The present study evaluated the relation of key features of state body dissatisfaction experiences – inertia, instability from moment-to-moment, and average level across time-points – to trait body dissatisfaction and/or eating disorder risk. Participants included 161 women who completed measures of trait body dissatisfaction and disordered eating pathology, and then completed reported state body dissatisfaction and contextual influences (binge eating, dietary restraint, exercise, and appearance comparison behaviors) 6 times daily for 7 days. Results indicated that individuals with elevated trait body dissatisfaction were reliably different from those with healthier body image in terms of average state body dissatisfaction ratings, but not for inertia or instability. State mean and trait body dissatisfaction uniquely predicted eating pathology, although their predictive accuracy for clinical caseness was comparable. Cost vs. benefit of using state body image data for understanding trait body image and eating pathology is discussed.