What is “Normal” Eating?

The words “normal” eating mean all kinds of things to all kinds of people. In my line of work with eating disorder clients I’m often encouraging them to move towards a more “normal” eating plan and we discuss what that looks like. Today I asked on twitter what “normal” eating means to people and below are some response combined with other responses from my group sessions with patients  and a few from myself 🙂 It generated quite a debate, so I thought I’d share it with you, what do you think?

Normal Eating is:

  • eating something at least three times a day.
  • eating more than you feel you need to eat on some occasions (over-eating) and eating less than you need on other occasions (under-eating).
  • Listen to your body, eat when hungry, stop when full. No food is bad food, everything in moderation.
  • A regular meal pattern that maintains a healthy body weight & provides a correct balance of nutrients.
  • Ensuring a healthy balanced diet for optimal health & wellbeing with enough fluid too.
  • Not eating in response to your emotions, so eating or not eating on occasions because you feel unhappy, “bad”, or tense.
  • eating foods, without feeling guilty.
  • eating in a flexible way so that it does not interfere with your work, study or social  life.
  • eating sufficient food and a variety of foods, all things in moderation.
  • being aware that eating is not the most important thing in life but knowing that it is important for good health.


Normal Eating is:

  • not counting calories weighing food, or following a strict diet.
  • not always eating low calorie/diet foods
  • not eating to lose weight but knowing that you can “watch your weight” if you want to.
  • not assuming that you can control the amount and type of food your body needs better than your body can.
  • not having to constantly weigh yourself for reassurance.



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One thought on “What is “Normal” Eating?

  1. Little did I know I’ve been practicing normal eating!!! It does work at stopping me (most of the time) from overeating but my big downfalls are eating due to boredom and eating due to emotional stress. However much I tell myself that eating will not help relieve boredom or stress, I still do it on occasions and it annoys the hell out of me.

    But that said, I think I’ve given up all diet foods completely now. I eat real butter, bread, cakes, pizza, whatever I want but I also find I do actually want healthy foods too, they’re just not diet branded foods. I can’t remember the last time an artificial sweetener passed my lips. I’m the healthiest and fittest I’ve been since I was 18 and lighter too.

    I only wish more people bought into this. It’s this cycle of eating unfulfilling foods, denial, binging, feeing guilty about it that I swear gets people fatter.

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