Trust Your Gut: A Guide to Intuitive Eating

Is intuitive eating as straightforward as it sounds, or another diet industry buzzword? Actually, it’s neither. There’s more to this eating approach than eating whatever you feel like, and it’s sticking around for the long haul.

What is intuitive eating?

It’s a philosophy that encourages listening to your body, rather than following guidelines and restrictions about what or when to eat. This includes eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re satiated.
It sounds easy enough, right? The difference is that you need to have complete trust in your body and be able to distinguish between physical and emotional hunger.
When you’re hungry, you’ll notice your stomach grumbling, energy slumping, getting cranky… your body says you need nutrients, and it will be satisfied so long as you give it pretty much anything.
Emotional hunger is a different beast. Emotions crave food to fill gaps created by a desire for comfort, connection or entertainment. The nutritious options are going to be as appealing as a bag of dirt compared to ice cream, chocolate, and chips.

How do I eat intuitively?

Once you know the difference between types of hunger, you can let go of the ‘shoulds’ when it comes to food. There are no good or bad foods, and what you eat doesn’t mean anything about you.

Your body will tell you when it’s full. This is where mindfulness comes in. It’s hard to read the cues if your attention is directed toward a screen. The more you focus on your food, the easier this will be.

Mindful eating helps address negative eating behaviours and the ways we try to control food intake. Embracing a more mindful eating approach is becoming more common in health advice (Warren, Smith & Ashwell, 2017).

Find other ways to fill yourself up. Connect with loved ones, go for a walk, practice journaling, yoga or meditation. Move your body because you love it and are grateful for its strength and life, not to balance out what you eat.

Self-compassion is key. You might take a little while to get to know your cues, and that’s okay. One meal or night out isn’t going to make or break it, so zoom out to the big picture.

What are the benefits?

Intuitive eating helps maintain equilibrium, improves our mental health, physical health indicators and our eating behaviours (Van Dyke & Drinkwater, 2014). All good things!

When we give ourselves permission to eat whatever we want, some foods lose their power over us. It's not as inviting to down a pint of Ben & Jerry’s when you’ve had a bad day. Give yourself space to feel your feelings and let them go on their merry way.

If you’re ready to tune in to what’s going on in your physical and emotional self before making your next meal choice, you’re likely to see the benefits. So are you ready to trust your gut?


Van Dyke, N., & Drinkwater, E. J. (2014). Relationships between intuitive eating and health indicators: literature review. Public health nutrition, 17(8), 1757–1766.


Warren, J. M., Smith, N., & Ashwell, M. (2017). A structured literature review on the role of mindfulness, mindful eating and intuitive eating in changing eating behaviours: effectiveness and associated potential mechanisms. Nutrition research reviews, 30(2), 272–283.



Ceri Kidby-Salom


she / her


Registered Nutritionist (BHSc), Bpsych, Health, Life & Inner Work Coach


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Add a scoop of coconut collagen to your AM coffee for sustained caffeine release and a protein boost!





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