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Dietitians Dish: Taking the bite out of food

By By Stephanie Whitley
July 15, 2014 at 2:15 a.m.


Evelyn Tribole, a registered dietitian, wrote that growing research indicates that "intuitive eaters were more optimistic, had better self-esteem and were less likely to internalize our culture's unrealistic thin ideal."

Doesn't that sound great? If you are not already there, I am sure something inside of you said, "I want to think like that" while reading her quote. The point of concerning yourself with nutrition is not to pat yourself on the back for eating the right thing; nutrition is about improving your quality of life.

The beauty of intuitive eating is that it allows you freedom from food and by consequence, brings you to a place where you can identify how much better your body feels and how much better you feel about your body when you make nutritious food choices. Following a diet is just the opposite; it forces you to focus on your food so much that you often find yourself thinking and planning everything you are going to eat and drink during the day. I would say this is the opposite of freedom from food. Most of us have experienced this. Though diligently watching every morsel that passes your lips may provide temporary success with weight loss, the burden it constantly lays on your mind is not something most people enjoy.

Aren't you tired of letting food and your food choices dictate your social life and give you anxiety over meal planning or guilt after a splurge? Don't we all want freedom from food? Notice I am not saying freedom from nutrition.

Of course, there are those who need to be on specific diets because of their medical history, and for that, they need to accept a diet as a tool to longevity. But for everyone else who is concerned with their extra weight or just tired of feeling guilty for some of the foods they eat, intuitive eating is and will always be my recommendation. To get yourself thinking about intuitive eating, here are the 10 principles:

Reject the diet mentality

Honor your hunger

Make peace with food

Challenge the food police

Respect your fullness

Discover the satisfaction factor

Honor your feelings without using food

Respect your body

Exercise, feel the difference

Honor your health

For more detailed information, visit IntuitiveEating.org and/or read the book "Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works."

Stephanie Whitley is a registered and licensed dietitian at DeTar Healthcare Systems. Send questions or comments to dietitians@vicad.com.

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