Intuitive Eating

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Sorry for the delay in posting.  :(  My Internet was down all morning, which was so frustrating because I live and breathe my computer.   My technical issues did mean that I had time to clean the house AND make a yummy breakfast:


I love whole wheat waffles, but I do not love them with maple syrup!  I only like some sort of creamy yogurt-based topping, like this seasonal-inspired treat:


To make the pumpkin yogurt topping, I mixed:


  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax


My waffles were packed with protein, and I even snuck a vegetable in! 🙂


Yum!  🙂


I ate 1.25 waffles – these babies were big!  I’m trying to train myself to stop eating when I’m full, not when I’ve cleaned my plate.  I grew up in a “clean your plate” family, and although I do not like to waste food, I’d rather eat intuitively than end up stuffed.


My tips for intuitive eating:


  • Eat slowly!  If you’re in a rush, you won’t “notice” when you’re full and may end up overeating.
  • Eat the most nutritious part of your meal first.   If your lunch consists of a yummy sandwich with veggies on whole wheat bread and a bag of chips, eat the sammie first.
  • Use smaller plates.  Research shows that people use the size of their plate to determine if a portion is sized correctly, not the actual amount of food.  A smaller plate means you’re less likely to serve up too much food in the first place.
  • Similarly, use smaller silverware.  You guys know I love my tiny spoons!  Smaller silverware means less food per bite = slower eating = less likely to overeat.
  • Wait a while for dessert.  Take a breather in between dinner and dessert to see if you really “want” it or if you’re just following social cues.
  • Savor your food.  Food is meant to be enjoyed!



Do you try to eat intuitively?



  • megan October 29, 2009, 10:03 am

    I’m not sure if I eat intuitively or not. I don’t think about it that much I guess. I know how much food I normally eat and how much I’ve always eaten, and I tend to eat that. sometimes if i really like it, I eat too much and am stuffed. other times I have to consciously restrain myself from eating 5 desserts, but in general I just eat. I’m trying to teach my husband to stop before he eats too much though, so we’ve implemented a “wait a few minutes before you get seconds” rule in our house 🙂

  • Julie October 29, 2009, 10:03 am

    I try my hardest to, but sometimes I fail. I’m a work in progress.

  • Emily Eats October 29, 2009, 10:08 am

    I try to, and the more I do, I find the better I eat generally. I’m making much better choices now than a year ago, but it’s not so much that, it’s also listening to which food your body wants now – out of all the healthy choices! I’m becoming more conscious too, of when I eat something because my body wants it and when I eat something for some other ethereal reason ~ usually for fun or celebration. Like today I had a caramel coffee just because it felt like it would be great on this blue skied Autumn day in London.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 29, 2009, 10:10 am

    Intuitive eating is da’ bomb!

  • Evan Thomas October 29, 2009, 10:10 am

    That’s such a great idea for the topping!
    I try to be intuitive, but really I’m a creature of habit. I eat about the same amount at the same time every day and that really is all that works for me

  • Matt October 29, 2009, 10:11 am

    I have a problem with that. I eat until my plate is clean lol.

    I HAVE to half maple syrup on my waffles!

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance...after a 100+ POUND weight loss! October 29, 2009, 10:14 am

    I do not know why I never look at Pumpkin as a veggie!?!?! I have some canned Pumpkin too, think I will try your mix as it looks good and hey you sneak a veggie in there too for breakfast, which is always a good thing. =)

  • brandi October 29, 2009, 10:15 am

    yum! Great topping!!!

    I try to stop when I’m satisfied, too. It’s only hard when what I’m eating is REALLY good 🙂

  • michelle October 29, 2009, 10:15 am

    Intuitive Eating SAVED my sanity! 🙂 I was an avid weight watcher and calorie counter- it was CONSUMING my time and energy. I had NO IDEA how much it was consuming my life until I started intutive eating.

  • mary ann October 29, 2009, 10:23 am

    Intuitive eating is a MAJOR struggle for me. But on the costume note… I say home-made is best. I just could never pull off the hooters/french maid deal. Thats why ive coerced my dad to be hans and franz with me!!!

  • Marisa (Trim The Fat) October 29, 2009, 10:24 am

    I agree with your tips entirely!

    I am slowly transitioning into IE. I began the changeover in mid-August and it is a bit challenging. What I find the most difficult is to change the dieting mindset. It’s hard to let go of that after a lifetime of dieting, but I know for certain now that it is the only way to live a healthy (mind,body,spirit) life 🙂

  • Nicole October 29, 2009, 10:25 am

    I’ve always been known as the “slow” eater. I was always the last one at the dinner table growing up, and I had no idea what it meant to pace myself eating. In that way, I’m kinda lucky! My husband teases me all the time because I hate big dinner forks. I prefer to stick with my salad fork for the entire meal! If I eat out, I order a salad before my meal. That way, I fill up on that instead of the main course. I almost always have leftovers, which is fine because I just pair it with a salad at home the next day too!

  • MelissaNibbles October 29, 2009, 10:27 am

    I don’t eat intuitively. I’m definitely a member of the “clean your plate” club. Sometimes I even lick my plate clean (only when I’m alone though)!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite October 29, 2009, 10:31 am

    I personally feel intuitive eating is the best thing out there! If I’m really paying attention… i find i actually eat less food then what i think i need…

  • Tay October 29, 2009, 10:33 am

    I made a similar waffle topping the other day! 🙂

    I’m trying to eat more intuitively, which also means eating at the table and not in front of the TV. It’s so hard if there’s only a few bites left and it’s really not “much”, and probably wouldn’t make a difference to how full I am…but need to stop!

  • Madeline @ GreensAndJeans October 29, 2009, 10:37 am

    I try to, but I eat really fast! I’m always trying to get myself to sloooooow it down and enjoy my food more!

  • SweetiePotato October 29, 2009, 10:37 am

    I do try to eat intuitively, but I also grew up in a “clean your plate” household. It’s hard not to always do that because it was such a habit growing up!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) October 29, 2009, 10:38 am

    I do a combo of scheduled eating and intuitive eating. I have to schedule my meals or I forget to eat and then binge. But while eating I try to pay attention to my fullness feeling and stop when I’m satisfied not stuffed. It usually works for me this way.

  • Diana October 29, 2009, 10:44 am

    Yep, I most definitely do try. Sometimes I fail and end up stuffed anyways, but most of the time I get it right. I just hate feeling stuffed and sick (well, duh ahah).

    That breakfast looks amazing.

    I may try to find you on skype today! I just have to find a mic. I know I have one somewhere! 🙂

  • Leah @ L4L October 29, 2009, 10:51 am

    I *try* to eat more intuitively. I am TERRIBLE at eating slow. Maybe that is the military upbringing in me? We were a “clear your plate” kind of family too. Usually, if I don’t finish my meal, I pawn it off on my fiance who will generally polish it off for me so I don’t feel bad about wasting. I really need to get better though.

  • Anna October 29, 2009, 10:53 am

    Dude, I feel you- I totally grew up in a “clean plate club” family so stopping when I’m full vs. stopping when the plate’s empty is challenging for me. I like your tips- my newest tactic is to get off the computer while eating! I try to sit down at the table and just focus on my food, which is hard to do.

    Oh and I signed up for Fit Bloggin’ 2010! See you there!

  • Susan October 29, 2009, 10:54 am

    The biggest thing I’ve learned with intuitive eating is that I have to eat what I crave. Otherwise, I just end up eating more of foods I don’t really want until I finally curb the craving with the real thing. One reason why meal planning does’t work for me. Some nights I just don’t want to eat what I have planned!

  • Rose October 29, 2009, 10:55 am

    I totally thought that topping was hummus.

  • Kailey (SnackFace) October 29, 2009, 10:59 am

    Hmm I think I’m with Susan with this. I eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m full (and not before, which I know is a good diet tip or something, I just can’t) and eat what I love. That’s about it, though!

    These waffles are killin’ me! They look soooo good, especially topped with that pumpkin divinity!

  • RhodeyGirl October 29, 2009, 11:01 am

    I need to listen to my body more. Since I started living with PB I house my food the same way he does, but I need to start eating slowly again so I KNOW when I am no longer hungry!

  • alli October 29, 2009, 11:02 am

    thanks for the tips! for the most part, i try to pre plan my meals, including how much i will eat (still counting those dang calories!). one thing that has helped me from wanting to nibble after dinner is to take my dog for a little 10-15 minute walk. it really helps the food settle and by the time i get home i dont even want to eat!

  • natalie October 29, 2009, 11:08 am

    I totally use little forks and spoons, mostly when i’m eating a desert. It takes longer to eat, I can enjoy it, and I usually end up eating less! lovely!

  • Jac October 29, 2009, 11:15 am

    well.. i AM trying to eat intuitively..

  • Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries October 29, 2009, 11:23 am

    I’m very much a clean-your-plater, but I love the idea of intuitive eating. It’s something I need to work on…

  • Carolyn October 29, 2009, 11:29 am

    I try to assess whether I’m actually hungry or not, but it doesn’t always work. I’m getting better, though. P.S. I’m giving away two breast cancer awareness prize packs on my blog:

  • Anne October 29, 2009, 11:31 am

    Definitely trying to eat more intuitively, and I really try to keep in mind a phrase my aunt used to say, which was, “mindful eating”.

  • Lauren October 29, 2009, 11:36 am

    I really need to make some waffles soon. I just don’t have time in the morning. What a great topping!! Pumpkin is good on almost anything. I love your tips for intuitive eating. There are so important and sometimes so easily forgotten.

  • Sara October 29, 2009, 11:38 am

    I try really hard but I really struggle with it sometimes! I never know when to just push the plate away and say I am done. I really need to get me some pumpkin! All your pumpkin treats look delicious!

  • Sammi October 29, 2009, 11:56 am

    I try to eat intuitively but I’m not that great at it yet. It’s weird because I didn’t grow up in a “clean your plate” family at all! Once when I was little I got in trouble at a friends house for not eating all my food. I hate throwing away food as well and I’ve realized recently (this morning actually) that I do throw away a lot of it which is something I need to work on. Those waffles look great!

  • Allison (Eat Clean Live Green) October 29, 2009, 11:59 am

    That pumpkin yogurt topping sounds delicious!

    I actually disagree with your Intuitive Eating tips though – your tips are great, they’re just more about Healthy Eating than Intuitive Eating.

    For example, a rule/guideline/tip about eating nutritious things first isn’t very intuitive – eating the most nutritious part first suggests that it’s “wrong” to want/eat the chips. Intuitive Eating would suggest to eat whichever part of the meal you want, first.

    • Caitlin October 29, 2009, 12:19 pm

      hmm i guess you are kind of right. i find this technique works for me because then i’m able to stop eating when i’m full, but i still get the “best” of my lunch meal. if i started with the chips, i’d feel compelled to eat the sandwich because its the better part.

  • Kelly October 29, 2009, 12:02 pm

    I listen to my body when it comes to food. Especially since beginning marathon training. If I am genuinely hungry (which I usually am) I will eat, even if that means multiple snacks. The only time I do not eat intuitively is dessert. Obviously I am not “hungry” when I eat dessert. I eat it because I want it. I have recently learned to stop eating when I am full. I used to over eat all the time and I have learned to eat proper portions. It’s easier to eat intuitively when you are eating a cleaner diet.

  • Erin October 29, 2009, 12:19 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I’m getting better at intuitive eating and yes, it’s easier when you’re eating a clean diet and know exactly what is in every bite.

  • Shelley October 29, 2009, 12:24 pm

    great tips!! I am working on intuitive eating– i feel like i am way too scheduled & don’t listen to my body enough.


  • Mica October 29, 2009, 12:27 pm

    Ughh, I wish I were better at intuitive eating. I’m terrible at it and then always feel full and guilty. Now that I’ve read this post, I’ll make a concerted effort at lunch. Thanks!

  • Hil October 29, 2009, 12:28 pm

    I am a big proponent of intuitive eating. My general philosophy is to plan out *what* I eat, but let my stomach dictate how much. (What my intuition tells me to eat is very different if there’s a pot of lentil soup on the stove than if I’m starving and the only food in the house that I can have ready within the next hour is mac and cheese.) When I have an unusual craving or if I’m out to eat, I eat whatever I want.

  • stephanie October 29, 2009, 12:39 pm

    Growing up with food scarce at times and not being wasteful transitioned into BAD habits of eating everything like it was my last meal as an adult. It’s been a long road to break that cycle and I was feeling pretty good about it….. until I had a baby! Now I shove most meals in my mouth in a matter of minutes, usually standing up and throwing something together for baby at the same time, and not even remembering what I just ate! But in the long run I think I eat less due to shear lack of time! Oh the joys of motherhood…

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion October 29, 2009, 12:41 pm

    I try too, not always the case. Sometimes when I do, I end up hungry very soon after..wweird.

    That pumpkin topping looks great, I will have to try it 🙂

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat October 29, 2009, 12:53 pm

    I definitely try and I am much better at it then I used to be. But sometimes something I’m eating is too good to stop. Not often though 😉

  • Valerie (College Girl Eats) October 29, 2009, 1:12 pm

    Great tips! The smaller plates thing really does work!

  • Amanda October 29, 2009, 1:15 pm

    I find it really hard to eat intuitively. Therefore, I try my best to serve myself reasonable portions and basically give myself permission to finish it. Extra portions are put in tupperware in the fridge/freezer BEFORE I sit down to eat! After a meal, I do the cleanup, have some tea/gum and assess if I am full and satisfied!!

  • Jenna October 29, 2009, 1:34 pm

    thanks for all the tips!

  • Julia October 29, 2009, 2:12 pm

    For some reason, my intuitive eating ability is directly linked to how busy I am 🙂 If I’m very busy, I truly only eat when I am hungry, stop when I am full, eat at the “proper times” (some semblance of breakfast, lunch, dinner), etc…because I don’t have time to do anything else. But when I’m not busy, I turn into a snacker who doesn’t plan because she decided to watch episodes of Glee online and then finds herself eating almond butter out of the jar for lunch. Sigh. I guess it all balances out, though this week has been one of non-intuitive eating!

    I definitely agree with those who mentioned having a cup of tea before or after a meal, same thing with gum. I often just feel the need to keep going through the motions of eating, not sure why, so going down one of these routes helps — 10 minutes later, I forget that I was “still hungry,” because I really wasn’t 🙂

  • Jenny @ nutmegger October 29, 2009, 2:34 pm

    My family was entirely a member of the “clean-plate-club” so leaving something for later is something that I hardly ever do! I had a nutritionist a while back and she gave me the advice to get out of my normal routine. After dinner go for a walk, or go read a book. Don’t go back to the couch or straight for the fridge. If you really feel like you’re still hungry then dig in – to something hopefully healthier than the ice cream that I used to go for 🙂

  • Kate October 29, 2009, 2:45 pm

    One of the agencies I’m involved with uses a lot of mindfulness techniques in the treatment of EDs. Have you ever read Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Bays or anything else about mindful eating? I’ve seen it help so many women get back in healthy touch with their bodies.

  • Julie @savvyeats October 29, 2009, 6:09 pm

    This is what I’ve been trying to do lately, too!

  • Jolene ( October 29, 2009, 7:31 pm

    I always make sure to savour my food … I can eat a single square of chocolate for about 10 minutes 🙂 I enjoy every bite, and that has helped me to maintain the same – healthy weight that I am at.

  • maria October 29, 2009, 8:56 pm

    I’ve been trying harder to eat more intuitively, so thanks for the tips. I think the smaller silverware and smaller plates really works. I feel like I am eating so much more because my bowl is so much fuller than a plate would be.

  • Lizzy October 30, 2009, 12:41 am

    intuitive eating is something i have to work on for sure, but its a work in progress. some days when i’m just real hungry i tend to eat so quickly and before my body can tell me i’m full i’m already going ahead and eating something else because i still feel hungry even though i’m not

  • Franziska ( May 27, 2010, 2:01 pm

    I practice mindful eating regularly, blog about it often and teach my clients about it as well. So important – I like to use all my senses; sight, smell, taste, – even sound – maybe you are outside and can hear the birds chirping. Great tips

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