The National Eating Disorder Association coined today, May 6, the first No Diet Day and we are happy to participate in rejecting diet culture!
Do you feel inundated with food and diet recommendations? Should I eat small frequent meals to keep my metabolism going or should I consider intermittent fasting?
Are you confused with conflicting messages about what to eat? Should I choose a primarily plant-based diet or jump on the low-carb band wagon eating large portions of meat?
Consider getting away from these confusing messages, black and white rules, and the latest restrictive diet that is likely not based on scientific fact. Learning to become a more mindful eater and taking the non-diet approach can take time, perhaps professional support, and a new language. Let’s take a closer look at what this new language looks like….
Common words circulated in diet-oriented thoughts include: calories, points, temptations, rules, rigid, portion size, willpower, fear, guilt, deprivation, skinny, failing, and feeling in or out of control.
Mindful eating thoughts include: nourishment, flexibility, hunger, learning, trusting, freedom, pleasure, aware, insightful, experimenting, quality, fuel, nourishment, and feeling in charge.
Our bodies have an incredible ability to communicate with us and self-regulate; I encourage you to turn inward to listen to how your body is communicating with you. You can learn to trust yourself. Our bodies may ache for movement and stretching… honor this. Our bodies have internal cues of hunger and satiety, thus allowing you to determine when and how much to eat. Listen to your body and how it feels after eating certain foods, be curious rather than judgmental. Use nutrition information as a tool rather than a weapon. Being perfect isn’t necessary, learn from your choices. Discover ways that your body talks to you. Crave feeling good and be willing to take small steps in that direction.
Compassion, love and kindness are essential in any healthy relationship; bring them to the relationship your building with food and your body. Then, you’re on the track to a non-diet approach.
Chaundra Evans, RD, LDN, CEDRD-S is a certified eating disorder registered dietitian who specializes in mindful eating, a non-diet approach to weight management, and helping people find a healthy relationship with food.