intuitive and mindful eating journal prompts

100+ Intuitive and Mindful Eating Journal Prompts From an Intuitive Eating Dietitian

Looking to improve your relationship with food and body? Have you read about Intuitive Eating, but you’re struggling to put it into practice? 

Delve into these intuitive and mindful eating journal prompts to explore your relationship with food, hunger, movement, and body image while fostering a peaceful and mindful approach to eating.

Let’s dive in!

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What is Intuitive Eating?

First, since there is a lot of misinformation and misconceptions about Intuitive Eating, here is a quick definition: 

Intuitive Eating is an evidence-based, weight-neutral approach to eating that works to heal your relationship with food and body image. 

There are 10 principles of Intuitive Eating that work together to either help cultivate attunement or remove barriers to internal biological cues (hunger and fullness cues)

Instead of a goal of weight loss, like most diets, Intuitive Eating is about health gain. 

Weight loss diets use restrictions and rules to change your body into something “better” and are typically driven by self-loathing and shame. 

In contrast, Intuitive Eating is about tuning into your body’s internal wisdom to honor, nourish, and respect your body and is driven by self-compassion and values.

How Journaling Can Help With Intuitive Eating

While it’s helpful to read about and understand the principles of Intuitive Eating, it’s often not enough. It takes a lot of practice, patience, introspection, and self-compassion. 

Intuitive Eating is all about YOU: your lived experiences, history, goals, health, emotions, thoughts, genetics, etc. Only you are the expert on yourself. No dietitian, doctor, influencer, or person on this earth knows what’s best for you. 

These journal prompts will help you put into practice and explore the principles of Intuitive Eating in a way that works for you. 

How to Use These Journal Prompts

Take time to review these journal prompts, reflect, process any thoughts or emotions that arise, and take action. 

You don’t have to go through these in order. 

If any of these are triggering  or make you feel dysregulated, please step away from the material and show yourself some care and compassion. Come back to it when you’re ready.  

Similarly, some of these journal prompts may not resonate with you, and that’s okay.  Take what is helpful and leave the rest. 

intuitive and mindful eating journal prompts infographic

Journal Prompts for Principle 1: Reject the Diet Mentality 

Quick Overview of Intuitive Eating Principle 1

The first principle of Intuitive Eating is about ditching the rigid rules of diet culture and the pursuit of unrealistic weight loss and instead promotes tuning into the body’s internal cues for a more respectful and nourishing relationship with food and your body.

Journal Prompts

  1. Think back to your first experiences with diet culture (maybe it was a weight loss commercial, a comment on your body, or your first diet). How did this change your life? How did it change your relationship with food and your body? How old were you? Reflect on the experiences, emotions, and impact this had on you. 
  2. What diets, meal plans, or “wellness programs” have you tried? Did you lose weight? Did you gain the weight back? How long did it take? Why weren’t the plans sustainable? 
  3. In what ways has dieting and obsessing over food and weight loss impacted your life? 
  4. How much time, energy, and mental space has dieting taken up? Is that how you want to spend your time and energy?
  5. In what ways does dieting serve you? Why do you return to it? Are there other ways to meet these needs that don’t negatively impact your life?
  6. In what ways does diet culture or the diet mentality show up in your life? Are there ways you can reduce it (e.g., unfollow harmful influencers on Instagram)?
  7. Imagine what it would be like to never go on another diet again. How would your life be different? 
  8. When you are exposed to diet culture, how does it impact you? What do you feel? How does it affect your actions and behaviors?
  9. There’s a misconception that ditching dieting means letting go or giving up on your health. The opposite is true. Dieting can actually lead to weight stigma, weight cycling, binge eating, constant cravings and feelings of hunger, disordered eating, and body dissatisfaction. On the other hand, body acceptance and intuitive eating are associated with more consistency of healthy behaviors, improved quality of life, and better mental health outcomes.  Reflect on behaviors that make you feel better that have nothing to do with weight loss (ex. Eating more fruits and vegetables, engaging in enjoyable movement, getting adequate sleep, cultivating meaningful relationships, attending to mental health needs, abstaining from alcohol use, etc.)
  10. What are your reasons for wanting to let go of diet culture? How has it affected you? How is your life better without it? Write down everything you can think of. 

Journal Prompts for Principle 2: Honor Your Hunger 

Quick Overview of Intuitive Eating Principle 2

The second principle of Intuitive Eating encourages recognizing and responding to your body’s internal hunger signals instead of suppressing or ignoring them due to external influences.

Journal Prompts

  1. Begin to take notice of your hunger signal. Pause before you begin eating. Do you notice any hunger signals? What are they?
  2. How does your hunger level affect your satisfaction with eating? What does it feel like to begin eating when you’re mildly hungry versus when you’re all out ravenous? How does it affect the amount of food or the speed at which you eat? How does it affect the taste or your experience? No judgment here, just reflection. 
  3. How does hunger affect you? Take notice of how you feel when you are hungry. Do you have a harder time focusing? Do you get irritable? Are you tired? What sensations show up for you?
  4. Practical hunger is determining what you need to eat even though you aren’t physically hungry. You won’t get another chance, and if you wait, you’ll be ravenous. It’s an act of self-care. Write down ways you can practice honoring practical hunger. 
  5. Think about a time you tried to “trick” your hunger cues (using tactics to quell hunger rather than eating). How did you feel doing this? How did your next eating occasion feel?
  6. Without judgment, do you ever find that you are reaching for food to soothe an emotion even though you aren’t hungry? What emotion are you trying to avoid or soothe? Do you also reach for food when this arises? Do you have other ways of coping? Remember: it’s okay to use food for comfort at times! This is just a reflection.
  7. Are there any external factors that influence what, when, or how much you eat? Reflect on these factors. 
  8. How has diet culture influenced your trust in your body’s hunger signals? What steps can you take to rebuild trust with your body’s natural cues?
  9. On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you in your ability to identify your hunger cues? Are there ways you can increase your confidence? 
  10. What patterns do you notice about your hunger cues? What are your first signs of hunger? How do different levels of hunger affect your meals? What level of hunger feels best to begin eating at?

Journal Prompts for Principle 3: Make Peace with Food 

Quick Overview of Intuitive Eating Principle 3

The third principle of Intuitive Eating advocates for removing moral labels like “good” or “bad” from foods and embracing all types of foods as part of a balanced diet. It emphasizes giving oneself unconditional permission to eat all foods without judgment or guilt, recognizing that all food serves a purpose. 

Journal Prompts

  1. Make a list of foods you consider “off-limits” or “bad.” Why are these foods on this list? How do these labels affect your eating habits and feelings about food?
  2. Now do the same for foods you label as “safe” or “healthy.” Why are these foods on this list? How do these labels affect your eating habits and feelings about food?
  3. List the foods you consider off-limits. What fears or beliefs are associated with these foods? Is there a more neutral way to think about these foods? 
  4. Can you identify any situations or emotions that trigger cravings for certain foods?
  5. Rate your current level of food freedom on a scale of 1-10. What steps can you take to increase this freedom?
  6. Reflect on a meal where you allowed yourself to eat what you truly wanted. How did the freedom to choose impact your enjoyment and satisfaction?
  7. Write about a time you denied yourself a craving and ended up eating more of something else. What would have happened if you had honored your original craving?
  8. Imagine a world where all foods are neutral. What would you be most excited to eat?
  9. Experiment with a food you’ve had mixed feelings about. Eat it in a calm, stress-free setting, and note any new observations about your likes or dislikes.
  10. Instead of labeling a food as “healthy” or “unhealthy,” describe its qualities. (Ex: Chocolate – rich, creamy, sweet).

Journal Prompts for Principle 4: Challenge the Food Police 

Quick Overview of Intuitive Eating Principle 4

The fourth principle of Intuitive Eating involves rejecting the internal and external critical voices that impose rigid food rules and create feelings of guilt or shame around eating. This principle encourages replacing judgmental thoughts with non-judgmental awareness and self-compassion to help dismantle harmful eating patterns and promote a healthier relationship with food.

Journal Prompts

  1. Write down some of your critical thoughts or rules around food. Where do these stem from?
  2. Reviewing the list of your food thoughts and rules, how do these affect your emotions and behaviors around eating?
  3. Choose one of the rules/thoughts. What would happen if you didn’t follow it?
  4. Choose one negative thought you have around food. Write three realistic, positive, or helpful alternatives to this thought.
  5. Describe your last meal without using any judgment. Describe the taste, quality of food, etc.
  6. For each critical thought identified, write a compassionate response that you might tell a friend if they expressed the same thought about themselves.
  7. Imagine a life free from food judgment and guilt. What would it look like? How would you eat, and how would you feel about your body and food choices?
  8. Catch yourself labeling a food as “good” or “bad.” Describe the food in neutral terms instead.
  9. Visualize yourself having a peaceful and enjoyable meal without judgment. Describe the scene in detail.
  10. Practice mindfulness around negative food thoughts. Acknowledge them without judgment and let them pass.

Journal Prompts for Principle 5: Discover the Satisfaction Factor 

Quick Overview of Intuitive Eating Principle 5

The fifth principle of Intuitive Eating encourages finding joy and pleasure in eating by focusing on the sensory experiences of food—such as taste, texture, and aroma—and the emotional connections it brings, like nostalgia, cultural connection, or social enjoyment. This principle stresses that satisfaction from meals is central to a fulfilling eating experience.

Journal Prompts

  1. Describe a recent meal that was particularly satisfying. What were the sensory aspects (taste, texture, aroma, appearance) that made it enjoyable?
  2. Plan a meal based on your current cravings, incorporating all five senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, sound).
  3. Write about a food that brings back fond memories. What is the story behind this food, and why does it resonate with you emotionally?
  4. Reflect on a meal that connects you to your cultural heritage. How does eating this food make you feel connected to your identity and history?
  5. Journal about a time when you felt guilty for enjoying a food that diet culture labels as “bad.” How can you shift your mindset to embrace pleasure over guilt?
  6. Consider a positive social experience centered around food. How did the company influence your enjoyment of the meal?
  7. How important is the presentation of your food to your eating experience? Reflect on a meal that was visually appealing and describe how it impacted your satisfaction.
  8. Reflect on a time you felt pressured to eat something you didn’t enjoy. How did it impact your overall satisfaction with the meal?
  9. Think about trying a new food or cuisine recently. What did you like or dislike about it? How did exploring new tastes contribute to your satisfaction?
  10. How does your level of hunger affect how satisfying a meal is? Reflect on times when you ate too much or too little and how that influenced your enjoyment.

Journal Prompts for Principle 6: Feel Your Fullness 

Quick Overview of Intuitive Eating Principle 6

The sixth principle of Intuitive Eating focuses on learning to recognize and respect when you feel comfortably full while maintaining flexibility and not treating this awareness as a strict rule. It emphasizes using curiosity and compassion rather than judgment.

Journal Prompts

  1. During your next meal, pause halfway through and assess your fullness on a scale from 1 to 10. This is not a commitment to quit eating. Without judgment, record your level and how the food tastes at that moment.
  2. Describe some of your physical sensations of fullness. 
  3. Rate your awareness of your fullness cues on a scale of 1-10. What steps can you take to improve your awareness?
  4. Describe what comfortable fullness feels like for you. What physical sensations tell you that you have eaten just the right amount? How long does it keep you full?
  5. Notice the difference between when hunger subsides and satisfying fullness? 
  6. After a meal where you felt perfectly full, record how long it took before you felt hungry again. What does this tell you about the types and amounts of foods that are most satisfying for you?
  7. Consider the external factors that might influence your ability to recognize fullness cues.
  8. Consider a time when you ate past comfortable fullness. What did you expect to happen? What actually happened? 
  9. Visualize a dial representing your hunger and fullness. Where would you place yourself right now?
  10. Identify a meal that left you feeling full but not satisfied. What was missing from the meal to help you feel satisfied?

Journal Prompts for Principle 7: Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness 

Quick Overview of Intuitive Eating Principle 7

The seventh principle of Intuitive Eating emphasizes understanding and addressing emotional needs without solely relying on food as a coping mechanism. It encourages recognizing and removing the stigma around emotional eating while promoting a variety of ways to cope with emotions to enhance overall emotional well-being.

Journal Prompts

  1. Identify a situation that often triggers emotional eating for you. What emotions are typically present?
  2. What are three emotions you commonly experience when reaching for food? Describe what each emotion feels like in your body.
  3. List five non-eating activities you can do to cope with each emotion you identified in prompt #2. 
  4. Record the times and situations this week when you turned to food for emotional reasons. Without judgment, what patterns do you notice?
  5. Reflect on a recent stressful day. What are three ways you could comfort yourself on similar days?
  6. Spend a day focusing on labeling your emotions as they arise, without judgment, just awareness. 
  7. Make a list of activities you enjoy that help you de-stress or improve your mood. How can you incorporate these activities into your routine?
  8. Challenge the idea that emotional eating is “weak” or “bad.” How can it be a signal that your emotional needs aren’t being met?
  9. Imagine a supportive friend giving you advice about emotional eating. What would they tell you?
  10. Choose one instance of emotional eating and deeply explore what was driving that emotion. What is the root cause of that feeling?

Journal Prompts for Principle 8: Respect Your Body 

Quick Overview of Intuitive Eating Principle 8

The eighth principle of Intuitive Eating emphasizes accepting and appreciating your body as it is rather than striving to conform to societal ideals and pressures. This principle advocates for showing care through practical actions like intuitive eating, gentle nutrition, and enjoyable movement and highlights physical appearance should not be the sole determinant of self-worth. 

Journal Prompts

  1. List five things your body allows you to do that you are grateful for. Reflect on how each enriches your life.
  2. Write about what you value in others beyond physical appearance. 
  3. Identify a recurring negative thought about your body. Write a compassionate response to this thought to help shift your perspective.
  4. Reflect on how standards of beauty have changed over the past. Notice how the trends are fleeting.
  5. Set three personal goals that have nothing to do with your appearance. What steps can you take to achieve them?
  6. Choose one body part to focus on for a day. Write about all the tasks it helps you perform and why you are thankful for it.
  7. Review the media you consume and its impact on your body image. Consider making changes to include more body-positive or neutral content.
  8. Create a list of positive body image affirmations that resonate with you. How can you incorporate these into your daily routine to foster greater body respect?
  9. Imagine your body as a loyal friend. Write a letter thanking it for all it does for you.
  10. View your body as a home for your soul (spirit, life force, or whatever term resonates with you). It’s your vessel for experiencing the world. Write about all your favorite experiences and how your body allowed you to experience them. 

Journal Prompts for Principle 9: Movement – Feel the Difference

Quick Overview of Intuitive Eating Principle 9

The ninth principle of Intuitive Eating emphasizes finding movement you enjoy for its physical and mental benefits, rather than weight loss or body modification, to cultivate a more positive relationship with exercise.

Journal Prompts

  1. List the physical activities you enjoy. What is it about these activities that make them enjoyable?
  2. After your next workout, jot down how your body feels immediately afterward and again a few hours later. What does this tell you about the type of exercise you chose?
  3. Brainstorm a list of physical activities you have never tried but think could be fun. Plan to try at least one in the next month.
  4. Apart from appearance, list all the reasons why you exercise. How do these motivations affect your attitude toward physical activity?
  5. Write about how you decide when to take a rest day. What signs does your body give you that it’s time to rest?
  6. Reflect on an exercise session that felt particularly in sync with your body’s needs. What factors contributed to this harmony?
  7. Track your movement habits for a week. Note the types of activities you engage in, their duration, and how they make you feel physically and mentally. 
  8. Consider the environments in which you exercise. How does each setting impact your enjoyment of movement? For example, compare indoor vs. outdoor activities, solo vs. group sessions, etc. 
  9. Track your mood before and after different types of workouts. How do different workouts affect your mood?
  10. Track your sleep and energy levels on the days you get movement. How are they affected?

Journal Prompts for Principle 10: Honor Your Health with Gentle Nutrition

Quick Overview of Intuitive Eating Principle 10

The tenth principle of Intuitive Eating emphasizes a gentle approach to nutrition, focusing on adding nourishing foods and respecting your body’s needs rather than following restrictive diet rules.

Journal Prompts

  1. List the foods you enjoy and the nutritional benefits they offer. How can you incorporate these foods regularly in a way that feels satisfying?
  2. Plan a day of meals that feel balanced to you. What does balance mean in the context of your food choices?
  3. Imagine yourself incorporating gentle nutrition into your daily routine. How would it feel to focus on adding in nourishing foods rather than taking things away?
  4. After eating different types of meals, note how your body feels. Does a particular mix of nutrients make you feel more energized or satisfied?
  5. Identify a food you feel guilty about eating. Explore why you feel this way and how you can shift to a more neutral perspective. 
  6. Write about a food you consider “bad” in a neutral way. Write about all the benefits you receive when you eat it (e.g., provides me with carbohydrates which give me energy; gives me immense enjoyment, etc.)
  7. Reflect on how you can enhance your meals by adding nutrient-rich foods (rather than restricting foods) and describe how incorporating these can positively impact your health and energy levels.
  8. Consider a recent meal that left you feeling energized and satisfied. What aspects of the meal contributed to this experience?
  9. Reflect on your current relationship with food. Do you categorize foods as “good” or “bad”? How might this impact your choices and overall well-being?
  10. List your favorite cultural dishes or family recipes. Notice how these recipes already incorporate gentle nutrition in a way you may not have noticed before. 

Mindful Eating Journal Prompts

  1. Before your next meal or snack, take a moment to write down your current hunger level (on a scale of 1-10) and any emotions you might be feeling.
  2. Choose a piece of chocolate (or another food item you enjoy eating). Without taking a bite, describe its appearance in detail. Notice its color, texture, and aroma. Then, take a mindful bite and pay attention to all the sensations – taste, texture, temperature – as you chew slowly.
  3. Describe the flavors, textures, and sensations of the first bite of your next meal. How does paying close attention to this bite compare to how you usually begin eating?
  4. Reflect on external distractions during meals (phones, TV). How might these impact your experience eating?
  5. Take a moment to appreciate the food you’re eating. Consider the journey it took from farm to table, the people involved, and the nourishment it provides.

Final Thoughts 

I hope you found these intuitive and mindful eating journal prompts helpful and reflective! 

If you’re interested in learning more about body image or Intuitive Eating, be sure to check out some of these other blog posts: 

If you’re looking for personalized support,  I offer one one-on-one body image and Intuitive Eating counseling services to help you find food freedom and body confidence. My one-on-one services are tailored to your specific needs and concerns. We work to develop a plan together that will help you achieve your goals and fit into your life. Whether you’re looking to break free from the diet cycle, overcome emotional or binge eating, or start treating your body with respect and kindness, I’m here to help!

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