Seeing The Different Between Intuitive Eating and Mindful Eating

What is different between Intuitive Eating and Mindful Eating? Author, and creator of the Intuitive Eating program Evelyn Tribole, explains, “I consider Intuitive Eating a broader philosophy…” Meaning that Intuitive Eating asks you to focus on a variety of things, which are summarized in the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. These ten principles can be boiled down to three core characteristics.

  • Eating for physical rather than emotional reasons,
  • Rely on internal hunger and satiety cues, and
  • Having unconditional permission to eat.

Mindful Eating is focused on being present in the eating experience in a compassionate, non-judgmental way. Mindful Eating is based on mindfulness, and it is a practice of being and returning to the present moment.

“Think of mindful eating as the ability to be in the present moment, and return to the present moment, when eating, compassionately.”

Megrette Fletcher M.Ed., RD, CDCES,

Co-founder of The Center for Mindful Eating


Where Intuitive Eating and Mindful Eating are Different

  • Mindful Eating does not offer any dietary or lifestyle suggestions.
  • All foods can be eaten mindfully.

Mindful Eating and Mindfulness

  • Any moment can include mindful awareness
  • Mindfulness is accessible throughout your waking experience, and at any point, you can drop into conscious awareness

Using Mindful Eating to become Increasingly Mindful

  • Mindful Eating can provide short, effective, and delicious ‘off the cushion’ mindfulness practice opportunities.
  • Mindful Eating as a strategy identifies when you would engage in mindfulness, focusing your attention on some aspect of the bite. By being mindful, you now have access to millions of micro-actions to make changes that enhance your eating experience and overall health.

Where Intuitive Eating and Mindful Eating are Alike?

  • They are both part of a non-diet, health at every size, HAES© approach to lifestyle change.
  • Mindfulness practices can aid in embracing intuitive Eating.

The Center for Mindful Eating offers many resources to explore mindful eating and mindfulness, including the Principles of Mindful Eating,

Author Vincci Tsui, RD explains, “That being said, I would say that while it’s possible to engage in Mindful Eating without becoming an intuitive eater, I don’t think Intuitive Eating is possible without some mindfulness. The principles of “Honour Your Hunger,” “Feel Your Fullness,” “Discover the Satisfaction Factor,” and even “Honour Your Feelings Without Food” are all about being present and attuning to your inner cues, without judgment.”

The following mindful eating professionals offer these articles to help you sort out the difference.