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10 Principles of Gut-Love Eating

Gut-Love Eating is a kinder, more loving approach to eating than dieting. It also differs from Intuitive Eating in several ways.

Dieting, as used in this article, is restricting foods and calories with the one focused goal: losing weight. Diets don't care about energy levels, hormones, gut health, or your relationship with food. Most of us also detest diets because we like how we feel when we eat foods we love and we don't want these foods to be taken away.

If we decide to go down the diet rabbit hole, we want our efforts and sacrifice to pay off. We want the process to be successful and achieve our goal weight. Too often we have lost weight while dieting only to gain back the weight over time.

Research shows most dieters gain the weight back after they stop dieting regardless of the diet. In this regard, all diets are created equal.


Gut-Love Eating is an anti-diet approach to eating. Created by authors Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S and Elyse Resch, CED-S, Fiaedp, FADA, FAND. Here are the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating: :

  1. Reject 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


Gut-love eating and intuitive eating are very similar. Whereas Intuitive Eating offers general principles, Gut-Love Eating aims to dig deeper into Intuitive Eating principles and includes the need for insight regarding eating habits. Core intuitive eating concepts are shown below:

  1. Ditch Diet Patterns. Rejecting diet culture is a great first step. Commit today to stopping toxic eating habits relating to restricting or overeating. Decide to replace old habits with new healthy behaviors.

  2. Test Your Taste Buds. Variety is the spice of life. We crave new, exciting experiences. Food is no different. New foods tease our taste buds and get us excited about eating. Discover new foods and flavor combinations your tummy love or hates.

  3. Eat Every 3 Hours. Avoid the "hangries" (your family will thank you) by eating 300-400 calorie meals every 3 hours. Our gut needs time to process the foods we are feeding it. Eating smaller meals lets our tummies digest food efficiently and helps reduce overeating or stress eating.

  4. Use Small Plates. Psychologically, we like to enjoy full plates of our favorite foods. By starting with a small plate, and pausing, we still feel satisfied and are more aware of when we are hungry.

  5. Foods Are Not "Good" or "Bad." Foods are not created equal. Each of them have different nutritional values. Let go of labeling foods. Focus on being mindful of the foods you eat most often, and how you feel when you eat each bite. MyFitnessPal is a create mindful eating tool.

  6. Discover what motivates you to start/stop eating. Too often we eat things because they taste good and we don't stop and think about what motivates us to eat or not eat. Do we start eating because it's a food we love or do we feel obligated to continue eating even though we are no longer hungry?

  7. Practice Self-Love. Lean into your emotions. Recognize when you are trying to numb emotions or avoid uncomfortable emotions with food. Examine your patterns of eating and values you have been taught about food and eating such as making a "happy plate." including restricting calories or certain foods,

  8. Trust Your Body. Trust and respect are very different. You can respect a person and not trust them. Trusting your gut is about paying attention to what your body is telling you. Listen to your body and eat when you are hungry. Stop eating when you are full.

  9. Move because it feels good. Forget all those rules about needing to work out several times a week. Just start moving! Park at the back of the parking lot when you go shopping. Start walking outside and focus on the experience of moving your body.

  10. Eat Foods You Love! Forget the idea you need to eliminate or restrict foods and food groups you love!

is a simple approach to savoring each bite, repairing our relationship to food, and being kind to our gut. Best part is, this approach helps you lose weight without even trying. While similar to intuitive eating, this approach differs in several ways. also includes gaining awareness of our motivations for starting/stopping eating, food choices, and reducing stress in our daily lives.

Want to see more articles like this one? Have questions about gut-love coaching? Follow Sara Minges on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Youtube.

Sara Minges, BA, MS, is the Creator of The Goddess Plan, Founder of Wonder Woman Rising; touring poet, speaker and life coach; and author of Naked, Toes, Whiskey Sweet, and How to Fight Barbie... and Win.

With 20 years of experience as a life and wellness coach, Sara has a diverse and rich toolbox to help people purge perfectionism, shame and self-doubt, repair their relationship with food, love their bodies and own their life stories. Sara is also the host of Naked Toes Poetry, a monthly poetry event at Madtown Coffee in Madison, TN. To book Sara for your next event, send an email to

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