In my own experience, eating always has to do with hunger. If I'm not deprived, exhausted from exercise, thinking restrictively, and fearing weight gain, numbing out with food doesn't occur to me. It would be boring and gross, like numbing out with cleaning the toilet. Eating is no longer even on my radar as a soothing or time killing activity, this after it being my go-to for several decades. Why? I can eat whenever and whatever I want. Truly. So, I guess the thrill is gone? It no longer feels rewarding or comforting to be UNcomfortably full, or to eat something I could eat all day every day if I were so inclined. The novelty really does wear off when full, unconditional permission to eat is given, not just mentally, but in practice.
Now, where that whole concept veered into a ditch with me, and why I railed against intuitive eating for years, is that I gave myself full permission to eat, but while paying zero attention to how the food was making me feel mentally and physically (eating without attunement, they call it in the book), AND while judging myself very harshly the whole time, AND while convinced it would never work for me, sure I'd have to restrict again soon. That is not a setup for success. It's also not what Intuitive Eating is. I was bashing it online for years as something stupid that had failed me, never having understood the principles or even tried it for myself. My twisted take on it wasn't what anybody was recommending. Once I embraced the actual principles of kindness, respect, and gentle nutrition, it was a completely different experience. I found the Intuitive Eating Workbook to be much more helpful than the original book for actually putting the principles into practice and experiencing the benefits.