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Body weight = eternal struggle? Not with intuitive eating!

August 31, 2022 - By Dorothée Buteau-Poulin

Temps de lecture 5 minutes

“I overindulged this summer; I’m going to get my act together this fall and be more careful.”

“I don’t dare go to my school reunion, I’m ashamed of having put on too much weight.”

“I have to cut out sugar completely, it’s bad for my health.”

“I’m hungry, but it’s only 10:30, I’ll drink water to make it go away and wait for lunch.”

“I ate too much restaurant/take-out food this weekend, I’m going to work out more to compensate.”

“I stay fat because I lack willpower and I always end up giving up.”

If you’ve ever had thoughts like these, you are (or have been) influenced by diet culture, perhaps without even knowing it! There is no shame in this, and it affects more people than you think. In Quebec, nearly 75% of women report wanting to lose weight and nearly 20% of men report being dissatisfied with their weight[1].

The Diet Culture Illusion

What is diet culture? By gathering several references, I have arrived at the following definition: a way of thinking and living that values thinness, weight loss and a specific way of eating and then stigmatizes all those who do not fit its single image of a healthy body[2][3][4]. It is the physical and social environment fostered by an industry that maintains the illusion that the only way to be successful, happy, and healthy is to live in a thinner body. Except that voluntary weight loss often comes at a high price (and not only in terms of money) with a low long-term success rate and consequences that should not be overlooked[5]. These include chronic fatigue, loss of hunger and satiety cues, reduced social contact, preoccupation with the perception of others, guilt, loss of self-confidence and increased risk of developing an eating disorder to name but a few.

Discover Intuitive Eating

Intuitive eating rejects the diet culture and does not aim to have a direct or intentional impact on body weight[6]. Rather, it is a caring, holistic health approach that invites the individual to consider a range of information to make peace with their nutrition and their body. Examples of signals that guide eating habits and behaviours are hunger and satiety, satisfaction and pleasure of eating, emotions, rationality, and nutritional knowledge. Studies on intuitive eating show benefits for both physical and psychological health and, most importantly, no negative effects on the individual. Suggestion: In addition, and most importantly, there would be no negative effects on the individual5.

10 Steps to Becoming More Intuitive

Intuitive eating can be broken down into the 10 following steps:

  1. Recognise and reject the diet culture, move away from the diet mentality
  2. Honouring your hunger and identifying different types of hunger
  3. Controlling the diet police voice in your head
  4. Stop categorising food as good or bad: recognise that food does not determine your worth as a person
  5. Distinguish between satiation and fullness
  6. Rediscover pleasure in eating and uncover the different types of food pleasure
  7. Embrace your emotions, the good, the bad, and the ugly, with compassion and expand your emotional toolbox to learn to deal with them
  8. Learn to respect your body by responding to its needs and expressing gratitude
  9. Stay active for the pleasure and the fun of it (not simply to lose weight)
  10. Learn about healthy eating and find the right fit for you within the authentic health concept

This multifaceted approach may seem overwhelming, and it certainly has its ups and downs. It is however a rich learning experience where failure is non-existent (unlike dieting) and where you have everything to gain: freedom of mind, peace with your body and your nutrition, and overall health!

Check out my webinar on intuitive eating

To learn more about intuitive eating or to be guided on your journey, I invite you to the 6th edition (and last one before 2024) of my webinar series “At peace with my food and my body” which starts on September 22nd. All the details of my webinar series can be found right here! Not sure if you want to sign up? Attend my FREE discovery workshop on September 14th from 7pm to 7:30pm. A 30-minute well-invested…and it’s free! I look forward to seeing you then and perhaps seeing you again at the next webinar scheduled for 2023: the requested and expected continuation of ” At peace with my food and my body”.

[1] Équilibre. Notre approche, L’approche d’Équilibre, https://equilibre.ca/notre-approche/lapproche-dequilibre/

[2] Christy Harrison MPH, RD, CEDS. What is Diet Culture? https://christyharrison.com/blog/what-is-diet-culture

[3] National Eating Disorders Association. Recognizing and Resisting Diet Culture, https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/blog/recognizing-and-resisting-diet-culture

[4] Eating Disorder Registered Dieticians & Professionals. It’s Time to Drop Out of Diet Culture, https://edrdpro.com/its-time-to-drop-out-of-diet-culture/

[5] Bacon, L & Aphramor L. (2011). Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift. Nutrition Journal, 10(9), 13 pages.

[6] Tribole, E & Resch, E. (2020). Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach (4th Edition). St. Martin’s Publishing Group. 375 pages.

Body weight = eternal struggle? Not with intuitive eating! is a post from Nautilus Plus. The Nautilus Plus blog aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
Copyright © Nautilus Plus 2022

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