Intuitive eating and mindful eating are slightly different techniques, but both have some major perks. See if one or both styles make sense for you.

While intuitive and mindful eating seems synonymous, they each have their own vibe. Let’s delve into the distinctions and explore how to integrate both for a healthier approach to eating.

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Mindful eating involves bringing your awareness to the present moment and being nonjudgmental within your body while eating.

This means paying full attention to your food and engaging all five senses. This can look like chewing more and doing it slowly, paying attention to the smell and different flavors coming from your plate, and truly savoring the experience by focusing on how your body feels while eating (in a way that is accepting, loving, and judgment-free).

Mindful eating also involves ditching distractions like TV or social media while eating.

While mindful eating is not an actual diet plan, it’s possible this technique may help someone manage their weight. Still, it’s more focused on enjoying a mind-body experience while eating and learning to cut out distractions to savor your food using all your senses.

Like mindful eating, intuitive eating is an intentional practice, not a diet. It’s all about cultivating a respectful relationship with your body by understanding its cues. If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re full, stop eating. The goal is to learn to tell the difference between when your body wants to eat emotionally and when it’s telling you it’s hungry.

Intuitive eating is also judgment-free eating. This technique wants you to cut out negativity when it comes to eating. That means no body-shaming or hella restrictive diets.

Intuitive eating can also involve finding new ways to honor your emotions instead of emotional eating.

We love a good BOGO.

You can combine these techniques and basically base it on your mood.

For example, if you’re in a stressed-out space toward your body lately, practicing self-acceptance and feeding yourself when you’re physically hungry is intuitive in nature, and becoming present in the moment with that food (and your body) by engaging all your senses and leaving behind distractions is mindful. This can be done in one fell swoop!

Remember, the basic principles for both are judgment-free eating, self-acceptance, and taking care of your physical and mental health through your loving, self-respectful approach to eating.

Intuitive eating and mindful eating are sisters but not twins. You can learn to use them both in a way that’s unique to you.

How? Cultivate a healthy relationship with eating and with your body by honoring its needs, becoming present while eating, and throwing your phone in a river while you eat (just kidding. Kind of).

If you experience disordered eating, reach out for help right away via your trusted support system or your health care provider.