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Intuitive Eating for Mature Women: Make Peace with Food (+3 Tips to Apply Right Now!)

If you’re tired of the mental food police constantly assessing what you put in your mouth, and you don’t trust yourself to eat well without the constant judgement, intuitive eating may be a good option for you to finally make peace with food.

What Is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach to a harmonious relationship with food and your body that ultimately leads to caring for yourself well with food.

It is based on the premise that we are all born with an understanding of when we are hungry, satisfied, and what we need to nourish ourselves, and this intuition can be reclaimed even after decades of All or Nothing dieting.

If you struggle with food cravings or overeating, intuitive eating can be a good way to make peace with food. You can get started by downloading the free Cravings Busting Audio Guide.

Why Is Intuitive Eating a Good Choice for Women Over 60?

“Gentle Nutrition” to Help Bone Health and Prevent Disease

Women over 60 have specific nutritional needs related to bone health and chronic disease prevention or treatment that require sustained healthy eating.

Intuitive eating offers a gentle nutritional approach that allows for indulgences and pleasure while also helping you incorporate healthy foods that satisfy nutritional needs, as an alternative to the black and white rules of dieting.

Reduced Risk of Eating Disorders

Prevalence of eating disorders in older women is on the rise, some sources say at least 13% of women over 50 engage in disordered eating.

Studies of intuitive eating consistently find a reduction in disordered eating for people who eat intuitively. If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, you can get support in the US at the National Eating Disorder Helpline. For Canada, support can be found from the National Eating Disorder Information Center. UK based individuals can find help with the Helplines at Beat Eating Disorders.

If you reside in a different country, you can google “eating disorder help [country]”.

Get Off the Diet Roller Coaster

One thing I consistently hear from my mature clients about dieting is this: “I didn’t think I’d still be doing this at my age.”

Intuitive eating offers an alternative to the mental turmoil of going on and off diets. It allows you to connect with your physical and emotional needs and meet those differently from restricting food.

How to Get Started with Intuitive Eating

The best way to get started with intuitive eating is to get curious about whether or not you are hungry when you eat, and what you might be hungry for.

Stay kind to yourself while you practice this non-judgement curiosity, and you may be surprised by what you find.

The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating

Since intuitive eating is a new way of relating to food, you may benefit from reading a book on the subject or working with a Registered Dietitian one-on-one.

In the meantime, the 10 principles of intuitive eating, originally created by Registered Dietitians, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, can give you an idea of what is involved in creating this change:

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality
  2. Honor Your Hunger
  3. Make Peace with Food
  4. Challenge the Food Police
  5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
  6. Feel Your Fullness
  7. Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness
  8. Respect Your Body
  9. Movement – Feel the Difference
  10. Honor Your Health – Gentle Nutrition

3 Intuitive Eating Tips to Apply Right Now

What to Do If You Feel Like You Can’t Trust Yourself Around Food

The biggest concern I hear from women who are interested in implementing intuitive eating is that if they allow themselves to eat what they desire when they are hungry, they will end up eating large quantities of foods that aren’t very healthy.

Some amount of eating ice cream for dinner when you finally give up food rules is normal, and yet when you are tuned into how your body feels and what you desire, most people will start to notice a desire for more grounding and energizing foods after a few days of ice cream.

If you struggle with food cravings, it can help to develop trust with yourself before attempting intuitive eating, you’re welcome to download the free Cravings Busting Audio Guide to help you do so.

What to Do If You Want to Lose Weight

Intuitive eating is not a weight loss diet, although some people will lose weight as a result.

When you are eating in response to your body’s cues, you may find your weight naturally settles at your personal “ideal body weight,” based on your genetics and environmental factors.

Sleep disturbances, stress, medications that change metabolism or appetite and other factors can change your desire to eat, thereby effecting weight while practicing intuitive eating.

Working to optimize sleep, manage stress, and care for your emotions may be helpful if you need help managing weight.

What to Do If You Don’t Know What Hunger or Fullness Feels Like

Another common barrier is that All or Nothing Dieting can disconnect you from the sensations of hunger and fullness. It is possible to get acquainted with these sensations, and it may take some trial and error.

Some things that can help if you’re struggling with recognizing hunger and fullness is rating your sense of hunger before eating and after eating, and putting down your fork part way through a meal to check in with physical sensations in your body.

Intuitive eating is a great way to get reconnected with your body and desires, even while it may be challenging in early stages to implement because there is no strict plan to follow.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What questions do you have about intuitive eating? Have you tried it before? What has been your experience?

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A widower now, I control my weight with Saxenda.Down 15kg since my wife died.


Glad you’ve found something that works for you, Gerry! One thing to know about weight loss medications is they work to decrease appetite, so intuitive eating is a harder strategy to try while taking them.

Karen Levitt

Sweets and carbs are my downfall. As soon as it eat some I’m starving for more. A true feeling of hunger. Instead of dry January ( I don’t drink) I’m doing sugar free January and I’m find my hunger pains have subsided and I’m can assess true hunger


So glad you’re finding what works for you, I think your comment is a great example of how one-size-fits-all doesn’t work for everyone. If you’re still struggling with cravings for sweets and carbs, I recommend you download my cravings busting audio guide (linked in the article) if you haven’t already to help manage the cravings.


Really good article, thanks for the !


Welcome Sandra! Do any questions about intuitive eating or how to apply it come up for you?


I wish someone would do an article on needing to GAIN weight. I lost 20+ pounds after my husband’s death, and have not regained it. I have no appetite, and don’t cook much any more. Not depressed (just still grieving).


Know what you mean


I’m sorry for your loss, DBG. This is a great article idea, I’ll be sure to pass it along to Margaret and team. In the meantime, you might consider 1 or 2 sessions with a local Registered Dietitian to get some one-on-one support. Not sure if you’re in the US, but Medicare will cover dietitian visits if you have diabetes or kidney disease.

Crystal Hartley

I am anxious to explore intuitive eating further. In the meantime, may I suggest an 11th commandment? Resign your membership in the “clean plate” club. Once you’ve scraped a few half-plates of dinner down the disposal, you’ll unconsciously become more realistic about what you put on your plate in the first place.


I think that’s a wonderful 11th commandment! This becomes easier to do when you get comfortable with your hunger and desire for food as a normal part of being a human, rather than a shameful thing. I think often we pile food on because we judge ourselves harshly for going back for “seconds”.

The Author

Cassie Christopher is a Masters-trained Registered Dietitian who helps women in midlife and beyond create a supportive relationship with food, their bodies, and health so they can eat with joy instead of eating to seek joy. You can get immediate help when you're experiencing a craving by downloading Cassie's Cravings Busting audio guide.

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