Kris Carr


What Is Intuitive Eating?

Hiya Gorgeous!

Is anyone else old enough to remember Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally? (For any youngins among us, it’s an old mnemonic to help students remember the order of operations in math: Parentheses, then Exponents, then Multiply, then Divide, and finally Add before you Subtract.) 

Oddly enough, it’s also the first thing that comes to mind when someone asks me “What is intuitive eating?” 

Something you may not know about me is that, in my late teens and early twenties, my ambition was to excel as a professional dancer. I plié’d and pirouette’d my way right into a really unhealthy relationship with food. Counting every calorie. Shaming myself for every “bad” bite. Restricting my body and appetite to match the grueling standards of my industry.

I bet you can relate. Most women have felt the pressure to shrink at one time or another, and felt the resulting strain on their relationship with food — the very thing that’s supposed to sustain us. 
In the days after my diagnosis, I began to look at food in a completely different light. It was a vehicle for healing, a way to flood my body with abundant nourishment to help me thrive despite the tumors that had taken up residence in my torso. “Add before you subtract” became my nutrition mantra. How much good stuff could I pile onto my plate? How many nutrients could I strengthen my body with? What should I add today?

I felt that same abundance when the Intuitive Eating movement picked up steam. Pioneered by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, intuitive eating champions your right and ability to trust yourself to make food choices that feel good and nourish you — without judging yourself, ridiculing yourself or being ruled by diet restrictive culture.

So if you’ve been wondering “What is intuitive eating?” and “Is intuitive eating right for me?” simply hit play on the video below, and I’ll walk you through the basics.

A Simple Overview of Intuitive Eating

Read the transcript here…

Kris Carr: Hello. So some of you have heard many of the different stories from my previous career as a dancer and a performer, and I love the analogy of cats having nine lives, and I feel like I have nine lives in my my career path, I’ve had so many different careers. But my first career was as a professional dancer. I remember training really hard in my youth that, as a teenager, into my 20s, and there was a period where I was really, really going for it. And when I say going for it, I was completely committed to my instrument, but also to looking like a dancer. Right? Because I needed to be a certain weight to get the jobs, to get the praise, to get all the things. And so starting from a young age, I was dieting, I was weighing my food, I was restricting, I was counting calories. I was doing everything I could to look a certain way so that I could perform a certain way and I could be accepted, aka get the job. And it led to some really difficult times and a really unhealthy relationship with food. And so I continued that relationship and there was a period there I was bingeing and purging and, and really suffering. I think that I had so much fear around food and so much frustration—we really had this love hate relationship. It was well over a decade, probably 15 years of writing down everything I ate all the time in every journal and endless conversations in my journal about how I was going to restrict myself more, how I was going to do better the next time, and just beating myself up.

For me, that experience lasted quite some time, and then I got sick. I didn’t get sick as a result of this, although I’m sure that some of it contributed to it, I don’t know. But my my illness woke me up. It woke me up to caring for myself in a new and more loving way, which is really what we focus on in ICW. And it’s exactly what Intuitive Eating is all about. So healing our relationship to ourselves and to our food, and allowing ourselves to trust ourselves and have a joyful experience with what we have on our plate and what we put in our wonderful bodies.

So let’s talk all about it, my friends. Here’s what you’re going to learn and what we’re going to explore in this coaching. What is intuitive eating? The power of mindful eating. And the pleasure in mindful cooking.

So what is intuitive eating? There’s been a lot of articles about it. There’s some really great books on this topic, but Intuitive Eating is a method that was created by two dietitians, Evelyn Tribally, I think I’m saying her name correctly and Elise Resch. So it’s all about developing an internal eating compass that’s pointed towards what we just talked about: joy, peace, gratitude, all of these wonderful experiences and emotions, instead of stress and overwhelm and fear when it comes to our food. So think of it like another mindful practice that allows you to create a healthier relationship again with food and with your body. So ultimately, intuitive eating champions your right and your ability to trust yourself to make food choices that feel good and nourish you without judging yourself, without beating yourself up or ridiculing yourself, or being ruled by restrictive diet culture.

We’ve all been there. The ups and downs, this plan, the latest restriction, all of that stuff. How many of you have spent so many years trying to figure out what the next diet is that’s going to finally help you do x, y, z? Right? For most people, it’s lose the weight.

So instead of labeling foods as good or bad or cheats or blow its or sanctioned portions, intuitive eating centers around identifying and listening to your body cues. Listening to those cues, noticing when you’re hungry and then nourishing yourself. Recognizing when you’re full and then stopping. Okay? It’s that simple. But it’s certainly not easy, especially with all the baggage that most of us have around food. So again core to this practice is building self trust. Instead of bashing your choices, being fearful, anxious, being ruled by boredom or uncomfortable emotions, letting those uncomfortable emotions play out on your plate, letting the boredom that you may be experiencing in your life get satisfied by food. Instead of that, you honor and respect yourself enough to trust your choices, right? There’s no calorie counting. There’s no points. There’s no food weighing yo-yo dieting. Rather than focusing on deprivation, you learn to build sustainable skills that heal your food relationship and heal your body. Okay, so you can start to enjoy food again without obsessing over it.

This video is an excerpt from my Intuitive Eating training. Watch the full coaching today, including my spin on the 10 core principles of intuitive eating plus how to deepen your practice through a combination of both mindful eating and mindful cooking, inside of Inner Circle Wellness. Members can log in right here. Not a member yet? You can unlock the video—and my complete expert coaching collection—for less than $30! Get all the details here.

Here’s what you’ll discover:

1.  What is intuitive eating?

We’ll define the concept simply, so you can see if it resonates with you.

2. How intuitive eating can help heal an unhealthy relationship with food.

Including removing the morality from “good” or “bad” foods and reorienting your internal eating compass back towards simplicity and ease.

3. Why so many of us lose touch with our body’s natural hunger cues.

And how to reclaim that self-trust and self-awareness, so you can return to a joyful approach to nourishment without any stress or self-bashing.

Now it’s your turn. What’s one food your body’s been asking you for lately? And how will you respond? Let’s share our wisdom in the comments.


Add a comment
  1. Annette says:

    I love greens, especially baby boy choy. I love chocolate too. I like to eat and look forward to meal times. I think it is fun to try new recipes. I don’t like fad diets. Now that I have cancer, I’m trying to figure out what the best foods are for me to eat. In my youth I had an eating disorder for a few years but I think I am intuitive eater now. Thank you for your recipes and story.

  2. Paulina Kee says:

    How fun to look at old headshots. They’re gorgeous. Thank you for sharing them with us.
    I too was a professional dancer and had so much shame around my body. Which is too bad because I missed out on the basic pleasures of being human, like eating, drinking, and feeling relaxed in my skin. There was even a point where I would feel guilty for eating Filipino food!!! Say whaaaat?
    Thankfully I am free of those issues and now enjoy growing, harvesting, cooking and eating food. I love Filipino food and I miss my mom’s cooking. She once said to me that some of her best memories revolve around food. It’s true for me too. When I cook Filipino food with my daughter, my siblings, my nieces and nephews, and my husband, we are honoring my mom’s legacy, our culture and heritage and making memories. And we also get to enjoy a delicious meal that nourishes us on so many levels. Thank you Mom!
    p.s. “Have you eaten?” is the way Filipinos say hello.

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