Intuitive Eating Counseling
Non-diet, health-at-every-size, dietary therapy challenging negative food thoughts, judgements, and perceived notions about health & wellness. Approaches involve body positivity, size shaming awareness, and Intuitive Eating principles.
Dieting and/or ignoring hunger causes food preoccupation and cravings, and makes it harder to stop eating when satisfied. Diets backfire and cause out-of-control eating. The goal is to relearn to eat in response to hunger and satiety cues. Following in the model of 'All foods fit', the restriction of any foods can often makes them stand out as special. Free access to all foods makes 'forbidden' foods less special, and 'healthier' foods more desirable. The body will seek its natural, healthy weight as one eats in response to body cues and engages in joyful physical movement.
Healthy weight is highly individualized and cannot be determined by a standardized table. The goal is to enhance health without focusing on weight. Most medical problems can be ameliorated without weight loss. The body will seek its natural, healthy weight as one eats in response to body cues and engages in physical activity. It is possible to be healthy and happy at weights higher than the government and society advocates.
Negative food thoughts & judgements
Listen to the body's constant feedback about food choices without judgment. Temper choices with gentle nutrition knowledge.
Perceived notions about health & wellness
Exercise/play/movement is our birthright. It is fun and results in feeling good. Activity associated with burning calories is tedious. Reconnect with the fun of activity. Explore/remove any barriers interfering with enjoying this birthright. All activity counts.
People can trust themselves and their bodies. If they quit dieting, eat when hungry and stop when satisfied most of the time, and enjoy exercise/play/movement, their bodies' will reach/maintain a natural, healthy size that is good for them.
Size shaming awareness
Self-esteem and personal power increase when a person accepts themselves and their body. Size diversity is cool! Understand that people come in all shapes and sizes; and that cultural norms can be dangerous and pursuit of them can interfere with quality of life.
Intuitive Eating principles
Reclaim you mental and physical health by moving through these ten principles for lasting positive changes in eating and exercise behaviors. This process can be difficult and long, but is much healthier than fad diets and unsustainable (weight-focused) fitness programs that lead to weight loss/weight gain cycling, as well as mental health concerns.
Linda Bacon’s book Health at Every Size; available in book form and audio for easy listening when stuck in traffic. Provides answers to common questions about the relationship between weight and health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, etc., and it does a nice job of helping you handle any resistance that comes up when learning these ideas. There are some problematic sections in food politics.
Body of Truth by Harriet Brown, a respected science journalist. The book systematically unpacks why myths about weight persist in society and healthcare, and what we can do to change that.
RESEARCH & OTHER ARTICLES
Linda Bacon & Lucy Aphramor (2011): "Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift." Nutrition Journal, 10:9.
Tracy Tylka et al. (2014): "The Weight-Inclusive versus Weight-Normative Approach to Health: Evaluating the Evidence for Prioritizing Well-Being over Weight Loss." Journal of Obesity, volume 2014.
Many other readings and resources are available.
WEBINARS & ONLINE TRAININGS
ASDAH's HAES Webinars, a wonderful collection of free presentations by leaders in the field about basic HAES principles, using HAES approaches with various populations, and more.
The Be Nourished trainings for health professionals, including basic training on how to build HAES principles into your practice, and a certification program for those who are serious about becoming weight-neutral wellness professionals.
Fiona Willer, RD's Health, Not Diets online training and workshops, which offer foundational education in HAES and the non-diet approach for dietitians.
The HAES Curriculum videos. This peer-reviewed curriculum was created as a joint venture by ASDAH, the National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance, and the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. It was designed for use in higher education, including (but not limited to) introductory and advanced health and nutrition courses and professional training programs.
The Intuitive Eating Counselor or Coach certification, by the original intuitive eating pros, Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RD. HAES principles are integrated throughout the program, and there are certification options for both health professionals and laypeople.
The Academy for Eating Disorders conference (ICED). This organization of medical and mental health professionals and researchers promotes evidence-based practice for the treatment of eating disorders. Conferences include multiple presentations on using a HAES approach (but not all).
The Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) conference. BEDA is a national organization focused on providing leadership, recognition, prevention, and treatment of binge eating disorder and associated weight stigma.
The International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) conference. IAEDP is an organization devoted to education and training standards for eating disorder treatment providers and allied helping professionals.
The Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association (MEDA) conference. MEDA’s mission is to combat the continuing spread of eating disorders through educational awareness and early detection. MEDA serves as a support network and resource for clients, loved ones, clinicians, educators, and the general public.
The Renfrew Center Foundation conference. The Renfrew Center Foundation, founded in 1990, is dedicated to advancing the education, prevention, advocacy, research and treatment of eating disorders.
In addition, the Association of Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) holds a biannual conference devoted entirely to education about the principles of HAES, weight and size acceptance, and non-diet approaches.