Intuitive Eating Series: Post 5

I’m glad a lot of you have been enjoying my series on intuitive eating! I wouldn’t call myself an expert in intuitive eating, but I’m so happy to be sharing my experiences and thoughts on how intuitive eating can be a part of your life. If you’re new to the intuitive eating series, let’s recap:

So far most of these posts have been about my story and how intuitive eating has affected my life. While I know this may cause pause for you to reflect on your own journey, today I want to open up a discussion about why many people aren’t intuitive eaters. Why is this skill lost? We were all born intuitive eaters… what happens throughout life to lose the intuition?

I suppose the reason why these questions are on my mind is because I’ve experienced a decrease in intuitive eating since having Xander. I have to eat when I have time and sometimes that means no time at all. Of course now that he’s getting older it’s getting easier to recognize my intuitive cues, but for awhile it was eat when I could and that was it. Before experiencing the process of caring for a newborn 24/7, being an intuitive eater was second nature to me. It wasn’t until I was starving while nursing or quickly eating lunch without being hungry because Xander was asleep that I started to realize how difficult the intuitive eating journey can be for some people.

Let’s take a look at some possible reasons why our natural born intuitive eating skills have diminished over time:

Family Related

  • Having food used as a reward or punishment when we were children.
  • Lack of time while caring for your children and family.
  • Forgetting the importance of “me time.”
  • Eating in non-traditional spaces (places other than the dinner table).
  • Utilizing the “clean plate club” mantra.
Work Related
  • Inflexible break times that may not match up with when you are actually hungry.
  • A “no eating at the desk” policy.
  • Workplace candy bowls.
  • Mindlessly eating snacks kept in your desk drawer.
  • Excessive purchasing of lunches instead of packing from home.
Society Related
  • Overwhelming presence of “celebrity skinny.”
  • Fad diet and diet mentality.
  • Fitting in with your social circles ideas on eating and dieting.
  • The overwhelming presence of food at social gatherings.
  • The acceptance of unhealthy body types.

These reasons are by no means absolute. I’d love to hear your ideas as well!

Why do you think our natural born intuitive eating skills diminish?


  1. 1

    I just bought myself a couple of books on mindful and mindless eating. I’m looking forward to reading them :)

  2. 2

    Awesome series Katie. The work ones really hit home for me. I relate to being hungry but not being able to take that break to eat and also my commute impact my eating habits.

  3. 3

    This is SUCH a good post and series, I cannot say it enough. I love that you used your own example here to shed light on how intuitive eating can wane when habits wane or the environment changes (such as for you, having to eat when you can grab a spare minute when Xander is sleeping!). Adjusting to these changes and trusting yourself (speaking for myself!) is probably almost as hard as learning to intuitively eat in the first place. It’s trusting and testing your skills that I find most of the ongoing challenge for me. But it is always so worth it!

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