How to Make Peace with Food

How to Make Peace with Food

Diet advice is all about restriction and willpower. It tells you to “just say no” to all the foods you love and enjoy - no wonder so many people are trapped in a cycle or restriction and binging! If you’re wondering how to make peace with food and become a more intuitive eater, it starts with giving yourself permission to eat the foods you love.

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The Truth About Before and After Weight Loss Pictures

The Truth About Before and After Weight Loss Pictures

Feeling inadequate after seeing someone’s before and after weight loss picture? We’ve all seen how photoshop, different poses and clothes can distort things, but the problem with these pictures goes deeper than that. The truth about before and after weight loss pictures is that they’re a fleeting moment in time, and never communicate the whole story.

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How Dieting Affects Your Social Life

How Dieting Affects Your Social Life

One of the most important aspects of health is having strong social connections. Yet diets that are frequently prescribed, supposedly to improve health, lead to social isolation by making it challenging for you to be flexible and enjoy social events that involve food. In this post, learn how dieting affects your social life and harms your health, and why flexible, intuitive eating supports wellness and longevity.

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Human beings were designed to be flexible around food.

Human beings were designed to be flexible around food.

When you look at eating practices and traditions around the world, one thing is clear: human beings were designed to be flexible around food. We have survived by being able to adapt our diet to whatever food is available in a wide variety of environments. Read this post to learn how you can debunk common diet myths and rules by looking at different cultures eating patterns and practices.

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You Can't Fail at Intuitive Eating

You Can’t Fail at Intuitive Eating. #intuitiveeating #haes #wellness #nutrition #quote

Working with people who have spent a huge chunk of their life dieting, many of them come to me feeling like huge Failures, capital F intended. They’ve spent their life on-and-off diets, shaming themselves for “lack of willpower” in between each round. Of course, it’s the flawed system of dieting that’s the failure, not the person, but that’s not how they feel.

So it’s no surprise that when I bring up intuitive eating, this novel approach to eating, their first response is often fear of failure. I mean, if you can't manage eating with clear defined rules, how on earth are you supposed to manage it without all that structure?

The thing is, it's impossible to fail at intuitive eating. Unless you’re going into it with a diet mindset, failure simply isn't a possible outcome. And even if you are going into it with a diet mindset initially (hey, it's hard to break up with diet mentality!), you're still much more likely to become a more competent eater in the long run than if you were to start yet another diet plan.

Food, eating, and dieting is often viewed with this binary lens. There’s good foods and bad foods, healthy foods and unhealthy foods. You’re on a diet or you’re off a diet. You’ve succeeded or failed. Moving towards intuitive eating, your eyes will be opened to many shades of grey. Rather than relying on black and white rules, intuitive eating is based on 10 principles, guidelines really, that you can adapt and incorporate on your own timeline, in your own way. There’s no right or wrong. Some other things to know about intuitive eating:

  • It's not a test. No one is grading you. Intuitive eating is a tool for better understanding your body and it's needs, and eating in a way that responds to those needs. It's not a set of standards with pass/fail criteria.

  • The goal is learning. There is no outcome that defines a successful intuitive eater. If you tune into your body, or attempt to do something differently, you’ll learn, and even if the outcome isn't what you expected or desired, you'll still gain valuable knowledge. And that's a win!

  • Setbacks are opportunities for growth. Working with clients on intuitive eating, I welcome slips and struggles as learning opportunity! Think about something you do well - did you not fail dozens (hundreds, thousands!) of times before feeling competent in it? It’s a cliche, but failure is not opposite of success, it's part of it.

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It’s helpful to notice when that success/failure mentality is coming up for you in intuitive eating, so that you can challenge it. Diet mentality can derail intuitive eating, and turn this life saving changing approach into a diet. When you notice black-and-white thinking, lean in and get curious, not judgmental, about where that might be coming from.

You know what to expect with diets. Intuitive eating is unknown, so it makes sense that it would feel scary. That’s why it’s so important to have a support system, whether it’s a friend, partner, family member, facebook group, or an intuitive eating coach who can guide you. My goal in working with clients on intuitive eating is to help break down the principles and individualize them to you and your needs, and normalize what you’re going through on this journey. If you’re interested in working together, here’s more about my practice philosophy and nutrition services.

What's scariest to you about intuitive eating? 

This post was originally published in March 2016. It has been updated to give you the best content possible.


You might also like:

What I’ve Learned from Being Curious, not Judgmental in Intuitive Eating

What I’ve Learned from Being Curious, not Judgmental in Intuitive Eating

How to Challenge the Diet Mentality

How to Challenge the Diet Mentality

Three Common Stuck Points in Intuitive Eating

Three Common Stuck Points in Intuitive Eating


How to Eat Intuitively on a Budget

How to Eat Intuitively on a Budget

Intuitive eating sometimes gets translated into eat whatever you want, when you want it. It’s an inaccurate and oversimplified translation, and creates a perceived barrier for people with financial difficulties in adopting intuitive eating. If you’re on a budget and interested in learning more about intuitive eating, read this post to see how different principles of intuitive eating can be translated for financial barriers.

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Why Am I Hungry All The Time?

Why Am I Hungry All The Time?

Honor your hunger is the second principle of intuitive eating, so as you can imagine, it’s a pretty important one. Wonky hunger cues are a common side effect of dieting, and when you’re first getting back in touch with your cues, it might feel really uncomfortable noticing hunger more frequently. On average, a human needs food every 3-4ish hours. If you’re consistently feeling hungry more often than this, here’s some reasons why you might feel hungry all the time.

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Intuitive Eating 101: Beginners Guide to Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Eating 101: Beginners Guide to Intuitive Eating

Curious about intuitive eating and not sure where to start? I’ve got ya! This post covers intuitive eating basics including the 10 principles of intuitive eating, myths and misconceptions, and how to get started with intuitive eating. It also has links to my most helpful intuitive eating blog posts, plus resources for where to learn more.

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Letting go of food rules on vacation.

Letting go of food rules on vacation.

Do you wish you could go back and re do vacations without diet mentality chipping away at the fun? Since time travel isn’t an option yet, let’s vow to stop inviting diet mentality to tag along on our future vacations! Give yourself the gift of of food freedom on your next trip and learn four tips for letting go of diet rules on vacation in this post.

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Diet Mythbusters Part 3: Women's Health and Nutrition Myths

Diet Mythbusters Part 3: Women's Health and Nutrition Myths

When someone finds out I’m a dietitian, one of the first comments I get is “oh, so you tell people what to eat.” In my office, we do a lot more UNLEARNING! There’s so much misinformation out there about nutrition, and that can make eating really stressful, constantly worrying if you’re doing something potentially harmful. In that light, this year for National Nutrition Month I’m busting the most common nutrition myths. In part 3, we’re covering women’s health and nutrition myths.

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Diet Mythbusters Part 2: Carbs

Diet Mythbusters Part 2: Carbs

When someone finds out I’m a dietitian, one of the first comments I get is “oh, so you tell people what to eat.” In my office, we do a lot more UNLEARNING! There’s so much misinformation out there about nutrition, and that can make eating really stressful, constantly worrying if you’re doing something potentially harmful. In that light, this year for National Nutrition Month I’m busting the most common nutrition myths. In part 2, we’re covering nutrition myths about carbohydrates.

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What to expect working with a non-diet dietitian

What to expect working with a non-diet dietitian

As a non-diet, private practice dietitian, there’s a lot of misconceptions about what we do, and I think a lot of those misconceptions can make people afraid to reach out for help. Will you be told what you can and can’t eat? Will you be judged for your weight or eating choices? Will you be lectured about nutrition the whole time? Learn what to expect working with a non-diet dietitian in this article.

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Diet Mythbusters Part 1: Food and Nutrition Myths that Never Die

Diet Mythbusters Part 1: Food and Nutrition Myths that Never Die

When someone finds out I’m a dietitian, one of the first comments I get is “oh, so you tell people what to eat.” In my office, we do a lot more UNLEARNING! There’s so much misinformation out there about nutrition, and that can make eating really stressful, constantly worrying if you’re doing something potentially harmful. In that light, this year for National Nutrition Month I’m busting the most common nutrition myths. In part 1, we’re covering nutrition myths that never seem to die!

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What I wish more people understood about eating disorders

What I wish more people understood about eating disorders

There are so many misconceptions about eating disorders, within dietetics, and in the general population, and that’s created a world that’s really dangerous for those with eating disorders or at risk. It prevents people both from asking for help when they need it, and receiving adequate care when they do.

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How to Stop Binging on the Weekend

How to Stop Binging on the Weekend

With less structure, more going out to eat and travel, and sometimes, more alcohol, navigating eating on the weekends can be a challenge. It’s not unusual to get trapped in a cycle of eating “perfectly” during the week, then binging on the weekend. Learn 9 tips for how to stop binging on the weekend in this post.

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Discovering Space for Body Peace

Discovering Space for Body Peace

Body image work is hard. Every day we’re exposed to dozens of messages and triggers telling us that we don’t stack up to an unrealistic beauty ideal. It’s easy to identify these triggers, but what about identifying the spaces where you do feel at peace with your body, and actively discovering space for body peace?

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The MANY Problems with BMI - aka The BS Measuring Index

The MANY Problems with BMI - aka The BS Measuring Index

BMI charts are as ubiquitous to doctors offices as stethoscopes and thermometers, a crude formula that categorizes people into underweight, normal, overweight, and obese categories. Most people recognize the BMI scale has it’s problems, but most don’t realize just how bunk BMI actually is. Learn about the problems with BMI, and ways you can improve health outside of the scale.

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IBS & Intuitive Eating Part 4: A Personal Perspective

IBS & Intuitive Eating Part 4: A Personal Perspective

I’m back with part 4 of my IBS and Intuitive Eating series. Today is a personal story from my part time dietitian Kate, of how she learned what’s best for her IBS symptoms was not more fiber, water and exercise, like EVERY doctor told her, but rather less of those things! Learn how intuitive eating helped Kate make peace with food, and soothe her stomach symptoms.

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Running is a Stressor

Running is a Stressor

The idea that running is a stress reliever is pretty universally accepted, but did you know that physically, running is actually a stressor? You read that right. Running, and other moderate to high intensity exercise, raises levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. That doesn’t mean running is unhealthy - quite the opposite! It’s just that your body needs the right conditions to support it. Learn how to best support your exercise in this post!

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Body Image is About More Than Liking Your Looks

Body Image is About More Than Liking Your Looks

If you were to try and understand body image via #bopo body positivity, you’d be forgiven for believing it’s all about liking your looks. While I’m glad body positivity has become more mainstream, that mainstreaming has also diluted it’s original message. In reality, body image is about a lot more than liking your looks.

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