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Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  10,483 ratings  ·  1,151 reviews
We've all been there-angry with ourselves for overeating, for our lack of willpower, for failing at yet another diet that was supposed to be the last one. But the problem is not you, it's that dieting, with its emphasis on rules and regulations, has stopped you from listening to your body.
Written by two prominent nutritionists, "Intuitive Eating" focuses on nurturing your
Paperback, Second Edition, 304 pages
Published September 11th 2003 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published May 1st 1995)
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 ·  10,483 ratings  ·  1,151 reviews

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Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
I wish, wish, wish that every one of my friends who struggles with her weight, thinks she should diet, or who mentally tallies in her mind what she’s eaten that day or that week to determine if she can eat that “cookie” (or whatever) would read this book. Before reading this book, I thought I was an intuitive eater because I lived by the mantra “eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full”, but reading this book has brought me a new level of peace with food.

The basic premise of intuitive eati
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: clinical-work
For my final pre-internship year, I'm going to be working with individuals with eating disorders. I figured I'd try something completely new. When I asked my supervisor what books she'd recommend as introductory readings, "Intuitive Eating" is where she sent me, telling me that it's the only self-help nutrition book out there that she not only tolerates, but actually likes. In short: her assessment is spot-on.

People ask me for book recommendations fairly often (and I'm only a grad student, so I
May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book for those who wish to do away with dieting and learn to love food again. As someone who reads a lot about eating disorders and hopes to specialize in eating disorder treatment and prevention, I found Intuitive Eating a well-written reference on how to reject diet mentality, find satisfaction from food, and cope with emotions in ways that do not involve eating. Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch show their expertise by blending their innovative Intuitive Eating program with loads of ...more
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

While I think overall, this and "Mindful Eating" are probably the best ways to care for one's health, this book was hugely repetitive and pretty obvious for anyone who's spent any amount of time trying to lose weight.

The Non-Diet Diet

+ Pay attention to when you are hungry and full. Only eat when you are hungry. Don't eat until you are stuffed.

+ Don't diet. Plan on eating this way for the rest of your life and shelve that mentality of eating a certain way for 6 weeks to drop 20 poun
Kate LaChapelle
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, no seriously, everyone should read it
Shelves: own
I started reading this book the other day and while it has only been a few days, I can see how much its ideas are transforming my life. Since I was a young girl I have struggled with body image, food issues, and disordered eating and my struggle has only gotten more difficult and more pronounced as I've gotten older, this book feels like it's the remedy I've been waiting for.

I hate diets. They don't work and only serve to exacerbate my disordered eating and my unhealthy relationship with my body
Michelle Curie
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, science
"Bread is fattening, sweets are bad for you and no, I really shouldn't have a slice of cake, I've eaten so much already!" Who hasn't heard something like this before? It's funny to think about it, because with all that food and knowledge available to us, shouldn't eating be one of the easiest things to do? Objectively speaking it requires nothing more than following a basic instinct. But let's be honest, we all know it's a much trickier subject.

Intuitive Eating gets rid of the diet mentality an
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tara by: Anna Guest-Jelley
Shelves: 2013, health
I love what this book is saying, but it is VERY 80s-feeling.
The gist of the "program" - eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full, and stop guilting yourself when you eat what you TRULY want.
I think modern studies about the addict-ability of processed foods makes this slightly less factual. The authors claim the reason you overeat is because you've either been starving yourself, or you're planning to starve yourself, or you're thinking "oh well! I've already had one! Everything is ruined!"
Jen V
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Now that it's been almost 7 years since first being introduced to Intuitive Eating I can honestly say the concepts in this book actually really did change my life and allowed me to "make peace with food". I think I have the first edition (there are now 4) which although the writing is a little (okay a lot) hoakie the concepts are priceless. I do have to say I initially read this book as part of coursework while studying nutrition at USU so I never had the experience of picking it up and just rea ...more
I feel convinced to try intuitive eating and I feel more prepared to do so, having read this book.

That said, this was written in the mid-90s and really shows it. I would love an updated book that has fat acceptance and health at every size principles at its core, rather than as asides. I want an overtly feminist version of this book, too.

I think we know more about nutrition now, and the specific fad diets that people try are different now, so an update on that would be great.

But, I have some
Jo Lisa
This is actually my 2nd reading of this book.. I read it in 2015 as well. While I know that the 10 Principles are extremely valuable, it is so hard to change decades of food fear and disordered eating! I am working really hard toward intuitive eating. I have found that I go through phases of how I feel about food. This has always been true, but recently I find that my phases can change several times a day! It scares me as a recovering anorexic. My only option is to work one day at a time.
Sep 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Hmm... Sigh...

This is, essentially, the way to eat. A lot of people do, naturally, it's not like a special, new-age restrictive idea. But for many of us, who see "Drop a Pant Size in 2 Weeks" and constant headlines on the obesity crisis, we can't help but be affected, to feel that something is wrong with us and we have to be perfect. PERFECT. We have to look like this-- on top of being this, acting like this, and anything less means that something is wrong. We don't have enough "will-power".

Feb 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book does make some valid and useful points that I completely agree with:

1 - Our bodies were designed with the ability to eat when we are hungry and stop when we are full.
2 - Today we often ignore these messages and overeat - especially foods that are not good for us - causing unhealthy weight gain and a host of medical problems.
3 - Diets - calorie restriction, low-fat diets, low-carb diets - DON’T work.
4 - Ignoring our hunger signals results in food obsession and often binge eating later.
Feb 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I greatly enjoyed this insightful, if slightly overselling explanation of intuitive eating, the authors' working method in the field of nutrition. Their approach is empowering and practical, and unique in the field. I believe that many, many people who struggle or have struggled with food will find something of value in this, whether you use parts of their ideas to supplement your relationship to food or commit to their complete process.

First, an example. A couple months ago, I sat with a half-e
Laura Tremaine
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic and such an important topic that covers a wide range of food issues (we all have them). I feel like I’ve been hypnotized by the concepts presented here, in the most positive, affirming way. I want to recommend this to every single woman I know.
Sarah Sniderman
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Intuitive Eating already provides an excellent summary as appendix to the book and very worthwhile details including the science behind intuitive eating. However, as per usual, I’ve taken notes for my own reference and, of course, I’d like to share. Note many sentences are word-for-word, I’ve simply condensed it to the main parts.

Principle 1: Reject the Diet Mentality

Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back
Mar 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
I came across a mention of this book on a blog and thought it sounded interesting. It's about losing the diet mentality and having a healthy relationship with food and our bodies. The book is geared toward chronic dieters, which I am not. I don't think I've ever seriously dieted. Sometimes I'll focus on smaller portions or eating healthier, but I'm not about denying myself foods or counting calories. If I'm hungry I eat. Even though it's not written with me in mind so much, I got some useful and ...more
Anna Schubert
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was way more worthwhile than I expected it to be. If you grew up around any disordered eating, it's worth a read. I thought I was pretty accepting about just eating healthy and not worrying about food as inherently "good" or"bad", but this made me realize how much unhealthy my relationship to food still has been.

The section on kids and intuitive eating was really helpful. Yet another area (like education) where trusting your kid as a baseline approach is just critical - the way I've been d
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There is a lot of good advice in here--especially when it comes to raising teenagers to be intuitive eaters and to not have food issues.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Complex feelings about this book. Overall, the idea is great and, if one has a diet mentality, very perspective shifting. However, because it is a valuable book, I feel even more inclined to offer critique so that the next book on this subject can be even more valuable.
1. This is a dated read. There is much talk about "normal weight", even while acknowledging that not everyone has the same weight that should be normal for them. There is still a sense that thin is better, while I feel the focus
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
4.5 stars

I accept that diet culture is real and that its consequences include eating disorder. I accept that ED treatment should be uncoupled from weight loss. What I'm looking for is a book to recommend to friends and family who are willing to learn more, but are currently still heavily invested in diet culture, when I want them to understand why they need to stop saying "but has she even lost weight?" about someone recovering from an ED. What I want from such a book (followed by a note identif
Kimberly Read
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I hate dieting. I detest counting calories or fat grams or carbs. I already find it difficult to squeeze grocery shopping into my hectic schedule so just the thought of adding any more time going label by label through the store, makes me seriously cranky. The minute I add a diet to my intentions, I find myself anxiously binging on my favorite foods in anticipation of their loss. And a few days into any diet, I swear I would mug a Girl Scout for her cookies! However, I am quite overweight (we ca ...more
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was exactly what I needed to hear right now. Listen to your body tell you if you’re full or hungry and don’t deny yourself foods - it seems simple, but it’s certainly not how I’ve been eating.
Lizzie Jones
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is actually excellent. I picked it up on a whim, interested due to a review of a friend of mine. I wasn't looking for a health book, I wasn't interested in changing my entire mindset on eating and food.... but this book has really shifted my view in so many ways. What the author is saying actually makes perfect sense. She has enough fact to back up her claims that I actually started doing some research and found out that not only are her claims grounded and credible, but they might be ...more
Meghan Burke
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book came onto my radar thanks to Dan Harris's 10% Happier podcast, and I'm so grateful that it did. I've always identified as an emotional eater: a belief that this book in some ways gently challenged, though it remains largely true -just not as the same mental trope I had allowed it to become for myself. I've also (thankfully) not been an active or lifetime dieter, though I really buckled down twice in my life and made some tangible progress, likely feeding a narrative that I could change ...more
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first heard of intuitive eating when I was in college. At the time I was very much a disordered eater but the concept intrigued me. I’ve been finding bits and pieces about it for the last several years and finally decided to read the book. I appreciated it immensely. Having four daughters and trying to raise them without the influence of diet culture feels overwhelming. This book answered my questions (If I give myself/my kids permission to eat anything won’t we be eating too much candy?) and ...more
I'm not entirely sure how to rate this book because....

...on the one hand, it does make perfect sense and it is kind of eye-opening, but
...on the other hand, there is so much information that is just completely unnecessary.
The book is way too long, with way too many examples that do not really help. I know this sounds rude, but why should I care what happened in XYZ's life? I know these examples were chosen so that the reader has a representation/an example of the explained principle in 'real li
Jess Dollar
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I’m very conflicted about this book. I believe in the concept of intuitive eating and I’d love to see the idea become more popular. BUT my conflict comes from what I know about food reward, the brain, and how food companies manipulate us to consume more. I just don’t feel comfortable with the idea of eating foods that are engineered to be highly palatable and hard to moderate just because I feel like it. There is a risk there for many of us, and this really isn’t addressed in the book.

The risk
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has completely changed the way I eat. I have always considered myself a positive, upbeat person who is kind and loving to everyone including myself. This book showed me how I was denying myself food and torturing myself every time I ate. I was not being kind to me.

No more dieting. No more denying myself food because it is "not good for me". It is just like she says in the book --if you tell a child they can play with any toy in the room but the pink elephant, the pink elephant is the o
Oct 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
It took me a long time to read this book, mainly because I read it very slowly so that I could absorb all of the concepts. This book is all about making peace with food and with the body you have. It is not another diet book; in fact, the main theme of the book is the necessity of rejecting the "diet mentality" once and for all. The authors point out that almost all diets eventually fail, and most people chastise themselves for not having the “willpower” or “self-control” to be successful on a d ...more
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who is tired of the dieting game and wants to eat in a healthy manner
I debated entering this here, as this is more about my eating issues than literature. But hey - it was a book I read and ill likely read again soon, so I added it.

It's basically about reteaching ourselves to eat when we're hungry, and to eat what we want. Sounds simple, but I find I really have to think about it and not just eat because it's 9AM or Noon, etc.

It's also about eating "real food." I'm no longer fixating on low-sugar, low-calorie, fat-free stuff. I'd rather eat creamy vanilla yogurt
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Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD is an award-winning registered dietitian, with a nutrition counseling practice in Newport Beach, California. She has written seven books including the bestsellers Healthy Homestyle Cooking and Intuitive Eating(co-author). Her newest book is the Ultimate Omega-3 Diet.

Evelyn was the nutrition expert for Good Morning America, appearing from 1994-’95 and was a national spokesper

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“If you don’t love it, don’t eat it, and if you love it, savor it.” 4 likes
“Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect realistically to squeeze into a size six, it is equally futile (and uncomfortable) to have a similar expectation about body size. Respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It’s hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical of your body shape.” 3 likes
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