Intuitive Eating

5 Things They Won’t Tell You About Intuitive Eating

June 6, 2024

Self-Paced Course: Non-Diet Academy


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A Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) with a master's degree in dietetics & nutrition. My passion is helping you find peace with food - and within yourself.

Meet Katy

Do you want the truth about intuitive eating?

I don’t shy away from real conversations around mindful eating. In fact, I embrace your questions and am always here to level with you. This post is inspired by a chat with one of my previous Non-Diet Academy clients. She appreciated the honest and transparent approach I took, which she hadn’t found elsewhere. So, today, I’m here to share some unfiltered truths about intuitive eating, setting realistic expectations without sugar coating.

It’s Normal to Gain Some Weight in the First Six Months

Let’s start with a topic that might make some uncomfortable: weight gain. Yes, it’s normal to gain some weight in the first six months of practicing intuitive eating. When you transition from a place of deprivation to allowing yourself to eat freely, your body needs time to adjust. You’re reintroducing previously restricted foods and learning to tune into your hunger and fullness signals. This is a lot to juggle, and your body needs time to find its balance.

Typically, if you’re still gaining weight beyond six months, it might indicate that something isn’t clicking correctly. In such cases, consulting with a certified intuitive eating dietitian can be helpful. They help you identify and address areas where you might not be fully applying intuitive eating principles. Working with a professional who has experience can help you navigate common pitfalls and mistakes. I work closely with my 1:1 clients to overcome hurdles, whatever they may be.

Self-Acceptance of Your Body Happens Slowly

Body acceptance is often one of the longest and most challenging parts of the intuitive eating journey. It’s easy to see posts online of people who’ve embraced their bodies and think it should be quick and easy. However, the reality is that self-acceptance happens slowly. You may still yearn to be a smaller size on some days, and that’s normal.

We must acknowledge that weight stigma and anti-fat bias are real. It’s one thing to accept your body internally, but it’s another to exist in a world that often discriminates against larger bodies. This process can involve grieving the time spent dieting and trying to shrink your body. The good news is that, over time, you’ll start to realize that you are worthy of love, acceptance, and belonging exactly as you are. This deep healing work is about changing deeply held beliefs about your worthiness as a person.

Intuitive Eating is Not “Eat Whatever You Want, Whenever You Want”

A common misconception and FAQ is assuming that intuitive eating means eating whatever you want, whenever you want. This is impulsive eating, not intuitive eating. While you have unconditional permission to eat what you want without guilt, truly listening to your body involves more nuance.

Intuitive eating is about honoring your hunger and fullness, choosing satisfying foods that make your body feel good. It’s not a free-for-all; it requires slowing down and tuning into your body, thoughts, and emotions. It’s about making choices based on self-care and compassion, not impulse.

Support is Essential for Successful Intuitive Eating

One of my clients mentioned, “I don’t think anyone should start intuitive eating based on the book alone.” This resonates deeply with me. While the book on intuitive eating is foundational, having additional support can make a significant difference. My journey with intuitive eating was solitary because resources like podcasts, online courses, and support groups weren’t available.

Clients often tell me they wish they’d sought coaching sooner instead of trying to figure it out on their own. Support can help you navigate challenges more effectively and avoid getting stuck. So, while reading the book is essential, having support can provide the guidance and feedback needed to make real progress.

Healing Your Relationship with Food Takes Time

Healing your relationship with food is a process that often takes years, not months. This can be deflating to hear, especially in a culture that promises quick fixes. If you’ve spent years or even decades dieting, it will take time to undo those habits. One of my clients shared, “I’m so glad you tell people it’s a much longer process. I wish I’d known at the start to take it slow and gentle.”

The healing process is full of ups and downs. Embracing the journey as one of deep inner healing and self-discovery will help you see the value in allowing it to unfold at its own pace. While there are ways to speed up the process—like having support and using effective strategies—it’s essential to be patient with yourself.

You Don’t Have to Eat What You’re Craving Every Time

Finally, let’s address cravings. You don’t always have to eat exactly what you’re craving. Sometimes, food will be just okay—good enough to fuel your body, but not a perfect 10/10. And that’s okay. Flexibility is part of honoring your hunger and taking care of your body.

Also, just because you have a craving doesn’t mean you need to act on it immediately. Intuitive eating involves checking in with your body to see if you’re actually hungry and if the craving aligns with what will make your body feel good. It’s about making thoughtful choices rather than acting on every whim.

Key Takeaways

I hope this has been helpful. Authentic conversations about intuitive eating are crucial because there’s a lot of misinformation out there. 

If you need additional support, feel free to reach out to me at or send me a DM on Instagram or Facebook. My inbox is always open for a chat about what you’re struggling with and how I can support you.

In the meantime, be gentle with yourself, and we’ll talk again soon!

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