Intuitive Eating: Rejecting the Diet Mentality!
You folks know I am a huge proponent of intuitive eating, and since working with clients on this concept I have come to realize A LOT of people have questions on HOW to actually integrate the concepts into their life!
While each client is completely different and therefore have different strategies that work best for them, I thought having some tools and suggestions for each of the 10 tenants of intuitive eating readily available could be useful. These strategies will provide some examples of how to start practicing more intuitive eating in your daily life!
SO, over the next few weeks there will be a dedicated blog post diving deeper into each concept; what it means and how we can start integrating the concepts into eating.
The tips will be generalized, as each person typically requires a more individualized approach that meets them where they are at!
The strategies given here are by no means to serve as a substitute for medical advice, and it is recognized that intuitive eating is a privilege and may not be applicable or achievable for every individual! Those struggling with disordered eating may not be able to dive directly into intuitive eating, without doing some ground-laying work with a health care professional.
With all that said, in an effort to elevate the concept and truths surrounding intuitive eating and diet culture, I wanted this content out there for anyone who is curious about starting on this journey and asking questions!
Today, let's dive into tenant #1: REJECTING THE DIET MENTALITY!
What does "rejecting diet mentality" even mean?
It looks like…
1️⃣Letting go of the false hope that a new and better diet is lurking around the corner, and you just haven’t found it yet.
2️⃣Releasing the belief that quick, easy, and sustainable diets actually exist, when we know they do NOT.
3️⃣Freeing the belief that weight loss ads, “lifestyles”, crash diets, and supplements are based in the truth, when in actuality they are based in absolute fiction.
4️⃣Rejecting the belief that diet’s actually work and that “willpower” is a predictor of success, and instead accepting a new truth: “diets don’t work, I didn’t fail my diets, my diets and diet culture failed me”.
❓How to integrate it…
1️⃣Look for internal cues that are resonate of diet culture and weight stigma, and start challenging these beliefs!
Example: a thought pops up telling you “I’ve been bad this week and need to start on a new diet on Monday, I heard the low carb lifestyle worked for Karen”…
a. Karen is living in a different body and that means she has different needs and foods that fuel her best (not to say the low carb fad is in any way doing that)
b. What do you think will happen when Karen starts eating carbs again due to deprivation? Likely a carb binge lasting days or weeks, leading to weight re-gain, feelings of guilt and shame, and a culture telling her she just didn’t have enough “willpower” to succeed
c. If the “lifestyle” is entailing you to demonize or cut out a whole food group use this as a reminder to recognize it as just another diet, meaning it is unsustainable and damaging to the body
💡When we recognize and accept the fact that dieting is harmful for the body, then we can begin to explore the truth of the question “then how then can it be part of the solution?”
2️⃣Look for external cues that are pushing diet culture into the spotlight
Example: an ad pops up of your IG as you are scrolling showing the before and after body results with the use of a new “lifestyle” enhancement app, “no dieting involved!”
a. Get curious about the validity of this ad, it very likely involves photoshop and/or some missing information they aren’t sharing
b. Take note of what diet culture is trying to instil in you with these before/after photos: the before body is not as worthy as the after body, if you are the before body you need this app… 🥴
c. Recognize that a “lifestyle” driven by weight loss is a DIET
d. Getting curious and suspicious of diet culture driven signals allows us to start challenging them: are they profiting off it? are they leveraging your insecurities to sell something? if so, PASS!
That wraps up tenant #1 of IE! I hope it was helpful and please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have!
Resource: Tribole, E. & Resch, E. (2020). Intuitive Eating, 4th edition. St. Martins Publishing Group.