When you learn about intuitive eating for the first time, it can seem like an entirely new idea. In a world where dieting and diet culture are common, it might be hard or even impossible to give yourself permission to eat, listen to hunger and fullness cues, and focus on true satisfaction. This is because dieting and diet culture have a bad reputation.
Intuitive eating is something that you might be interested in, but you don’t know where to start. This is a list of things you should keep in mind. If you want to start eating more intuitively, I think these books will be very useful for you to read at first. Each author has a different point of view and talks about the subject in a different way, so pick the one that fits you best!
Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN, CEDRD, FAND
Nobody else could be number one on this list. Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, both Registered Dietitians, wrote Intuitive Eating in 1995. It is still the best book for people who are new to intuitive eating. Since it was first written, it has been changed four times, each time reflecting new studies and changes in the scientific literature. You should start your journey to intuitive eating with this book if you’ve ever thought about it even a little.
The Intuitive Eating Workbook: Ten Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN, CEDRD, FAND
The Intuitive Eating Workbook, which is also written by Resch and Tribole, is a great addition to the book that you read above. The principles of Intuitive Eating can be hard, confusing, or even scary when you first learn about them. This workbook can be used to help you put the principles into practice. It has worksheets and exercises for each of the principles.
Just Eat It: How intuitive eating can help you get your shit together around food by Laura Thomas, PhD
If the title didn’t make you want to read on, here are some more facts. When you read this book, you’ll learn how to use practical tools and exercises to start Intuitive Eating. It also shows you how to change your mindset about food, exercise, and dieting. Step by step, Registered Dietitian Laura Thomas goes over the intuitive eating principles with a little more sass, but it’ll still be easy to follow along. To give you a few examples, there are chapters on food neutrality, how to clean up your social media feed, and how to hold a Fitbit funeral. It even has sample conversations between friends and family who aren’t ready to give up dieting yet.
The F*ck it Diet: Eating Should Be Easy by Caroline Dooner, Ex-Dieter
It’s written by Caroline Dooner, a former yo-yo dieter and comedian. She talks about how she went from yo-yo dieting and weight cycling to intuitive eating with humor and evidence-based literature in this book. Dooner first takes down the wellness/diet industry, calling diets a cult. Then, she breaks down her journey to living the f*ck it diet into four parts: physical, emotional, mental, and thriving, which are all parts of the same thing. She points out that dieting doesn’t work and suggests a different way for people who have a hard time with food and their bodies. That’s what she said. Eat. Eat as much as you want! Make sure you get enough rest, breathe, and eat.
Healthy Eating for Life: An Intuitive Eating Workbook to Stop Dieting Forever by Cara Harbstreet, MS, RD, LD
Like the book by Tribole and Resch, this one by dietitian Cara Harbstreet has even more exercises to help you learn how to eat intuitively. Harbstreet has three main goals: to say no to diet culture, to learn how to tune in, and to keep nutrition in mind, too. If you like to write or have been thinking about giving it a try, these written thought exercises are great ways to think about and improve your relationship with food.
Unapologetic Eating by Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, CDN, CSCS
Alissa Rumsey, a dietitian, has written a new book about intuitive eating. In it, she talks about what she’s learned about diet culture and intuitive eating through years of working on herself and with clients. You can go from dieting to eating unapologetically, and Rumsey breaks down the process of going from dieting to getting enough food. He reminds you that “food behaviors are the symptom of deeper rooted societal issues rather than the problem.”
Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating by Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CEDRD
Many people think that Christy Harrison’s book is the best one out there against dieting. She takes diet culture by the horns and turns it upside down. If you read Anti-Diet, you’ll learn about how diet culture has been sexist, racist, and classist in the past. It will also show you how all-consuming and broken dieting (and diet culture) is.
The Intuitive Eating Guide to Recovery: Let Go of Toxic Diet Culture, Reconnect with Food, and Build Self-Love by Meme Inge, MS, RD
A dietitian named Meme Inge wrote this book to help you listen to your hunger and fullness cues and reconnect with your body, mind and spirit. You can learn how to do this by reading it. Inge’s guide is another good thing to read with books #1 and #2 on this list, too. It gives advice for people who are new to intuitive eating, ways to show more self-love, and advice on how to get into a better mindset for both health and happiness, among other things.
Gentle Nutrition by Rachael Hartley, RD, LD
People often don’t understand the 10th principle of Intuitive Eating. It says to honor your health. If you want to be healthy, you need to pay attention to what you eat. Hartley doesn’t want you to get caught up in diet culture and cut back to meet your health goals. Instead, he wants you to look at the big picture. This is what Hartley wants to do through her book: teach people about how to eat healthy from an intuitive eating, non-diet point of view. This book is also great for people who want simple, healthy, and tasty recipes. Hartley has 50+ recipes in the book, from breakfast and snacks to mains and desserts.
Eat to Love: A Mindful Guide to Transforming Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Life by Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RDN, CDN
When Jenna Hollenstein isn’t dieting, she’s teaching people how to be mindful and meditate so they can stay sane in the wellness world and fight against diet culture messages that aren’t true. A big part of Hollenstein’s goal is for you to learn how to love your body the way it is right now.