Interested in learning more about intuitive eating? I’ve rounded up a top 10 list of my favorite intuitive eating books to help you on your journey to healing your relationship with food.
This blog post was written by Alix Eve Schram, RDN, Health Coach, and Intern at Kara Lydon Nutrition. Alix is two classes away from her completing her Master’s in Clinical Nutrition at NYU. Alix is passionate about helping others find a more positive and peaceful relationship with food and body via Intuitive Eating. She feels strongly that there is no single image of health and that diets do not work. Alix plans to specialize in Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating.
Intuitive eating can feel like a completely foreign concept when you first learn about it. If you’ve been part of (or, victim to) the world of dieting and diet culture, the idea of giving yourself permission to eat, tuning into hunger and fullness cues, and focusing on true satisfaction might feel wrong, difficult, and even impossible.
If you’ve been at all curious about intuitive eating or if you’re ready to dive into the non-diet space but don’t know where to start, save this list. I’ve found these books to be super helpful when it comes to taking the first steps towards intuitive eating. Each author has their own perspective and tackles the topic in different ways, so take your pick!
1. Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN, CEDRD, FAND
There is no other book that could be #1 on this list. Authors and Registered Dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch brought Intuitive Eating to life in 1995 and it is still considered the gold-standard and manual for anyone new to intuitive eating. It has been updated four times, each edition reflecting new studies and any changes in the scientific literature. If you’ve ever been curious about intuitive eating in the slightest, start your journey with this book.
2. 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
Also written by Resch and Tribole, the Intuitive Eating Workbook is the perfect companion to the book listed above. The Intuitive Eating principles can often seem confusing, difficult, and even scary at times, especially upon first exposure. This workbook can be utilized as a physical tool to help you put the principles into practice. It has worksheets and suggested exercises for each principle.
3. Just Eat It: How intuitive eating can help you get your shit together around food by Laura Thomas, PhD
If the title alone didn’t grab you, here’s a few more details. This book gives you practical tools and exercises to begin Intuitive Eating, but beyond that, teaches you how to shift your attitude when it comes to food, exercise, and diet culture. Registered Dietitian Laura Thomas takes you through the intuitive eating principles step by step, but with a little extra sass. To give a few examples, chapters range from practicing food neutrality to holding a Fitbit funeral to how to clean up your social media feed. It’s even got sample conversations between friends and family who aren’t yet ready to let go of diet culture.
4. The F*ck it Diet: Eating Should Be Easy by Caroline Dooner, Ex-Dieter
Comedian and ex-chronic dieter, Caroline Dooner, shares her personal journey from yo-yo dieting and weight cycling to intuitive eating by using both humor and evidence-based literature in this book. Dooner starts by taking down the wellness/diet industry (calling diets a cult), then separates her journey to living the f*ck it diet into four parts: physical, emotional, mental, and thriving. She focuses on the fact that dieting does not work and offers up a different solution to those struggling with their relationship to food and body. Her answer? Eat. Eat whatever you want! Have compassion for yourself, rest, breathe, and eat.
5. Healthy Eating for Life: An Intuitive Eating Workbook to Stop Dieting Forever by Cara Harbstreet, MS, RD, LD
Similar to the workbook by Tribole and Resch, this book by dietitian Cara Harbstreet offers up even more exercises to help you discover the joy of intuitive eating. Harbstreet focuses on three goals: saying no to diet culture, how to tune inward, and how to keep nutrition in mind, too. If you like to journal or have been wanting to dabble, these written thought exercises are perfect prompts to explore and improve your relationship with food.
6. Unapologetic Eating by Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, CDN, CSCS
In this new addition to the intuitive eating literature landscape, dietitian Alissa Rumsey shares what she’s learned about diet culture and intuitive eating through years of working on herself and with clients. From trying to fix yourself to unapologetic eating to unapologetic living, Rumsey breaks down the process of going from dieting to adequate nourishment, and reminds you that “food behaviors are the symptom of deeper rooted societal issues rather than the problem.”
7. Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating by Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CEDRD
Considered by many to be the premier anti-diet book, Christy Harrison takes diet culture by the horns and turns it upside down. Anti-Diet will educate you on the sexist, racist, and classist history of diet culture, while using research, first, and second hand experience to show you just how all-consuming and broken dieting (and diet culture) really is.
8. The Intuitive Eating Guide to Recovery: Let Go of Toxic Diet Culture, Reconnect with Food, and Build Self-Love by Meme Inge, MS, RD
Learn to listen to hunger and fullness signals and reconnect to your body, mind, and spirit with this book by dietitian Meme Inge. Inge’s guide is another helpful companion to read alongside books #1 and #2 on this list. It provides practice advice for those new to intuitive eating, strategies to engage in more self-love, and tips on how to reach a healthier frame of mind for both health and happiness.
9. Gentle Nutrition by Rachael Hartley, RD, LD
Honor Your Health is the 10th principle of Intuitive Eating, and one that is often misunderstood. Though what we eat is not the end all be all of health, nutrition still has an important place in taking care of your body. Instead of getting lost in diet culture and restriction to meet health goals, Hartley encourages you to look at the big picture. Through her book, Hartley seeks to educate on what healthy eating looks like from an intuitive eating, non-diet perspective. This book is also perfect for those looking for simple, nourishing, and delicious recipes, as Hartley includes 50+ recipes, from breakfast and snacks to mains and dessert!
10. Eat to Love: A Mindful Guide to Transforming Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Life by Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RDN, CDN
Reviewed as a “spiritual revolution” against all things diet culture, dietitian Jenna Hollenstein uses a series of exercises that focus on mindfulness and meditation to help you find sanity amidst the wellness world and to challenge insidious diet culture messaging. Hollenstein’s goal is not only to help you fix your relationship with food but to inspire you to love your body as it is, right now.