The word intuitive has gotten more traction in recovery from disordered eating circles. This is an awesome thing. However I felt the burning need to be more encompassing with the definition of intuitive eating towards our full experience with food in our lives. So this is my definition of what it means to be really “attuned” to your individual needs for food, thus becoming your own eating expert.
I will reassure you that eating what you want with full persmission is not a free-for-all. Nutrition is important. However, to heal the years of telling yourself “no” you will need to set nutrition goals aside to learn to listen to what your body needs instead of what the food guide pyramid/the government/well-meaning people have told you to eat. Or maybe your eating is chaotic because sometimes we react to people crossing our boundaries around food and body and we reject signals to eat “healthy foods” because it has been forced upon you.
Intuitive, Attuned Eating is about choosing to eat with full awareness of your hunger, emotional state and the level of support and self-care in your life. For a while you may need to eat more “fun foods” than you are comfortable with to settle down that “rebel” part of you that has been deprived so long. This might last a while (months) but will not last forever. It is a “coming home” in a sense that you were born eating this way. We learn with Intuitive Eating that sometimes you need a lot or less, depending on the day and that our body really does not want “too much” of any one thing. What a relief! Our bodies know how to manage our food and weight with very little “head information”. We can relax and eat from the neck down.
The sad truth is:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/17469900 (link goes to study)
“You can initially lose 5 to 10 percent of your weight on any number of diets, but then the weight comes back. We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more. Sustained weight loss was found only in a small minority of participants, while complete weight regain was found in the majority. Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people…In addition, the studies do not provide consistent evidence that dieting results in significant health improvements, regardless of weight change. In sum, there is little support for the notion that diets lead to lasting weight loss or health benefits.”
We believe the ultimate goal of diets is to improve people’s long-term health, rather than to reduce their weight. Our review of randomized controlled trials of the effects of dieting on health finds very little evidence of success in achieving this goal. If diets do not lead to long-term weight loss or long-term health benefits, it is difficult to justify encouraging individuals to endure them
“Although long-term follow-up data are meager, the data that do exist suggest almost complete relapse after 3-5 yr. The paucity of data provided by the weight-loss industry has been inadequate or inconclusive. Those who challenge the use of diet and exercise solely for weight control purposes base their position on the absence of weight-loss effectiveness data and on the presence of harmful effects of restrictive dieting. Any intervention strategy for the obese should be one that would promote the development of a healthy lifestyle. The outcome parameters used to evaluate the success of such an intervention should be specific to chronic disease risk and symptomatologies and not limited to medically ambiguous variables like body weight or body composition.”
A panel of experts convened by the National Institutes of Health determined that “In controlled settings, participants who remain in weight loss programs usually lose approximately 10% of their weight. However, one third to two thirds of the weight is regained within one year [after weight loss], and almost all is regained within five years.”
“Consider the Women’s Health Initiative, the largest and longest randomized, controlled dietary intervention clinical trial, designed to test the current recommendations. More than 20,000 women maintained a low-fat diet, reportedly reducing their calorie intake by an average of 360 calories per day and significantly increasing their activity. After almost eight years on this diet, there was almost no change in weight from starting point (a loss of 0.1 kg), and average waist circumference, which is a measure of abdominal fat, had increased (0.3 cm)”
“Findings from this study suggest that dieting, and particularly unhealthful weight control, is either causing weight gain, disordered eating or eating disorders; serving as an early marker for the development of these later problems or is associated with some other unknown variable … that is leading to these problems. None of the behaviors being used by adolescents (in 1999) for weight-control purposes predicted weight loss[in 2006]…Of greater concern were the negative outcomes associated with dieting and the use of unhealthful weight-control behaviors, including significant weight gain…Our data suggest that for many adolescents, dieting to control weight is not only ineffective, it may actually promote weight gain”
“Healthy lifestyle habits are associated with a significant decrease in mortality regardless of baseline body mass index.”
“We’ve studied this from many perspectives in women and in men, and we get the same answer: It’s not the obesity, it’s the fitness.”
“no measure of body weight or body fat was related to the degree of coronary vessel disease. The obesity-heart disease link is just not well supported by the scientific and medical literature…Body weight, and even body fat for that matter, do not tell us nearly as much about our health as lifestyle factors, such as exercise and the foods we eat…total cholesterol levels returned to their original levels–despite absolutely no change in body weight–requiring the researchers to conclude that the fat content of the diet, not weight change, was responsible for the changes in cholesterol levels.”
“With or without consideration of …extremes or gains in body weight…alumni mortality rates were significantly lower among the physically active.”
Research about doctors perception of fat patients
“In a study of over 620 primary care physicians, >50% viewed obese patients as awkward, unattractive, ugly, and noncompliant. One-third of the sample further characterized obese patients as weak-willed, sloppy, and lazy.”
Research collected by Ragen Chastain and reprinted here with permission. http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/for-fat-patients-and-their-doctors/
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