Intuitive Eating or Structured Eating – Which is right for you?

Man thinking

Both intuitive and structured eating styles are compatible with a Health At Every Size® approach. But which is right for you?  Take this quick quiz to find out:

  1. Are you able to reliably identify mild hunger?
  2. Do you have a flexible enough schedule to eat when you are hungry?

If you answered ‘yes’ to both questions, intuitive eating may be right for you.

If you answered ‘no’ to one or both questions, start with structured eating.  Continue reading

A Dietitian’s Path to HAES®

I think that it’s important to share stories of why individuals decided to adopt a Health at Every Size® approach.  This story is from Dana Sturtevant, a wonderful dietitian at Be Nourished.  It is reprinted with permission.   Continue reading

Reclaim your tastebuds and learn to love nourishing food


Do you get cravings for ice cream and French fries, but rarely for fruits, vegetables, whole grains or other nourishing foods?  Inspired by Chapter 11 of Linda Bacon’s book, Health at Every Size, this post provides tips and tricks to change your tastes.

Eating is meant to be pleasurable.  Don’t eat: die.  If food wasn’t rewarding, our species may not have survived.  We are especially hard-wired to enjoy foods rich in sugar, fat and salt.  Food manufacturers have taken advantage of these preferences to ‘hijack’ our tastebuds. They have designed foods loaded with sugar, fat and salt, but devoid of any filling fiber, or beneficial vitamins and minerals.

Dieting may have also hijacked your tastebuds.  Labeling certain foods as off-limits can make them more tempting and tasty.  Likewise, resigning yourself to only ‘healthy’ foods can make them taste dull and dreary.

However, most taste preferences are learned, and with time, we can learn to love and appreciate nourishing food.  By reclaiming your tastebuds, you take an important step in reclaiming your health.  Read on to find out how. Continue reading

My Message to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


The president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dr. Evelyn Crayton, visited Sacramento last month.  She wanted to hear our concerns and priorities for the Academy.  So… I mustered up the courage to write a passionate letter about Health at Every Size® (HAES®), and read it aloud at the event.

In this post, I will share segments from the letter as I describe my experience speaking at the event.

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The Gifts of Imperfection and Health at Every Size®


I recently finished reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown, PhD.  Brené is a researcher who has collected stories from thousands of individuals who are living, full, vibrant, wholehearted lives.  In this book, Brené shares strategies to embrace your authentic self and live a wholehearted life.

I believe the concepts in this book tie in nicely with a Health at Every Size® (HAES®) philosophy.  I’ll explain how in this post.

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Book Review: Embody


I recently finished reading the book Embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body (and Quiet that Critical Inner Voice!).  The book is by Connie Sobczak, co-founder of the non-profit organization The Body Positive.

Embody is a beautiful book, woven with heart-wrenching stories and inspiring quotes, that teaches the five competencies of the Be Body Positive Model.  The competencies are:

  1. Reclaim Health
  2. Practice Intuitive Self-Care
  3. Cultivate Self-Love
  4. Declare Your Own Authentic Beauty
  5. Build Community

I loved this book.  In my experience, the ability to appreciate your body is often a rate-limiting step to rejecting the diet mentality and committing to a Health at Every Size® approach.  I highly recommend this book to anyone with a body!

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Why I am adopting a Health at Every Size® approach

After nearly five years, I have decided to leave my job in medical weight management to practice a Health at Every Size® (HAES®) approach.

Here’s why:

Dieting does more harm than good.  Research shows that dieting is more likely to lead to weight gain than weight loss.  A review of 31 weight loss studies found that dieting was ineffective at producing long term weight loss, and one-third to two-thirds of dieters gained more weight than they lost (Mann et al, 2007).  Calorie restriction leads to preoccupation with food, binge eating and weight obsession.

Weight loss messages contribute to weight stigma.  Weight loss messages perpetuate the idea that anyone can lose weight, and that “overweight” people are lazy or lack willpower. In reality, weight is determined by a complex interaction between genes, environment and social influences. Once a set-point weight range is established, the brain works hard to defend it (Sumatran and Proietto, 2013).  Size diversity should be respected and embraced, just like other types of diversity.

Weight loss is not necessary for health improvement.  People who exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and practice other forms of self-care can improve their health, without losing weight (Matheson et al. 2012; Schaefer and Magnuson, 2014.)

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