Intuitive Eating Principle 2: How to Honor Your Hunger Cues

Welcome back, friend!

I hope some of the tips and tricks for embracing the first principle of intuitive eating was helpful, encouraging, and brought you freedom from the prison that is diet culture.

However, I know that intuitive eating takes so much more than changing your environment and fighting society…

If you have been subject to diet mentality and culture then you have most likely lost your ability to listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.

If you’re anything like me you simply ate because it was 8am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm- with maybe a snack in there. If you were hungry at any other time- you curbed it with water, coffee, or anything else that would distract you from hunger until the next time you were “allowed” to eat.

That is the very opposite of listening to your body.

How to Honor Your Hunger Cues

Tell yourself that time is not your permission to eat.

The time on the clock is not your permission to eat.
The time on the clock is not your permission to eat.
The time on the clock is not your permission to eat.

One more time.


Do you got it?

Recognize hunger cues.

Here is a chart that can help with recognizing these cues until you’re more familiar with them… but here’s some general rules.

  1. If you’re dizzy or faint- you’re most likely in need of nutrients.
  2. If your stomach grumbles- you need food.
  3. If you can’t stop thinking about food- you should eat something.
  4. If you exercised, you need to eat food after. (Even if you ate before.)

Carry around snacks with you during the day.

Because the time on the clock is not your permission to eat, put a couple snacks in your bag or purse so that when your body says that it is hungry you can feed it.

If you let your body stay hungry, then it will only get hungrier and then when food does appear, or you get home half starved, then your body will want to binge everything in sight. If you just ate a snack when it was hungry in the first place, it has less of a chance to get to that point.

Drink water, but not as a tool to avoid hunger.

Yes, you need to drink water. I will not say that you don’t… but 2 gallons? No.

Make sure that when you notice a hunger cue, you don’t try to curb it with water. If you want, drink a glass before your small snack, but never replace food with water.

Its honestly really silly.

Remind yourself that your body is telling you that it’s hungry for a reason. Feed it.

If you’re body says it’s hungry, then it is hungry. Especially when it’s causing a physical reaction in your body (dizziness, grumbling, shakey, ect.).

At this point your body knows better than you do. If you continue refusing to listen to it, it will continue being in survival mode and you will have no self control around food. Your body will simply continue taking over.

Acknowledge that your hunger is not the enemy.

Food isn’t the enemy. SO your hunger is not the enemy.

Your hunger is not betraying you to gain weight and fail at your diet. Your diet is betraying you to starve your body beyond what it can handle and fail at taking genuine care of your health… mental and physical.

Hunger cues can be hard when you have lost all ability to recognize them. Again, intuitive eating takes practice, and so does listening to what your body is saying… but you can get the hang of it.

Your body’s a brilliant machine. It knows what it needs and it knows what it is doing, and you simply have to release some of the control you want and trust that this will lead you to better overall health.

Intuitive Eating Principle 2: How to Honor Your Hunger Cues

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