin! As with any other diet, I think it definitely can cause issues, especially if you’re trying to be a perfect eater. There should be a lot of good comments today and I’m excited to read the debate!

  6. Thanks for educating me. I’ve been seeing IE pop up on every health blog out there, but really didn’t know the principles behind it.
    bezzymates recently posted…Drifting Like Snowflakes this SeasonMy Profile

    • I definitely did not do a great job at including all of the aspects of IE so I recommend you look further if you’d like to learn more :)

  7. THANK YOU! I think it’s a good idea in theory, but I wrote a post a few weeks back about how I don’t really think it’s possible to LEARN to be intuitive (exercise or otherwise). I know people who naturally eat intuitively, but they don’t talk about it all over the internet. It’s just how they are. That’s intuitive eating, not dedicating entire posts to it. I think it can help people break through some of the restrictive eating cycles, but I think it has turned into more of a trend- you’re absolutely right- which defeats the purpose of the entire challenge. If I switched to intuitive eating, I think I would have a pretty good balance but the amount of cake I’d consume would NOT be healthy. I could rant forever but I’ll just say you nailed it ;)
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…I didn’t ask to be this wayMy Profile

    • Agreed! The theory is great but some people are naturally great at intuitive eating and some people are not. It is what it is. It also irks me that it is getting touted as a way to lose weight – no, just no. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  8. This is awesome! I’ve tried intuitive eating in the past and it just doesn’t work for me. I don’t really have a “hungry” feeling so if I based eating off of how I feel, I would never eat! I tend to have the same breakfast and lunch every day too (school makes it hard to be creative) so dinner in the only chance I get to be creative. And a lot of the time I have to pre-plan it so I can get the groceries to make it. If I realllly don’t want that for dinner, I’ll make something else. But if I have something in the crockpot I’m not going to let it go to waste! Thanks so much for posting this, Becky!
    Leigha @ Minougirl recently posted…Oatmeal – 2 WaysMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences with IE, Leigha! My husband also doesn’t have a hungry signal so it’s hard for him to know what/when to eat. Different eating works differently for everyone so I think we should all do what works best for us and forget the next big trend!

  9. I don’t know a whole lot about intuitive eating, but mostly because I echo most of your same complaints, so it doesn’t seem like it’d fit my life. Everyone reacts to food differently — some people need the structure, some people don’t. No amount of feeling shitty from eating shitty food makes me want to stop eating pizza for breakfast, ever. It’s delicious. But I actually enjoy meal planning and I know Monday immediately after work my stressed out body doesn’t actually want what’s best for it (because it’s usually lettuce covered in Reese’s and Snickers… like as if that’s an actual thing).

    Plus if I don’t watch my calories at least some of the time, I’ll gain a million pounds. Fact.
    Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies recently posted…Sweet Treats at P.F. Chang’sMy Profile

    • I definitely didn’t do a great job of sharing what IE actually encompasses so I’d encourage you to dig deeper if you want to learn more :) Lettuce with Reese’s, sounds like we could be eating soul mates, haha! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences!

  10. so I just read Hannah’s comment and I want to say props to her to really nailing how I feel about it. I completely agree, bloggers need to be careful about how they show balance in their life. i think they give off this air of balance that makes it almost unattainable to others. like glossing over what life is really like when it comes to food. I think intuitive eating is a lot more personal and honestly I just hate the term because intuitive is not as easy as it may seem.
    Alex @ therunwithin recently posted…Thinking Cap.My Profile

    • Hannah’s comment hit it spot on! I love the concept but it is turning into something that I am not a fan of… another fad. And you’re very much true, it isn’t as easy as it may seem. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  11. Agree x100000. I get so annoyed with all the ‘eat like this and be thin’ trends. If you want cake, eat cake. But don’t follow it up with two donuts and a milkshake. Bodies need balance, not restrictions or trends.
    Runner girl eats recently posted…ThreesdayMy Profile

  12. I completely agree with everything you said!!! I would never put a label on how I eat, because there isn’t a certain way I eat. I try to eat healthy most of the time, but I still treat myself with certain unhealthy foods every once in a while too. Every year there is a new diet trend, and by the end of that year there is some research that proves that diet trend really isn’t all that good. People just need to know that if you eat whole, natural foods, then you will be healthy, as long as you consume the other not so healthy stuff in moderation.
    Becky@TheSavedrunner recently posted…Two Christmas Recipes!My Profile

    • Labels end up turning things down the wrong path and it upsets me that something so natural has seemed to turn this way! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Becky!

  13. Oooo this is a toughie… The label and fad aspect of IE definitely bugs me, but people seem to have a knack for taking something that’s good in theory and totally mucking it up in execution. Having struggled with an eaten disorder, I spent years and years of my life eating in a way that was the complete opposite of intuitive. Everything was planned to a tee and I didn’t pay any attention to what my body actually wanted. Letting go of the planning and returning to a more intuitive way of eating was the best thing that ever happened to me. Yes, there was a period where I overloaded on junk foods and sugar, but it ran its course and eventually balanced out. These days I actually DO crave healthier foods, but I also need a good amount of treats in there too.

    I’m pretty sure the main goal of intuitive eating is to just eat, but for people who’ve been struggling with disordered eating for a while, it can take a while to get there… and that’s the period where all those issues can pop up.

    Great post, lady :)
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. thinking out loud #57 .My Profile

    • Totally 100% agree with everything you just said. It is important to avoid restriction and food rules, etc. when recovering from disordered eating and IE seems to be the solution to all of that. I love the focus on topics other than food as a way to become happier in life and be less worried about or controlling with food to be happy. The thing that has just been irking me about the whole IE thing is everyone touting is a weight loss solution or as a way to be happier with your life. I believe you had a post a few months ago where you said something along the lines about just eating and stop calling it anything. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  14. Intuitive eating? Sounds like a bunch of bologna to me honestly. My day of IE wouldn’t be very far off from what you described either! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this :)
    Clara @ Southern Thintellect recently posted…Thank you, Betty, you’re the best.My Profile

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Clara! Overall, I do understand and like the concept but as with a lot of things, I think the blog world is taking it a bit too far.

  15. Great post, Becky! I didn’t know about this trend, but I don’t think it would work either. While I am weird and crave fruit and Brussels sprouts and salmon, I also crave the biggest spoon ever loaded with 1000 calories of pb at lunch and to face plant in the entire pie I made at lunch. Everything in moderation is great but everything I want when I want it? Not so much!
    Laura Dembowski recently posted…Peppermint Sprinkle Popcorn + Sprinkles Cookbook ReviewMy Profile

    • Okay, I guess I lied… sometimes I do crave fruit but mainly because it is sweet ;) I didn’t get close to describing the entire concept of IE but there is a lot of information out there if you want to learn more!

  16. Amen sister. You’re awesome. Love this post!
    Jackie recently posted…Holiday Favorites!My Profile

  17. Hmmm… I do agree with you on some of these points, but along with pretty much everything else in the blog world, I think it’s important to take people’s thoughts/rambles/photos with a grain of salt. You see that photo of the sugar laden pancakes for breakfast, and yes, obviously that’s not super healthy, but maybe it’s just the occasional treat for them? I think within the HLB world, there’s been a lot of eating disorders too, so there’s lots of women trying to get past that, and so eating intuitively and NOT just eating fruits & veggies is something they’re working towards since they’ve been so obsessive with fruits and veggies for practically their whole life. I think as a whole, eating intuitively is a GOOD thing when it comes to eating when you’re hungry and stopping when your full, but you also need to use your knowledge with your food choices and balance out what you’re eating. So I guess what my rambles are trying to say is that I do see where you’re coming from, but like a lot of things, it’s important to see the whole picture. Interesting post/topic!
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted…12/19/13: Thursday ThoughtsMy Profile

    • Thank you for your thoughts, Ashley! I am being a bit dramatic (hopefully it is obvious…) in a lot of my comments here. I do actually fully support the concept but get really upset/sad when people use it in a way that defeats the purpose of being intuitive with their food choices and life. And I really don’t like it when IE is being touted as a weight loss solution – grrr… ;) I am happy to be getting a lot of feedback and debate on this post since that is what I was really looking for here. Sometimes we all just get a little caught up in the HLB world and need to take a step back and look at the larger picture.

  18. ….i feel like i need to keep my lips zipped today. we’ve already learned I’m feeling a bit feisty but at the look of it, so are you! ;) Maybe we should just pop a bottle of wine and have a feisty party!
    Katie @ Talk less, SaKy more recently posted…Roasted Tomato Veggie Soup (Recipe!)My Profile

    • Haha :) Seriously though, please share your thoughts! I meant for this post to be more of a debate about eating/IE than anything else. Overall, I do believe in the concept but I am not a fan of flaunting or touting a natural way of eating (that we’re supposed to do without thinking) as the next way to lose weight or finally become happy with life. Or, you can wait and we can debate of a bottle of bubbly :)

  19. Interesting topic and I’m sure people are going to have A LOT to say. So I sort of agree and disagree. I think you need to get to a certain place with food to be able to eat intuitively but I do think it’s possible. Do I crave sugar? absolutely. But I also really do crave vegetables. I enjoy healthy food almost as much as I enjoy dessert.

    I don’t go through a thought process before I eat where I ask myself if I am really hungry nor do I have the same thought process when I am full. My body just starts and stops…Do I end up eating when I’m not hungry? Definitely but it’s better than denying myself food because it “isn’t meal time” or what happens when I don’t allow my body what it’s craving…a massive backfire where I eat ALL THE COOKIES.

    I find it incredibly annoying when people post pictures on IG or wherever of them eating certain food and caption it as if they’re trying to prove a point that they can eat unhealthy food. The majority of the pictures I post definitely aren’t “healthy” but that’s because they’re prettier haha

    For me, intuitive eating is not thinking so much about food rather than going through the process of “should I eat this? will I get fat? Am I full?”…I just kind of let it happen! So far so good for me.
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…Baking Course Recap {Part 2}My Profile

    • I think you have the idea of IE down perfectly. In itself, I definitely believe in the concept of IE and have a great appreciation for those that are naturally able to just eat! My main issue with the whole popularity of it is that people are turning it into a fad which it should not be. Like you mentioned, it should be something that just happens without thinking. Thanks for your thoughts! I am looking for great discussion/debate here today because different ways of eating work differently for everyone.

    • I agree with everything you just said, Davida! :) You basically took the words right out of my mouth!
      Dana recently posted…Eggnog CookiesMy Profile

  20. I agree with a lot of what you say but I think this could easily be applied to many “fad” diet trends such as “If It Fits My Macros” or really anything whose intention isn’t strict calorie restriction but rather changing the thoughts behind food and fueling our body.
    I am just starting to dabble in the world of intuitive eating through a holiday challenge and the BIGGEST thing I learned was how much more IE is than JUST food! In the 4 weeks of this challenge we only talked about food for 5 days, the other weeks were focusing on other aspects of life (body, play & lifestyle). these are all important factors that contribute to food obsession and if you only look at the very important IE downfalls you wonderfully pointed out you are missing a HUGE chunk of the picture.

    I am thankful you wrote this because it will definitely help people think twice about if they are truly being an “intuitive eater” or if they are just using IE as an excuse to be lazy & unhealthy.
    AlliSon recently posted…Sew-tastic Christmas SweaterMy Profile

    • Oh definitely, this post could be applied to most, if not all, diet trends. That is one of the underlying points I was hinting at in the post. While I do love the concept and love that there are so many things OUTSIDE of food to focus on, I don’t like the fact that it is turning into a fad. It’s supposed to be natural and something our bodies can do without thought. Thank you for your thoughts!

  21. This is such an interesting topic, and it looks like you’re already getting a lot of good feedback! Overall, I do think the concept of intuitive eating can be a good thing. For people that are recovering from eating disorders or people that are chronic yo-yo dieters, the idea of just eating when you’re hungry, stopping when you’re full, and eating what you’re craving is a good one, but I think a lot of people can ‘muck it up’ when they take something that’s supposed to come naturally and use it as an excuse to overthink their choices (what do I feel like eating right now? Am I hungry? Am I full? Am I full NOW?’ kind think) and ultimately end up restricting or bingeing, using IE as a justification.
    As for what your ‘intuitive’ day would look like? Honestly, I think you would love it for the first couple of days, and then get sick of it really, really quickly. Our bodies are smart, and eventually we start to feel run down and sluggish and start craving veggies. For example, I ate a ton of cookie dough/cookies on Monday, and when I woke up Tuesday, all I could think about eating were veggies, oatmeal, and eggs. I think our bodies do have a natural equilibrium that they strive for.
    I have read the Intuitive Eating book many times (and in true hipster fashion, I read it years ago, before it was popular) and I found that it did help me quite a bit in ED recovery and encouraged me to listen to my body more.
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…My First Experience With Acupuncture.My Profile

    • I completely agree about the concept of IE being a good thing and I’m obviously (or hopefully obviously…) being a bit sarcastic in some of this post. As with all things in the HLB world, some have just taken the concept a bit too far which upsets me. Like you said, it is a concept that is supposed to come naturally and our bodies are smart and know what they should be eating (although I could eat pizza, maybe not half a pizza but still pizza, everyday and feel fine – I have a weird body ;) ). Thank you for your thoughts!

  22. I see where you’re coming from, but I’d also like to think that I eat and exercise intuitively (even though I don’t usually talk about it). I try to eat when my stomach growls, stop when I’m full, and work out as much as I can/ feel like, and that works for me. At the same time, I’ve never had an eating disorder or had to lose a large amount of weight, so perhaps intuitive eating would look different to me if I had. I once heard that intuitive eating and exercising is something that kids practice, and as adults, that’s what we should strive for. Like others said, if I eat junk food all weekend, I feel gross by Monday and crave a big salad, just as kids get stomachaches if they eat candy all day long.

    Definitely an interesting topic!

    • I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. IE is easy for some people (I think mainly the group that has never struggled with weight and/or food) but it really hard to learn with our society as it is today. I also get upset when it is touted as a weight loss “lifestyle” rather than what it actually is, a natural way of living! Thanks for your thoughts, Emily!

  23. I wasn’t really sure what I thought until I read the end, “…dont’ put a label on the way you eat”. That I 100% agree with! I mainly eat “paleo”, but to me that means just mostly non processed foods. I mean, ghiradelli sure as hell isn’t paleo, but I’m not giving that up, and neither is the gallon size amount of whipped cream that I eat around the holidays either haha. But when I call it Paleo too much, it ALWAYS makes me want to do what I did to get started on this path and that was the 30 day Paleo challenge, yup, I ate 100% clean for 30 days. Which ended up leading to 3 months of straight clean. But then I realized this is extremely hard to do when it comes to friends and family. I have to live a little, and stop being so obsessive. Then I heard someone say (a certified personal trainer) “Eat what you’re craving”. And this led me to “intuitive” eating. Anymore I don’t label how I eat, I just simply explain, “I eat clean, but when I’m craving that damn cupcake, um yeah, I will eat it.” It makes it easier for me, especially since I don’t have a healthy history with food. The less stress and obsessive behavior I can prevent, the better. I guess for some people, a label helps them to stick to it, but bottom line: I do think it produces an unhealthy relationship, and everyone should just shoot to eat as healthy as possible (meaning get in your veggies and proteins, and some fruits, and make sure you’re drinking enough water), and indulge every once in a while, don’t skip on a piece of cake, or a cupcake because it isn’t “clean”. It’s okay to enjoy something sweet :)
    Chelsea @ A Fit LittleOne recently posted…Mono, Trans, Sat, & PolyMy Profile

    • Great thoughts, Chelsea! I knew this post was going to be a bit controversial but I like the debate and I wanted to raise some issues I was having. Labels always tend to cause issues and relate back to guilt which is not we what should correspond with food.

  24. i think my issue with the whole “intuitive eating” trend is that it seems to go something like this–> someone decides to eat intuitively, so they THINK about what their body is craving and THINK about what makes them feel good and THINK about when they’re really hungry. isn’t that exactly the opposite of intuitive? the word intuitive seems to mean – to me – that you shouldn’t think about it so damn much. i think kids and men (that’s a gross over-generalization, so i apologize for that) eat intuitively. i watch the way my fiance eats and the way my nieces and nephew eat and you know what? they don’t think about it AT ALL. if they’re hungry, they don’t lay around in bed pondering what their body might be telling them about what they’re craving for hours. evie hops up on a stool, says “mama, i’m hungry,” and whatever my sister-in-law puts in front of her, she picks through to eat what she wants til she’s full and then she walks away. that’s intuitive. “intuitive” eating in the HLB world looks more (to me at least) like an excuse to either overindulge as a response to previous extreme restriction or in a lot of cases an excuse to return to restrictive ways – “oh my body isn’t hungry so i’m not eating. it’s INTUITIVE, guys.” i agree with the thought behind it – don’t think about it, just eat – but the way it plays out in reality seems to be far too cerebral for me to get behind. and i bet i could take you on on a pizza eating contest, just so you know. hold the olives on my half :)
    molly @ heart, sole & cereal recently posted…be gone, sickness.My Profile

    • Yes, yes, yes – even though it is an over-generalization, kids and men do it right. The rest of us just tend to think too much about the whole thing. I also agree with the concept behind it but the way it is being executed makes me skin crawl quite frequently ;) Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Molly!

  25. I’m with you girl. IE sounds like a great plan, but I also would eat all the junk. Thanks for being honest :)
    kATIE recently posted…Focusing on 2014.My Profile

  26. Yeah, I agree. When I ate “intuitively” I ended up a fatass. Fail.


    • I am a dietitian who struggles with my weight and I also have never understood why many of my collegues have embraced intuative eating. Mind you, many that preach it are naturally thin or eating “intuitively” really does mean mostly veggies. But in all honesty, if I ate what I wanted, it would be pasta, donuts, and more pasta. I get the “love your body” thing too and maybe intuitive eating works for certain populations (those recovering from ED who need to learn to feel hunger again). But honestly, I am hungry all the time, and know how to listen to that signal. Yet I am still overweight, I cant even imagine what I would look like if I fed my hunger with what I really wanted. Thanks for this post.

      • Thank you sharing your thoughts and expertise, Ana! I agree about how it is important for some populations but it also doesn’t work for some populations. I love the concept of it but I am not loving the way it is being portrayed across social media.

    • I had a similar experience. I understand that there is an initial period where you do eat all of the things but for me it never stopped. I totally lost sense of my hunger cues for some reason.

  27. My favorite point you bring up is “don’t label the way you eat”. I completely agree…coming from a nutrition background and doing a lot of research/work in community nutrition, I come across people all the time who join some type of diet bandwagon (whether it be “intuitive eating”, limiting carbs, etc) and try to make all these changes so quickly that they can’t handle it. We all lead such busy lives that if we ate “intuitively” and didn’t at least put a little work into keeping our habits in check, we would all succumb to laziness/busyness…I know I would! Just being “aware” of your habits and what you need to do to get your body/mind to a state of content i think is a great start. Thanks for posting, I enjoyed reading!
    Emily @ More Than Just Dessert recently posted…Tuesday Coffee TalkMy Profile

    • Great points, Emily! I love the concept of IE but, like you mentioned, people take it as the next diet bandwagon which it should most definitely NOT be. It should be something natural that happens without thinking too much.

  28. I couldn’t agree with you more! It makes me sad that “Intuitive Eating” is the new “diet fad,” or at least it’s been popping up that way. I wanted so badly for it to work for me, and I honestly felt ashamed when it didn’t. Why couldn’t I just trust myself enough to do it on my own? Oh, b/c I’m a compulsive eater and “listening to myself” meant EATING ALL THE THINGS. ;) I think it’s a nice thought, but only works for a very small percentage of people.
    Emily (@FitandFreeEmily) recently posted…thinking on abstinence (oa vlog – youtube)My Profile

    • I also tend to eat all of the things regardless of how it makes me feel ;) As with any other “diet,” it causes shame and guilt when it doesn’t work for you which should not be associated with eating at all! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Emily!

  29. Fiona MacDonald says:

    Amen! I’ve been reading a LOT about intuitive eating and I do try to be AWARE of what I’m eating but man right now there is an M & M cookie on my desk and whether or not I should eat it, or ‘intuitively’ want it..I am going eat it because it will be amazing ;) Great post!

    • You’re right, it is important to be aware of what we’re eating – don’t just eat to eat. I love the concept of IE at a total level but the way it is being executed is upsetting me! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Fiona :)

  30. ‘don’t put a label on the way you eat’ – couldn’t agree more!

  31. Amen Sista! Diet should be a noun before a verb. To me it’s a lifestyle not something we should set a time or restriction on! Love your blog and love the real dialogue!

  32. Wonderful post. After years of struggling and trying everything I finally woke up, and guess what happened, I lost 30 lbs by eating what I want just in moderation and working out. So simple. No diet, lifestyle change. Couldn’t agree with you more!
    Mia @ MakeMeUpMia recently posted…A New Link Up for 2014!My Profile

    • Your story is still an inspiration to me, Mia! I’m so impressed. And yes, by labeling things, they become difficult and we often fail instead of just living life in moderation. Thanks for reading!

  33. PREACH GIRL!!! I 100 quadrillion billion percent agree with you. If I were always eating “intuitively” I would be eating pretty much the exact way you listed above. I really think it’s just the flavor of the week in diet trends. So glad you put this out there!
    ALISHA @ ALISHA’S APPETITE recently posted…Life LatelyMy Profile

    • Thanks Alisha! Diet trends drive me bonkers, especially when one that is supposed to be so natural is being touted as a weight loss mechanism… aAd, regardless of what anyone else says or claims, yes I would eat pizza every single day if I had the choice.

  34. Hmmm suddenly I wonder if I even know what intuitive eating is anymore. Haha. :) I thought it was about listening to your body to decide when and how much to eat, not necessarily letting it guide exactly WHAT you eat. Running to the store to get spaghetti on a whim doesn’t sound like intuitive eating to me–sounds like a bogus craving coming from either restriction or overindulgence. Your body doesn’t necessarily crave what it needs–it “craves” what you usually feed it and what you refuse to feed it.

    I’m comfortable saying I’m an intuitive eater, but what I mean by that is that I eat relatively health-consciously without really thinking about it. And it took me a long time to get to that place–I don’t think you can snap your fingers and say “I’m going to start eating intuitively now.”

    Intuitive eating should be a relatively easy, seamless process, and if it’s not, you’re over thinking it. And too much thinking, when it comes to food, is the devil (like you said). :)

    Anyway, love your take on this. Thanks for taking the time to think through this and share!
    Kim @ healthy nest recently posted…I passed!My Profile

    • Awesome thoughts, Kim! It seems like you have IE down perfectly and you make some great points about how what our body’s crave isn’t necessarily what our bodies need. Thanks for stopping by!

  35. I know I am not saying anything new, but I totally agree that if I followed IE (which I DON’T) – I would not eat fruits or veggies. .. and it would be carbs and dessert all the time! I think that all in moderation is the best thing for me. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts Becky! Good post. :)
    Katie @ running4cupcakes recently posted…RPSsMy Profile

    • You and me both, girlfrand! I guess I’d eat bananas and apples and other fruits but besides that it’d be alllllll carb-alicious meals and desserts for me :)

  36. I agree with IE in theory. Being labelled as a way to lose weight and a fad? Rubs me the wrong freaking way.
    I eat intuitively in that if I’m hungry after eating my planned food, I’ll have something else, or if I’m full before eating all my planned food, I’ll stop. But I most certainly plan my food (most days) so it’s healthy and includes a balance of fruits, veggies, carbs and protein.

    And…now you have me wanting a bagel :)
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Thinking Out Loud Thursday: 12/19My Profile

    • Go get that bagel! ;) And yes, I totally agree with you. I love the idea in theory but I don’t like that it is being used as a marketing tactic.

  37. I really enjoyed this post and your thoughts on intuitive eating…it’s tricky concept and I think that you are totally right on being fed up with people making it into this huge new diet trend. However, when you strip all of that away I do think that at the core intuitive eating is a good thing…realistically our bodies are programmed to sort of balance themselves out.

    When I was recovering from my eating disorder I remember seeing my nutritionist and she told me to take note of the days after I eat a really big meal. She basically guaranteed that there would be some point where I would not feel hungry for my normal snack or would end up eating less at a meal or two in those days after.

    I remember having the hardest time believing her…in my head I thought that once I let my guard down and ate “whatever I wanted” that it would be all bets off and I would just go crazy with the junk food. However, sure enough I soon came to see that if I had eaten more than usual one day, then typically there came a time in the days after where I wasn’t hungry for my normal snack or just ate a smaller portion at one of my meals.

    So my point in sharing that tip is that once we begin to lift the restrictions off of ourselves and pay attention to hunger/fullness signals then our bodies have a way of balancing themselves out. A lot of times we crave the pizza/chocolate/cookies/cake because they are comfort foods…or for me at least they tend to be what I crave for emotional reasons rather than physical reasons. Don’t get me wrong I totally do indulge in those cravings, but our bodies can only take so much crap! Eventually we will want fresh fruits and veggies or scrambled eggs or a chicken breast…because our bodies just naturally begin to crave those foods!

    So I think that as long as you stay mindful while eating and making food choices, that you will be surprised with how your body naturally tends to balance itself out.
    Barbara @ food is fuel recently posted…WIAW…new eating/food goalsMy Profile

    • This is a great comment, Barbara! I totally agree and see where you’re coming from. I think my biggest issue with IE is not the way of eating (it is natural and SHOULD be the way we eat!) but rather how it is being used as a marketing tactic for weight loss. Drives me crazy!

  38. Alright, so just a few opinions from me. Solely based on my own personal experience, so these things only apply to ME. :)

    1. In the beginning of my journey, I would have agreed with you. But, I’ve learned that IE takes a LOT of time and patience. At first, I did eat ALL THE FOODS and really just eat whatever I thought I wanted because for so long I restricted myself. Eventually, this leveled off and these foods were no longer off limits, so I didn’t feel the need to overeat.

    2. Agreed. It bothers me too that people think that IE is an excuse to eat whatever they want and that’s the only part of the trend they pick up on. So, I think it really depends on why you try IE if it’s a fad or not. If you’re in it to lose weight, you’re missing the point. For me, my reason was because I restricted myself for years and years and I was just done dieting and wanted to remember how to just eat. So, for me, IE isn’t really a diet trend and I would prefer to just not label myself like you said. My whole goal for IE was to learn to just live so these days I call my diet EATING.

    3. Yes and no. I really think it depends on the person. For me, it took a lot of patience and work and really thinking about how my body was feeling. So yes, that made me think about food a lot during the beginning. But honestly, after a year of IE I really don’t think about food much- just how I’m feeling. Which, I think, is the whole point. I still have a long way to go, but it’s working for me.

    Phew, I really hope this doesn’t go to spam for being so damn long!
    Katie @ Live Half Full recently posted…Three Things ThursdayMy Profile

    • Great thoughts and points, Katie! As with any way of eating, I think IE really works for some people and just doesn’t work for others. Well, I guess not the fact that it doesn’t work but the implementation of it as a “diet” doesn’t work. I hope you’re feeling better! I was up in your neck of the woods yesterday but didn’t text you since you were feeling sick :(

  39. Whoa. Shit just got real. ;)

    I feel kind of lost on this subject because I don’t really pay much attention to it. I guess, like anything, if it’s interpreted the wrong way then it can have dangerous effects. If people think eating intuitively means they can eat whatever they want then they’re not very intelligent.

    I’m with you though. I try to eat a variety foods that are good for me mixed in with a few not-so-good things that I crave. But I don’t let it rule my thoughts. Over thinking it is definitely a bad thing.
    SArah @ Making Thyme for Health recently posted…Skinny Snickerdoodles {vegan and gluten-free}My Profile

    • I try to keep things real here even though I probably offended half of the HLB community with this post… You’re so good when it comes to self-control which was apparent when you were bright and perky the morning I met you in SF while I – on the other hand – felt like death ;) I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!

  40. Great post Becky! I understand the idea being IE but I also don’t believe in all that. First of all, I don’t have enough time to deal with numbers/ eating that way. I just like to go off based on how I’m feeling that day, and fueling myself properly. I crave healthy food as well as sweets! I think the end to every solution is that everyone should just live a balanced eating life. Its so much easier!
    Cait @PieceofCait recently posted…Thinking out loudMy Profile

    • I feel like you are eating very intuitively with the way you described! Eating what you’re craving when you want it and not overeating :) And good for you for NOT labeling it, I think that is where the issues always arise. I hope you had a very merry Christmas :)

  41. I’m with you on the “don’t put a label on the way you eat”. I eat an 80/20 balance (at least I like to think so). It’s what I aim for and for the most part I feel healthy and that’s what matters. :) I never deny myself something I really want (Friday morning latte & scone, cookie, or whatever sweet thing I want), but I also don’t eat everything I crave if that makes sense (ice cream 5 nights a week). Good for you speaking your thoughts on the subject.
    kelli h (made in sonoma) recently posted…Brew Review: New Belgium AccumulationMy Profile

    • It seems like you’re very balanced in the way you eat, Kelli. I would totally eat cookies every night for dinner if I listened to by body, haha! Even though they’d make me feel ill the next day I can’t get over how good they taste ;)

  42. Hmmm…I agree and I disagree. Having an unhealthy relationship with food I’m trying to work with my nutritionist to ultimately be able to eat “intuitively”. However, we are also working together on being flexible and making sure I get all the nutrition that I need. A label is a label, and everyone seems to want to slap one on everything. I think intuitive eating should be viewed as “balanced eating” not “I can justify this entire pan of brownies because my body wants it” or “I’m not eating carbs because I don’t crave them”. Our lives aren’t supposed to be perfect. But for me, eating intuitively actually allows me to focus LESS on food that I would otherwise be calorie counting or trying to perfect all of my exchanges.

    My biggest struggle comes with lunch because I always need to pack it. I even asked my nutritionist “how am I supposed to eat intuitively when I pack my lunch the night before?” and she basically told me that intuitive eating isn’t supposed to be practiced all the time, and there are going to be times you eat what you don’t want to eat just because…well…you need to eat! People are meant to over eat, and people are meant to under eat (on occasion of course!) and technically the ‘definition’ of intuitive eating includes both of those. But not many people know this and instead throw the term “intuitive eating” around like it’s nothing.

    I know this was sort of all over the place but to sum it up…my definition of intuitive eating (for me…because it should be individualized) is to eat when I’m hungry, not count calories, and be flexible.
    Laura recently posted…Thinking out LoudMy Profile

    • These are great thoughts, Laura! I can 100% empathize with you on getting back to a more “intuitive” lifestyle after having a negative relationship with food. I’m so proud of you for working to get back in touch with your body! I love the way you summed it up – eat when you’re hungry, forget about calories and be flexible. All of these are great ways to eat :)

  43. I spent some time reading other people’s comments and I agree with a lot of what’s said on here. As someone who is lucky enough to have never struggled with her weight or had an eating disorder, I recognize that it’s harder for me to see IE from the perspective of someone who has. For those who’ve spent years struggling with their relationship with food, it can be really hard not to define it in some form or fashion, even with something as “simple” as IE.

    I completely agree that labeling the way you eat gets dangerous, which is why I don’t do it. In the little research I’ve done on IE, I think at its core it makes complete sense. The reason I think so many people mis-interpret IE is that they’ve been so used to a black/white concept of what healthy eating should be that true “balance” can take a really long time to find.

    “Healthy living” is different for everyone. I might seem super healthy to some people, but to others it might look like I eat way too much pizza for my own good (and they might be right, but whatever). All in all, I think there are interesting points brought up by everyone!
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food recently posted…Annual Admission Chili Cook-OffMy Profile

    • The comments on this post were incredible, you are right! I love your thoughts about forgetting the black/white approach to eating. Everyone is different and it is important to do what is best for your body!

  44. Very interesting topic–I love when people really speak their mind, actually ;)

    I definitely agree with some of your points, especially with the fact that we just need to stop labeling food & how we eat it, in general. And coining that with ‘intuitive eating’ makes it automatically less intuitive…..

    I also think being a blogger that blogs about food, there is a natural hyper awareness about it that makes it tough to be completely intuitive about eating. And for those who struggle, it would make it worse.

    I personally went through a lot –with an ED and then disordered eating, and now coach on it all, and what is most key about eating well and not worrying so much about it all starts from self love. The focus on food (which intuitive eating & other diet trends tout) automatically makes it a big deal, and then the cycle begins alllll over again.

    And amen on taking away labels. YES please! Just eat real food. Not too much of the really yucky stuff. And enjoy the fun stuff here and there.

    I do have to say though, that overall I do crave healthier foods on days I take care of myself–workout, sleep well, etc.–it is a cyclical effect, and so if we were to take a day or so of not doing those things, we’d probably be more likely to eat allll the fun foods and forgoe the good for us stuff. Just a thought :)

    • I love your last point! I do actually feel the need/desire to eat healthier on the days I workout in the morning. If I start the day out on a healthy note, I like to keep going with it :) And also your comment about being a food/HLB is so true. The more we are ingrained in the culture, the more we can see the hyper-awareness and get caught up in it all. I hope you had a very merry Christmas <3

  45. Intuitive eating is so poorly labeled.. I believe that eating intuitively (what I call the “French diet”) is so smart and can keep you thin so easily. But eating only what you crave only when you’re hungry? Just like you I’d be like, “Oh look, so starving.. I still have those cookies from yesterday’s post, right? THOUGHT SO! LOVE INTUITIVE EATING”. That’s just.. no. Eating intuitively requires balance and restraint! We simply have too many options without any of the previously required effort of the past to eat just *whatever*, no matter if you’re craving it. I read a book about French parenting that editorialized about how women seem to blame their babies in utero for magically craving potato chips and ice cream.. or seemingly the things we always crave ANYWAY! I loved that.
    Cheryl recently posted…Champagne Jello Shots with RaspberryMy Profile

    • Oh the French totally have a it right… Wish I could be a Parisan ;) I also recently read something about how the French ask their children if they are still “hungry” not if they are “full” like Americans. A healthy relationship with food begins at birth and we need to do a better job over here in America! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Cheryl!

  46. I totally agree with all of your points, Becky! The way I feel about IE is pretty much the same that I feel about the Weight Watchers point system. (I love WW btw and lost 50 lbs twice – after both pregnancies – on their system) When I first started counting points years and years ago I realized very early on – you can use all of your daily points on a Big Mac, or you can use them to eat healthy, colorful, good-for-you foods. Same with IE…you can use it to eat, for example, the meal plan you listed above (which would TOTALLY be my day too…pizza and bagels, uh, yes please!) or you can go about it in the right way, like Jan described above! Great post, makes you think!!
    Sammy @ Peace Love and Ice Cream recently posted…Hi. My name is Sammy and I…{believe there is no time like the present!} #TTTMy Profile

    • Thank you, Sammy! I definitely agree with your comment :) It’s all about balance and I think IE works for some people and just doesn’t work for others. WW is an amazing program (I’ve also done it before!) and leads you to eat balanced because it doesn’t restrict you at all.

  47. I’m obviously not a healthy living blogger, so this trend is new to me. However, if I ate what I was craving every day, it would be pasta, pasta, pasta and then bread, bread, bread. With a side of bacon thrown in…. So I will just try to maintain balance ;)
    Christina recently posted…Brunch Haute StyleMy Profile

    • Carbs for the win! I’m with ya, chica. I need to maintain balance or it alllll goes out the window ;) I hope you had a very merry Christmas!

  48. You, my nutella crusted pancake, are amazing.

    THANK YOU AND YES to everything you’ve said- I’ve actually had this conversation (or email-sation, rather) with Amy (littlehoneybee) before about the whole concept and how it is seen as this new trend and at the same time, goes against what its ‘goal’ is- to stop the food obsession.

    Seriously, this post is golden….like the colour of the perfectly burnt creme brulee.
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…He Thinks/She Thinks- The downside of Fitness gadgetsMy Profile

    • Best nickname EVER! I am going to make Kyle call me that from now on ;)

      I 100% agree – it escalates the obsession with food because you are thinking about EVERY. DAMN. BITE. rather than just enjoying food for what it is. Delicious, sweet Nutella <3

      Excuse me while I go find my half-eaten jar...

  49. Where to start commenting? There’s so much I agree and parts in which I disagree it’s impossible to reply to everything so I’ll just try my best.
    First: yes, I, too, feel like many people ‘misunderstand’ the actual idea of Intuitive Eating. [I’m careful in judging others when I can’t say if I understood every detail just the way it was meant to be myself.] However, I personally have yet to see people – on IG, Facebook or elsewhere – use it as an excuse to stuff themselves with fast food, sweets and the likes. In fact, I’ve been rather ‘bothered’ by the opposite: apparently still disordered people claiming they ‘craved’ green smoothies, salads and basically not eating any sweets meanwhile keeping up an intense daily exercise schedule. Maybe I’m biased having a sweet tooth that will only be satisfied by the real deal ;) but that doesn’t seem truly intuitive to me, either. Eating only ‘unhealthy’ foods wouldn’t be, either – at least not in the long run. If I understood the idea of IE correctly it’d be normal to go through a phase of going overboard on the not-so-nutritional foods to gradually find the way to a balanced diet. Nothing off limits, no restriction. If I ate half a bar of chocolate – it happens – I know I’ll be actually craving vegetables and fruit again afterwards.
    Like you, it annoys me when people consider IE the new way to weight loss. It’s not. What IE is [again: if I got it right] intends is to let everyone get to the weight they individually are meant to be. For some that might mean gaining weight, others will loose and another group keep their weight. IE doesn’t try to influence the natural way we’re meant to be.
    The obsession? Well, yes, that’s definitely something I noticed. For myself, too. I tried so hard to get my cravings right and beat myself up when I couldn’t tell them at times. That’s life. We can’t always know. And if we meal plan we might not crave what we packed but eat it in anyway. Maybe it won’t be an all-out amazing taste experience at every meal if we have to eat a non-craving-based dish but again: that’s life. We’ll eat and be fuelled by it. “Don’t live to eat but eat to live.”
    Miss Polkadot recently posted…Thinking out loud #2My Profile

    • These are all great, great points! I especially can relate to the issue of women (and men…) who still have unhealthy relationships with food claiming they just crave salads with nothing else for weeks on end. It makes me sad and I wish our society would find a balance and give up this crazy obsession with food and dieting tactics!

  50. The most important take away is JUST EAT. I love that idea! We are constantly putting these labels on ourselves that make food even more divisive, and our relationship with food automatically more complicated. Just eat real food and, yes, thrown in some treats here and there. It doesn’t have to be so complicated!
    Natalie @ Free Range Human recently posted…I’m A Nerd Like ThatMy Profile

  51. Intuitive eating doesn’t work for me. As a reformed binge eater who lost 110 pounds, “intuitively” I want to eat more than I need. For me, being accountable to myself, counting my calories and paying attention to portion sizes is what works for me!
    Lisa recently posted…Repost Holiday Gift Guide: SwimmersMy Profile

    • I’m so happy you’ve found something that works for you, Lisa!! Every BODY is different and we have to understand what works best for ourselves :)

  52. Haha I love fruits and veggies but I think I would eat a whole lot of carbs if I didn’t try to watch what I eat. Carbs and garlic stuffed olives and lots of foreign food.
    Nicole @ Fruit’n’fitness recently posted…spicy date nightMy Profile

  53. Intuitive eating is not for me. I’m trying to lose weight, if I are intuitively I’d eat Chinese food every single day. Let’s be honest I rarely crave salad. Sometimes I do but mostly no. Once I start eating it I love it but I never wake up thinking I really want salad today. I honestly have to watch calories and go to the gym and work my ass off to lose weight. Like you said plain and simple calories in vs calories out!
    Once I’m in the habit of cooking and eating healthier it gets much easier. I might think I’m craving healthy food but really I just trained my brain to eat healthy.
    Alex @ alex runs for Food recently posted…Friday Favorites III Holiday EditionMy Profile

    • Ahhhh…. Agree 100%! Trust me, I love the idea of IE but my body wants me to be fat… As most bodies should based on instinct and survival, right?! We’re on the same page when it comes to eating and working out :)

  54. I think I just fell in love with you via this post. “H to the ell no.” hahahahah I laughed out loud… But really though. At the end of the day people need to get out and enjoy life more (myself included)… it’s when I’m bored that I obsess over food WAY too much, and it’s usually a sign I need to start LIVING. When I’m surrounded by people I love and I’m having fun, obsessing over food is the last thing on my mind. I’m happy, I’m comfortable, I have fun, and life goes on whether I eat that slice of pizza or not (and I usually do… +2/3)
    Julie recently posted…Typical Grocery HaulMy Profile

    • Agreed! And I think that is the point of IE but not the way it’s being portrayed/taught. We should do pizza sometime, fo sho!

  55. I felt like reading about everyone doing intuitive eating was making me feel bad for eating the way I do….for trying to be healthy. Somehow something I thought was perfectly normal – planning my meals, watching my carb intake and caring about the products I put in my body- was not normal. I was suddenly questioning whether I had an unhealthy obsession with being healthy! I never even thought about that being not good until I read these blogs! I mean eating healthy makes me feel great and when I don’t eat healthy I can definitely feel consequences. I was perfectly fine with the way I ate until I started reading ab how you should ‘eat intuitively’. Anyways I agree with you, it’s definitely turned into a fad and I was planning on doing a blog post about it but I feel like I don’t have the guts to! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Andrea @ pencils and pancakes recently posted…Christmas Cookies 2013My Profile

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Andrea! First of all, I think you should DEFINITELY do a post on IE. I took a leap of faith and was able to spur a lot of great conversation about it without too much backlash ;) I think that is one of the biggest issues with IE… it makes those of us that don’t follow it feel “guilty” or “bad” about our food decisions. Obviously every BODY is different and needs to eat a different way in order to maintain health. Keep doing what works best for you!

  56. Your “results” comment made me giggle a little bit :) I think any major “trend” in dieting always gets on my nerves… I just felt the need to voice my opinion on this one!

  57. Seems like people have a lot to say about this, but I will say that I agree with you completely about how sick I am of seeing it all over the healthy living blogland. Also I love you sense of humor here ! Great post
    Casey @ Salted Plates recently posted…Merry Christmas!My Profile

  58. I’m kind of late to the convo, but I felt the need to comment anyhow. I get where you’re coming from, but it seems obvious from your concerns that you haven’t read the book that this concept actually came from, have you? The book actually speaks to just about EVERY area that you listed! But….besides that…first off, the concept of intuitive eating is not necessarily meant for the normal Joe. It’s designed for chronic dieters–people who have jumped from fad diet to fad diet, severely restricted food, and has established unrealistic food rules. Consequently, they eat strictly according to rules, obsess about food, cannot recognize hunger and fullness and metabolically are not healthy (due to constant dieting). All of these strategies, instead of helping them, make situations worse. It causes stress, anxiety, binges, and even chronic weight gain due to excessive fasting-binging cycles. These people, in consequence, benefit tremendously from letting go, having no food rules, and going through the process of learning how to eat according to hunger and fullness cues. To these people, paying attention to intuition is LESS obsessive than their previous ways. For once in their life, it’s an approach to eating that DOESN’T revolve around weight loss (because the original purpose of IE has NOTHING to do with weight loss if you read the book). Sure, someone who is focusing on IE might be excessively thinking about food, whether or not they’re hungry, or etc. BUT, just like riding a bike, it eventually becomes a habit and eating intuitively actually allows you to lift the focus off food. I highly encourage you to read the book (, as it touches on literally every single point you have brought up. I feel like the idea of intuitive eating has been severely distorted in the blog world. Again, IE is not for the average person who is looking to get healthy, lose weight, and jump on the healthy living train. It’s for people who are struggling with food, have disordered habits that look at food negatively, and have dieted excessively or chronically. I hope this makes a bit more sense.

  59. this makes loads of sense. I never crave veggies (occasionally fruit but never veggies) so I def. can’t rely on my silly Italian carb and sweets and always hungry body
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) recently posted…Chocolate CobblerMy Profile


  1. […] want to first thank you all for the great discussion and debate on yesterday’s post. I appreciated all of the different perspectives and thoughts about IE. Also, I hope you understood […]

  2. […] Intuitive Eating – A Blessing or Curse? via Olives ‘n’ Wine. A great post encouraging some healthy debate on the whole intuitive eating movement. […]

  3. […] you all know – especially if you read my post last week, I am NOT one for diets. I’m about eating a balanced diet that is right for your body and […]

  4. […] I turned up too late to the great debate at, but I had a blast reading up on everyone’s personal thoughts on this IE movement. Now I […]

  5. […] Intuitive eating: a blessing or a curse? […]

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