22 February 2018

Newsletter Volume 2: Finding Freedom From Diet Culture

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Newsletter Volume 2: Finding Freedom From Diet Culture

Health At Every Size: Finding freedom from diet culture

What we know about health and nutrition is constantly evolving – and one thing that is becoming more and more clear is the impact of diet culture on our health. Diet culture refers to a system that associates ‘thinness’ with health and individual worth, and therefore promotes weight loss as a way to achieve this worth. It makes people feel compelled to spend time, money and energy in changing their size, even when research tells us that these strategies (like crash dieting) don’t work and can be detrimental to our physical and mental health.

Health at Every Size (HAES) was brought about in response to myths in diet culture. An example of a diet myth is that weight is determined by individual choice and that weight, body size and BMI are good indicators for our overall health. HAES is an approach which promotes weight inclusivity, body respect regardless of size, and flexible eating based on hunger, satiety, pleasure and nutritional needs.

HAES is based on a set of 5 principles

  • Weight inclusivity
  • Health Enhancement
  • Respectful Care
  • Eating for Wellbeing
  • Life-enhancing Movement

"It's not just advocating for size; it's advocating for all bodies." - Dianne Bondy

Where does Intuitive Eating come in?

Intuitive Eating is a tool used by many to help get back into their bodies, and start listening to what it’s telling them. It’s a practice that rejects the diet mentality and helps you to make peace with food. Our bodies know best – and they’re biologically programmed to let us know when we need more food (hunger cues) and when we have had enough (satiety cues). When we ignore these cues and restrict the amount we eat or certain types of foods, we become so overwhelmed with hunger that uncontrollable cravings start to arise. When we then finally ‘give in’ to our cravings (usually by binging or overeating) we often feel guilty and shameful as if we somehow ‘failed’.

By learning how to practice Intuitive Eating, we begin to challenge those thoughts that tell us we shouldn’t eat, or that certain foods are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ based on their calorie content or perceived health benefits. We can then begin to enjoy and appreciate food in moderation while taking care of ourselves. Next time you’re feeling the pressure to listen to external cues rather than your internal cues, ask yourself these questions…

  • Am I hungry?
  • Do I need nurturing or nourishment right now?
  • Am I eating out of hunger or habit?

Who can help me find freedom from diet culture?

The Wellness Workshop’s Accredited Practising Dietitians can help you find freedom from diet culture with our Health At Every Size and Non-Diet Approach philosophies that teach you how to trust your body’s internal cues and messaging system while developing a better relationship with food. You will relearn how to eat for your specific lifestyle needs and personality by understanding and adopting the Intuitive Eating principles.

Why should you see our Dietitian as opposed to others?

The Wellness Workshop is one of the few practices that advocate for Health at Every Size (HAES), a Non-Diet Approach and Intuitive Eating Practices. Our Dietitians, together with our other Allied Health Practitioners, pride themselves on being open, judgement free and empathetic to your situation regardless of age, size or gender.

They deliver medical nutrition therapy as well as general nutrition advice, working with you and your healthcare team to help you manage a range of chronic conditions and dietary issues, including disordered eating as a result of behaviour born out of diet culture including chronic or yo-yo dieting, weight cycling and binge-eating.

What else can The Wellness Workshop’s dietitians help you with?

  • Eating Disorders, Over/Under Eating
  • Yo-yo Dieting and Intuitive Eating
  • Gut conditions such as IBS, Chrohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Health
  • Allergies and Intolerances
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Paediatric Nutrition (Babies, Children and Teenagers) plus more!

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