All foods fit

Intuitive Eating Troubleshooting: Why it’s Time to Put Nutrition and Health on the Backburner

Written by Ashley Seruya, BA

Intuitive eating can be challenging when coming from the diet world, and many of us are tempted to worry about “health” when we first start our journey… but is this helpful? Simply put, no.

Many of us who come to intuitive eating do so after either chronically dieting our whole lives, or struggling with an eating disorder. This means that when we finally decide to make peace with food, we are already at a disadvantage. We’ve likely been depriving ourselves and restricting, physically and mentally. We likely have a lot of nourishing to catch up on, physically and spiritually. We likely have a lot of rules around food and movement, and are terrified to give them up.

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try intuitive eating

Values and Intuitive eating: Can they help me stop dieting and make peace with food?

Do you constantly diet, feel super motivated and suddenly — out of nowhere —  comes a craving?  You give in to it and your resolve is gone. “I cheated” say those voices in your head,  feel like a failure – so what the heck? I might as well eat more and worry about it later.”

If you value yourself — and authentic health and happiness — than starving, bingeing, and over-exercising certainly seems to go against those values.

 

What are values?

Values are the core aspect of who we are as people. We drive our kids to soccer and attend all their baseball games because family is a core value. We spend hours cramming for an exam because we know deep in our hearts that we value education and want to attend a good college. We get out of bed to earn a living because we value being a productive member of society. Our actions are all driven by the values we hold near and dear.

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healthy diets

April Showers Bring May Flowers (and Diets / Disordered Eating?)

It’s Spring — time for proms, graduations, and thoughts of warmer weather. For many, this time of the year is also synonymous with insecurities about body size, leading many to start a brand-new diet. The billion-dollar diet industry feeds off our insecurities, and sales of the latest and greatest diet products soar. At the same time, the incidence of eating disorders also rises. Although eating disorders involve complex biological, psychological, social and cultural factors, dieting is a strong risk factor for their development.

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, “Cultural pressures that glorify “thinness” or muscularity and place value on obtaining the “perfect body”; narrow definitions of beauty that include only women and men of specific body weights and shapes; cultural norms that value people on the basis of physical appearance and not inner qualities and strengths; stress related to racial, ethnic, size/weight-related or other forms of discrimination or prejudice” play a role in the development of eating disorders.

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The gentle diet

Is Intuitive Eating like a “Gentle Diet?”

The “Gentle Diet” 

Recently, a client told me that she looked up the words, “gentle” and “diet.” to learn about Intuitive Eating.  I love that description, because intuitive eating is a gentle approach to improving health as we become the expert over our bodies and its many sensations. This means saying “goodbye” to strict diets as they promote: negative self-judgments, shaming, and “should” around food intake and body size. We must welcome compassionate self-care by:  honoring hunger, registering fullness cues, moving our bodies in a way that feels good, and finding new ways to comfort ourselves without food.

When people come to me with weight or food issues, my philosophy is to help them gently make changes that feel sustainable. Some people come because they have made a decision to change their lives, and they will do whatever it takes to make that happen. Others are sent by a loved one who wants them to lose weight, and they may be resistant to change.

The Gentle Diet

Pain, Suffering and Eating Disorders from Diet Mentality

I reject the whole notion of the strict diet mentality because I have seen the suffering and pain that it can cause – being a slave to the scale, judging oneself as “good” or “bad” depending on what you have eaten, and ultimately, disordered eating. I encourage people to eat in a way that feels good for their bodies and their self-esteem.

My concept is that a person needs to get away from the notion that she is “good” or “bad” based on calories or “forbidden” foods, and that there should be no rules or guilt associated with eating. I am not aware of any sin inherent in eating a donut. Are we more virtuous if we deny ourselves the pleasure of chocolate cake, and instead choose a piece of fruit when our taste buds surely would have preferred the chocolate?

For more information on Intuitive Eating, “The Gentle Diet,” and to download my e-book, “Three Steps to Get off the Diet Roller Coaster for Good:” CLICK THE LINK BELOW

Free Guide: Get off the Diet Roller Coaster for Good

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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