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Can you discuss the differences between mindful eating and intuitive eating?

June 21, 2014, 3:42 pm

Wow, what an interesting question. I have to say, when I started The-Sage, I never imagined the various types of questions I would get from visitors. But, I am glad you have come to the right place to have your inquiry addressed. So, here goes:

While both are nutrition-related philosophies based around becoming more in tune with your body in order to achieve a positive relationship with food, there are some inherent differences between mindful and intuitive eating behaviors.

Being mindful is deliberately paying attention in the present moment, whether it be internal or external to your body. It includes your thoughts, emotions, and physical senses in order to free oneself from habitual patterns of thinking or feeling. Mindful Eating, therefore, is being mindful in choosing what to eat to satisfy both mind and body. It means acknowledging food likes and dislikes without judgment and being aware of hunger and satiety cues that eventually guide your decision to eat or not. Someone who practices mindful eating is aware of his or her unique own choices to eat without judgement. They make individual choices to benefit his or her own mind, body, and overall well being.

On the other hand, intuitive eating is less centered around increased/elevated awareness but instead, focuses on optimizing health by simply listening to his or her own body. It relies less on the conscious effort characteristic of mindfulness, but instead focuses on the body's natural hunger and satiety signals in order to promote a positive, “normal,” “healthy” relationship with food.

I hope this information helps. Happy Eating!

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