What is intuitive eating?


*Looking for the intuitive eating worksheets? Keep reading for resources and a FREE intuitive eating meal planning guide!*


Intuitive eating is an eating framework focused on nourishing your body physically, mentally, and emotionally. The framework is broken down into ten principles designed to help you get in tune with your natural hunger, fullness, and satisfaction cues, and heal your relationship with food. You can read more about all ten intuitive eating principles here.


Many people think of intuitive eating as “permission to eat whatever you want, whenever you want it”—but this doesn’t quite tell the whole story. While it’s true that intuitive eaters have permission to eat what they want, when they want it, they develop skills to check in with their bodies to determine what foods to eat to make them feel their best.


The best part? Intuitive eating isn’t just another diet! Intuitive eating puts zero restrictions on what or how much food you should eat. That means no more feeling guilty about your food choices. As a result, intuitive eaters tend to experience more pleasure from eating, have higher self-esteem, and greater body appreciation and acceptance.

intuitive eating worksheets principles

Is intuitive eating healthy?


Now, you might be thinking “How could eating whatever I want whenever I want it be healthy? What if I just want to binge eat donuts and pizza all the time?!” However, hundreds of published studies suggest that intuitive eaters experience lower levels of binge eating, emotional eating, and uncontrolled eating compared to controls. What’s more, intuitive eaters tend to have lower triglycerides, lower blood pressure, and higher HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. So yes, intuitive eating is definitely healthy!

What is gentle nutrition?


Gentle nutrition is the last principle of intuitive eating. Gentle nutrition focuses on how to honor your physical health with nutrient dense foods so your diet is balanced with foods that both taste good AND feel good in your body.


intuitive eating worksheets adding foods

It’s important to remember that even though gentle nutrition is focused on, well, nutrition, it still IS. NOT. A. DIET. Adding nutrient dense foods to your eating routine does not mean that you have to take pleasure dense foods away.


What you get with our Gentle Nutrition Guide


When we created our own intuitive eating worksheets, we wanted to make sure they were nothing like other “healthy eating” resources out there. Our clients were tired of seeing the same tired advice like “eat this, not that” or “cut out this food group” or “count your calories”—all of which felt restrictive and hard to maintain.


We noticed that our clients who wanted to practice gentle nutrition all struggled with similar things. Our Gentle Nutrition Guide is for you if you’ve ever felt any of the following:


  • Meal planning takes forever because you’re afraid of making something “wrong”
  • You tend to “stick to the plan” only for a while before “falling off the wagon” again
  • Your “healthy” meals never seem to fill or satisfy you for long
  • The more you try to “follow the rules” the guiltier you feel for breaking them
  • You feel obsessed with food and no longer trust yourself to make a “good decision”


We believe that you deserve practical, non-restrictive shame-free nutrition advice that makes meal planning feel easier and eating feel more intuitive. Here’s what you’ll get when you purchase our Gentle Nutrition Guide:


  • Practical strategies to meal plan without cutting out your favorite foods
  • How to navigate the grocery store and fill your kitchen with exactly what you need to be “meal ready”
  • Tips for how to build meals and snacks that fill and satisfy you for longer
  • How to intuitively balance eating nutrient dense foods and fun foods in all situations
  • Methods for mindful eating and rebuilding trust with your body


Develop these skills and more with 9 written and colorfully illustrated lessons. Included are:


  • 20+ simple meal ideas
  • 25+ simple snack ideas
  • 20+ tips for eating intuitively outside the home
  • 2 dietitian-guided video tutorials
  • Meal planning worksheets
  • Non-diet grocery lists


You can mix and match these intuitive eating worksheets to best meet your unique eating needs. When you purchase the entire bundle, you’ll also receive a bonus lesson, Nutrition Myths: Fact or Fiction, where we set the record straight about common nutrition misconceptions.


Purchase your very own Gentle Nutrition Guide today!

I have diabetes, can I practice gentle nutrition too?


Balancing your blood sugar when you have diabetes can not only improve your A1C, but can also increase energy levels, improve mood, reduce cravings, and lead to a reduction in the amount of medication you need to take.


You don’t need to go on a crash diet or cut out all your favorite foods to balance your blood sugar. We created our Gentle Nutrition Guide for Diabetes so you can learn how to balance your blood sugar while still practicing intuitive eating!


In our Gentle Nutrition Guide for Diabetes, you’ll learn how to:


  • Grocery shop for foods that balance your plate and your blood sugar
  • Stock your pantry and fridge with blood sugar-friendly ingredients to make simple meals
  • Build meals that fill and satisfy without spiking your blood sugar
  • Gain confidence eating at restaurants or on-the-go
  • Understand how blood sugar can impact hunger and fullness cues and eat more mindfully


Feeling like you need a little extra guidance while navigating balancing your blood sugar? Our Gentle Nutrition Guide for Diabetes includes:


  • 20+ simple diabetes friendly meal ideas
  • 25+ simple diabetes friendly snack ideas
  • 20+ tips for eating intuitively outside the home
  • 2 dietitian-guided video tutorials
  • Meal planning worksheets
  • Non-diet grocery lists with our favorite blood sugar-friendly products
  • 7-day sample meal plan with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas


Purchase your Gentle Nutrition Guide for Diabetes now!

How do I know if I’m ready to use intuitive eating worksheets?


To see if you’re ready to practice gentle nutrition, try answering these questions:


  • Do you tend to struggle to recognize or ignore your hunger cues?
  • Do you regularly eat past comfortable fullness, not knowing how or when to stop eating?
  • Do you refer to foods as either being “good” or “bad” for you?
  • Do you often feel guilty or ashamed for eating certain foods?
  • Are there foods that you regularly avoid because you fear you cannot trust yourself around them?
  • Is food a primary coping mechanism for when you are feeling emotional?
  • Do you feel an urgency to practice gentle nutrition in the hopes it will result in weight loss?


If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be a good idea to revisit the earlier intuitive eating principles before trying to practice gentle nutrition!

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Kristin Jenkins, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Kristin specializes in eating disorders and intuitive eating, and is an advocate for weight-inclusive care for all her clients.