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Mindful Eating Vs. Intuitive Eating: Discussing the Difference

SO, you might have heard the terms intuitive eating and mindful eating used here and there. Sometimes used separately, other times interchangeably. If you have been left a little confused and wondering whether there’s actually a difference then please keep reading.

Both mindful eating and intuitive eating are great tools for your journey to a more positive relationship with food. Both are considered Non-diet approaches in Dietetics, and are Health At Every Size® aligned. They are similar in the sense that they move away from rule based eating, like a diet that instructs what and when to eat. Instead they focus on empowering individuals to be guided by their internal cues and needs and desires, and highlight the importance of ones engagement with food and the eating experience.

The main difference that lies between that two however, is that mindful eating is a practise or tool on its own, while Intuitive eating is better thought of as a framework that encompasses 10 key principles, of which mindful eating plays a part. In other words, you can engage with mindful eating without becoming and Intuitive eater. However, it would be difficult to practise being an Intuitive eater without learning and engaging with mindful eating.

Mindful eating is a process that involves purposefully paying attention to the eating experience without judgement. While Intuitive eating is slightly more holistic in that it encompasses a broader philosophy. It doesn’t only bring attention to the eating occasion, but also promotes physical activity for the sake of feeling good, rejecting the dieting mentality, using nutrition information without judgment, and respecting your body, regardless of how you feel about its shape.

Again, even though the two are different, they are both important and can educate you valuably. If you are curious and want to understand more about how you can be adapting these practises to your eating, we encourage you to speak to your Accredited Practising Dietitian or Nutritionist for guidance first. Mindful eating and intuitive eating may not immediately be appropriate for everyone, especially if you are managing an active eating disorder.

For more information of both Mindful eating and Intuitive eating principles, please refer to the below blogs….

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