The First Principle of Intuitive Eating: Reject the Diet Mentality

Intuitive EatingIntuitive Eating focuses on teaching people how to reconnect and listen to their bodies in a non-judgmental and compassionate way. The Intuitive Eating Workbook: 10 Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN, and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN is a wonderful tool if you want to improve your relationship to food and your body. The first principle and step towards intuitive eating is to reject the diet mentality.

Why Should I Reject Dieting?

As discussed in The Intuitive Eating Workbook, dieting is harmful because it encourages misinformation, promotes self-shaming, and can lead to long-term negative effects on the body. According to a study discussed in Medical News Today, of the 4,000 participants who were monitored over a 10-year period, those “who never dieted but had regular eating patterns were more likely to maintain a stable weight.” This article also states, “even though dieting may seem to be a logical solution to weight management problems, it can actually increase weight gain and eating problems in the long run.” Contrary to the messages of the diet industry, dieting can be harmful to health. As noted in an article by Refinery29, the weight fluctuations “has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.”

If Dieting is Harmful, Does Intuitive Eating Help?

Diet culture promotes the harmful mentality that if you don’t like your body, then you need to change your body. The Washington Post notes that “it’s difficult for many Americans to not internalize the ‘pervasive sense that there’s something wrong with you’ given the near-constant stream of toxic messaging in our culture, much of which is tied to the multibillion-dollar weight-loss industry.” As noted in an article by Refinery29, “ 31 long term-studies on dieters, conclude[ed] that while most were able to lose up to 10% of their body weight, within four or five years, the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more.” The article concludes that “either hundreds of millions of people who diet are lazy, unmotivated idiots, or something is wrong with the system.” Contrary to dieting culture, intuitive eating promotes body acceptance and encourages rejecting food rules.

Undoing internalized messages from a diet-focused world is not easy. For more information and support on rejecting the diet mentality and working towards self-acceptance, contact Claire LaBriola, APC following this link.