Discover a pleasurable way to eat & live with the Non-Diet Approach & Intuitive Eating
You don’t need to quit food you love and you never need to track your calories or macros again.
Discover a world where food is just food and you can let go of worry and guilt.
Preoccupation with food and body can eat up so much of life.
The “Non-Diet Approach” and “Intuitive Eating” are essentially the same thing. In Australia, dietitians can train under the Non-Diet Approach and then use the principles of Intuitive Eating as part of their practice.
If you feel you have failed at trying to manage your weight or eating habits, we want you to understand that you are not the problem. The problem is with the diet programs, trying to quit food, weight loss advice or any other health advice that tells you what, when and how much to eat.
When advice goes against doing things you enjoy, it is human nature to rebel. And when advice goes against one of our most primal drives, that is to seek out food that we enjoy when we are hungry, your body’s biology will make it impossible for you to stick to such advice for any length of time.
- If you struggle to keep weight off, always regaining after a period
- If you feel you can’t keep food in the house, as you’ll eat it all, only to then overeat the very food you’re trying so hard to avoid or eat less of
- And if you find yourself saying “I’ve blown it now, may as well write off the rest of the day and I’ll be good tomorrow” or “I’ll just finish this packet so it’s not in the house and then I’ll never buy it again!”
Please know you are not alone – these are some of the most common issues we see people face.
The Non-Diet Approach is a proven method that teaches you how to eat mindfully and intuitively again. Intuitive eating means you trust your body with when to eat, what to eat and how much to eat as explained in detail below. There is no need to track calories or macros and you can kiss those tracking apps goodbye!
Intuitive eating is our default way of eating, how we were always meant to eat as human beings. It is about eating to appetite and trusting our body’s internal cues for…
When to eat
This means trusting your appetite to guide you when it’s time to eat. It’s not unusual to eat because it’s a mealtime, because others are eating, there’s food in front of you, or just in case you become hungry, rather than because you are actually hungry. If you have dieted, followed calorie controlled meal plans, or struggled with binge eating or emotional eating, you may have been disconnected from your hunger signals and our dietitians will help you reconnect with these.
What to eat
This means trusting and understanding your hunger to choose food that you really feel like eating and that you know will truly satisfy you. Often it’s only once you allow yourself to eat without restriction, that you find yourself choosing nourishing food most of the time. If you have dieted, or avoided certain food for many years, you may have lost touch with what food you truly enjoy and our dietitians will help you rediscover what food you enjoy food and the pleasure of eating that food.
How much to eat
Rather than weighing your food, or eating the amount someone else has dictated, you will learn to trust your hunger and fullness signals to know what is the right amount for you at any given moment. Our dietitians will guide you through a series of activities to help you understand how much you need to eat to meet your body’s energy and nutrient needs.
You can download a PDF of this information here.
Key Aims of The Non-Diet Approach & Intuitive Eating
- Heal your relationship with food
- Heal your relationship with your body
- Reduce or resolve non-hungry eating or binge eating
- Enjoy all food without feeling guilt or shame
- Enjoy eating out without anxiety over what to eat
- Move from a place of body discomfort to body comfort
- Get you back in tune with your appetite and trusting your body with when, what and how much to eat
- Get you off the dieting merry-go-round and out of the cycle of weight loss and weight regain
- Eat in a way that is both nourishing and pleasurable and that can support any health issues you may have
Mindfulness, or awareness, is a fundamental ingredient in the Non-Diet Approach. The process involves mindful eating practises where your homework is to eat and enjoy your favourite food! We will also discuss mindfulness as a powerful tool much more broadly.
Do you struggle with sugar cravings?
Most people find their sugar cravings either stop or are much more manageable once they start eating more intuitively and enjoy a variety of food. Why? Often sugar cravings occur because you don’t eat enough food, or you restrict certain foods such as carbohydrate rich food. Once you discover that you can enjoy a small amount of sweet food without binging, this will also help to diminish your sugar cravings. The mindful eating exercise is part of this.
You are not asked to follow a meal plan, weigh food portions or keep a food diary. If you have tried doing all these things before without long-term success, or if you struggle to follow plans or keep food diaries, then the Non-Diet Approach may just be what you’re looking for.
If you are confused about what food is truly nourishing and what constitutes moderation, you will learn this through the process of learning to eating intuitively. Our dietitians will happily provide recipes and meal ideas to guide you initially if you feel you need them.
We generally don’t use meal plans, as in most instances they are really just another diet. If you have ever lost weight using a meal plan, be that from a dietitian, off the internet or from a book, only to regain the weight at a later stage, then this is no different to dieting. Having used meal plans through the earlier years of my practice, and seen my clients go through this, I am now a firm believer that meal plans are the not answer for the majority of people. There are some circumstances where they may be necessary in the short term, but for most people they will just be another form of diet.
Is the non-diet approach or intuitive eating suitable for me?
Whether you are looking to completely overhaul your diet or just fine tune your eating for better health, the Non-Diet Approach offers a unique way to do this without having to restrict certain food or follow a strict regime. The Non-Diet Approach is suitable if you need assistance with any of the following:
- Weight concern
- Yoyo dieting
- Feeling unhappy with your body
- Non-hungry eating, emotional eating or binge eating
- General health & fitness
- Low energy levels
- High cholesterol, blood sugar or impaired glucose tolerance
- Any diet related medical condition
We require food for life. A struggle with food is a struggle with life.
Given we need to eat several times per day, every day for our entire life, wouldn’t you prefer eating food to be a pleasurable experience that you look forward to each day? When you make eating food about weight loss, calories or nutrients, eating can become isolating, dull, joyless and anxiety provoking. This can happen even when the food is food you typically enjoy. Wouldn’t you prefer your eating experience to leave you feeling energised and satisfied? You can achieve this with Intuitive Eating – see link below for more detailed information.
The pleasure we receive from food is one of the reasons humans have been such a successful species, if eating wan’t pleasurable we probably wouldn’t have gone to such efforts to seek out food and the human race would not have prospered as it has. Denying pleasure from food and eating is denying one of our most basic human needs.
The other key problem with advice or programs that helps you pursue weight loss, is that the human body is carefully designed to defend against losing weight. To actively lose weight, you need to reduce your energy intake by an amount that tips your body into starvation mode. Our bodies are carefully designed to survive famine, once the body goes into starvation (or famine) mode, varies physiological mechanisms kick into place to make this difficult and eventually cause weight loss to plateaux, before eventually the regain occurs. Over time, many people actually end up heavier through dieting. If you find it difficult to lose weight and keep it off through dieting or food restriction, then you are a successful human. You simply can’t force the body into permanent weight loss. People don’t fail diets, diets fail people.
Are you someone who eats emotionally?
Emotional eating is neither a good thing nor a bad thing, it’s simply eating in response to an emotional state or unmet need. Emotional eating is also part of normal eating, it’s not something pathological that you need to avoid.
People who struggle with emotional eating are nearly always engaging in some type of food restriction, be that actual food restriction or a mindset of restriction where you think you shouldn’t be eating something. Research shows dieters, or people who restrict food, tend to turn toward food in times of heightened emotion, while non-dieters tend to turn away from food.
Perhaps it’s time for you to try a new and enjoyable approach to health that allows you to be the expert of your body and to know what is best for you. At love what you eat, our dietitians will help you stop struggling with food and help you build a positive relationship with food and your body. This is called Intuitive Eating.