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:
- Are you able to reliably identify mild hunger?
- 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
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
After nearly five years, I have decided to leave my job in medical weight management to practice a Health at Every Size® (HAES®) approach.
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.)
Instead of (or in addition to) wearing green and drinking green beer on St. Paddy’s Day, try something new– eating green! Green vegetables and fruits are some of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. Continue reading
Dieting is not a healthful practice and can lead to weight gain in the long run (Mann 2007). Here are 5 specific diet traps to avoid, and alternatives to try.
Do you spend a lot of time and effort counting calories? Do you label food as being “good” or “bad?” Is concern about your diet causing you more harm than good? Consider ‘intuitive eating’ to develop a more peaceful relationship with food.
What is intuitive eating?
Intuitive eating is an approach to eating that relies on inner wisdom to guide food choices, rather than external cues (1). The approach was developed by dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in the 1990s. Those who follow a practice of intuitive eating:
- Eat when they feel hunger and stop eating when they feel full.
- Make food choices based on both health and enjoyment.
- Trust, respect and nourish their bodies.
- Reject the “diet” mentality.
Every parent and dietitian should read Ellyn Satter’s Your Child’s Weight: Helping Without Harming. Ellyn Satter is a registered dietitian and family therapist, and is considered to be the leading expert on feeding and raising healthy kids.
In the book, Satter refutes the idea that parents must force their children to eat less and exercise more to lose weight. In the long run, this technique backfires, as children become preoccupied with food and turned off to physical activity. Rather, Ellyn coaches parents to feed well, parent well, and allow children to grow up to get the bodies that are right for them.
For a summary of the books main points, read on, or click here for a PDF summary from Satter herself.