What is intuitive eating? Is intuitive eating a part of diet culture or is it directly averse to it? How is intuitive eating like a practice? In this podcast, Dr. Castagnini speaks with Evelyn Tribole about intuitive eating, how to let go of diet culture and have compassion for yourself.


Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S is the author of 10 books, including co-author of the best-selling Intuitive Eating, a mind-body self-care eating framework, which has given rise to over 125 studies to date. Her newest book is Intuitive Eating for Every Day: 365 Inspirations and Practices. As an international speaker, Evelyn enjoys training health professionals on how to help their clients cultivate a healthy relationship with food, mind, and body through the process of Intuitive Eating. To date, there are over 1,300 Certified Intuitive Eating Counselors in 39 countries. The media often seeks Evelyn for her expertise, including New York Times, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, MSNBC, Fox News, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Vogue, Ten Percent Happier, and People magazine. Evelyn was the nutrition expert for Good Morning America and a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for six years. Evelyn qualified for the Olympic Trials in the first-ever women’s marathon in 1984. Although she no longer competes, she is a wicked ping-pong player and avid hiker. Visit her website and connect on Twitter and Instagram.


  • What is intuitive eating?
  • Look for health, not diets
  • Practicing intuitive eating

What is intuitive eating?

As a foundation, intuitive eating is based upon science and self-care. It does not have to be used as a tool for weight loss and it does not have to be added to harmful diet culture. What intuitive eating is:
  • It rejects diet mentality,
Intuitive eating is about cultivating a healthy relationship with food, mind and body. It is not about weight-loss, it is not about changing your body, it’s about healing the relationship [you have with food] especially for someone with an eating disorder. (Evelyn Tribole)
  • It encourages people to cultivate healthy relationships with food,
  • It is not about measurement or restrictions,

Look for health, not diets

Let’s look at healing. If you want to pursue health … health includes our mind, our relationship to our mind and to our body, to our thoughts and to the relationships [we have] to our family and loved ones that gets interfered with when you are trapped in the dieting mind or in the mind of the eating disorder. (Evelyn Tribole)
You can be an intuitive eater and seek weight loss, however intuitive eating is about freeing you from restrictions and helping you to build a healthy relationship with food that is based on nourishment and satisfaction, not punishment and restriction. Research has shown that intuitive eating is protective of those who may be struggling with an eating disorder:
  • Intuitive eating enables people to enjoy a better sense of well-being,
  • Intuitive eaters enjoy their food with trust,
  • They can focus on nourishment instead of restriction.
Every time you have been on some kind of diet … that disrupts trust. Maybe it’s the opposite issue, maybe your body can’t trust you if you’re not being nice to it and not feeding it consistently and withholding food, the moment you have a chance to eat it’s going to inhale as a survival mechanism, not because there’s anything wrong with you. (Evelyn Tribole)

Practicing intuitive eating

In the beginning stages of trying intuitive eating, it can feel difficult and perhaps even a little scary to trust your body and yourself, however, you can work through this with practice. Like with learning any new skill, you need to practice over time to become better at it. Intuitive eating is a process of healing; healing the relationship you have with food and your relationship to trusting your body. Give yourself time and space to take small steps and be patient and compassionate with yourself. Imagine you were a child learning to walk – give yourself the same leeway and love.
That’s what we see with intuitive eating: people can have an intellectual understanding of it but if they haven’t had the practice of checking in of course it’s scary, of course you don’t know how to eat but it’s [a] practice that can be relearned. It’s something you knew how to do a long time ago before diet culture took over … healing is possible. (Evelyn Tribole)
It will take different amounts of time for different people so it is important not to compare your journey with someone else’s because that has no relevance to you.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Evelyn Tribole – Intuitive Eating for Everyday: 365 Inspirations and Practices



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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