You may have heard the term “Intuitive Eating” pop up in recent years. As society begins to shift to a more body-positive culture, it is also beginning to become more mindful of what diets truly mean.

The concept of Intuitive Eating originated as early as the 1970s but wasn’t formally coined until 1995 by dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. The overall idea is built on the principle that many diets aren’t effective at maintaining a healthy lifestyle and focuses on a more behavioral approach than a restrictive approach. Many of the fad diets are restrictive, and people typically choose to follow them due to celebrity and influencer endorsements. Fad diets are defined as “a diet that is popular for a time, similar to fads in fashion, without being a standard dietary recommendation, and often promising unreasonably fast weight loss or nonsensical health improvements.” – Source

In other words – many of these diets shouldn’t be followed unless recommended by a licensed dietitian.

The Dangers of Fad Dieting

When an individual decides to start a new diet, it is typically to lose weight and to lose it fast. Unfortunately, diets like these aren’t sustainable and can lead to nutrient deficiencies and weight gain – thus defeating the overall purpose of why people start diets to begin with. We sat down with one of our very own PrimeroEdge solution experts, Molly Platts, MS, RDN, to learn more about the true results of fad dieting.

PrimeroEdge Marketing:

What is the overall consensus in the dietitian community regarding fad diets?


That they are just that, a fad and that they aren’t sustainable and are a bandaid. It comes down to the importance of an eating pattern that is balanced in all food groups and can be sustainable forever. One caveat I will say is that a keto diet, while a fad diet, does have a place for children specifically those who have epileptic disorders. That’s actually where the diet originated.

PrimeroEdge Marketing:

So that was going to be a follow-up question – diets like Keto where it’s really popular but also (somewhat) restrictive – I assume some people have to follow because a dietitian recommended it to them?


If you do keto right it’s extremely restrictive. Those who are on a keto diet for medical reasons are constantly monitored by the dietitian and their doctor in a collaborative effort. So another example is people who are on dialysis and following a renal diet can’t have a lot of potassium, sodium, phosphorus, or calcium. So things like fried foods, potatoes, greens, and dairy can really mess up their numbers causing them to retain fluid and make the kidneys work harder. So dietitians work in conjunction with doctors to manage their levels. Would someone like you or I who decides to follow a renal diet, for example, lose weight? Absolutely, because it’s restrictive and we are cutting out food groups that tend to be high in calories. But we also wouldn’t be able to stay on that diet long term because it’s so restrictive.

PrimeroEdge Marketing:

And typically restrictive diets (not recommended by a dietitian) can lead to weight gain because of how unsustainable and restrictive they are. Is this true?


Yes, because two things can and usually do happen. One – if you are restricting your diet by cutting out food groups all together you will start to become deficient in certain nutrients. When this happens your body will go into fight or flight mode causing it to store whatever energy it can. This in turn causes the excess of energy to be stored as fat and causing weight gain. And two – because the body has learned to store whatever energy is taken in from food. The moment someone stops restricting and starts eating normally they now have all this extra energy coming in, in the form of calories that don’t get expended as easily because the body’s metabolism has adjusted to needing fewer calories and so the excess gets stored as fat. So typically people who lose weight on a fad diet gain that weight back and then some when they remove the restrictions

Intuitive Eating

So how does a trending term like Intuitive Eating differ from all of the fad diets we’ve seen pop up over the years?

As previously mentioned, Intuitive Eating doesn’t involve restrictions. In fact, “Intuitive eaters give themselves unconditional permission to eat whatever they want without feeling guilty. They rely on their internal hunger and satiety signals, along with other cues like energy levels, mental clarity, and stress levels, and trust their body to tell them when what and how much to eat.” – Source

We asked Molly what her thoughts on Intuitive Eating were.

PrimeroEdge Marketing:

What are your thoughts on intuitive eating? Is this just another trendy term or is this a sustainable way to live a healthy lifestyle?


I actually really like intuitive eating. This isn’t so much a fad or trendy term as it makes a person really think about the emotional aspect of eating. Intuitive eating really requires someone to look for their satiety cues and listen to when they are hungry and full. It also requires you to think about why you are eating. For example, if it’s 2 pm and you find yourself eating a bag of chips in front of the tv and the next thing you know the bag is empty but you’re still “hungry” there are a couple of things people should think about. Am I hungry because my body is telling me it needs fuel? Or am I eating because I’m bored or dehydrated? Intuitive eating techniques can help people really understand what they need. I love it and use some of the techniques myself.

“How To”

Because Intuitive Eating isn’t a diet, there isn’t really a “how-to” guide on how to use this method. However, there are 10 principles that serve as the foundation and developed by none other than Tribole and Resch themselves.

  • Reject the Diet Mentality

  • Honor Your Hunger
  • Make Peace with Food
  • Challenge the Food Police
  • Discover the Satisfaction Factor

  • Feel Your Fullness

  • Cope with Your Emotions with Kindess

  • Respect Your Body
  • Movement – Feel the Difference
  • Honor Your Health – Gentle Nutrition

For a full breakdown of these principles and to learn more about intuitive eating, visit and learn from the founders themselves.