How Intuitive Eating Dismantles Diet Culture
Have you heard of “Intuitive Eating”? You may have come across the phrase in the media recently—blogs, magazines, and Instagram posts commanding you to “eat the cookie if you want to eat the cookie,” followed by #IntuitiveEating and #AllFoodsFit in the caption. While this message may lead you to believe that Intuitive Eating suggests you discard everything you know about nutrition, it simply supports the concept that there are no “good” foods and “bad” foods. Instead, all forms of sustenance are welcome if consumed with a sense of mindfulness, balance, and trust in yourself.
A LITTLE HISTORY:
Intuitive Eating is a relatively new concept in the world of nutrition. It was developed by two dietitians, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, back in 1995. However, in the last few years this 25-year old model seems to have taken the world by storm. With the help of social media, Intuitive Eating has made waves in the nutrition community as a tool to develop a healthier relationship with food and dismantle diet culture.
Despite Intuitive Eating being a somewhat recent revelation in the healthcare community, the concept of food intake in relation to body health has been around for the last few hundred years…You guessed it, I’m talking about BMI. In fact, the Body Mass Index (BMI) chart— a measurement that is commonly used by medical practitioners to categorize human health based on a person’s weight and height— was created as early as the 1830s. And it was actually devised by an astronomer and mathematician, not a physician.
WHY NOT BMI?
BMI doesn’t take body composition into account. By looking only at BMI, we bypass other valuable information like muscle vs. fat tissue, bone density, hydration, biochemical markers, blood work, the presence or absence of disease, social determinants of health, mental health—the list goes on.
So, why do medical practitioners continue to use BMI? The BMI chart is a quick method of comparison used in other instances related to patient care. Whether it’s deemed “too high” or “too low”, BMI supports the use of a reimbursable diagnosis code for many insurance carriers and signals the need for additional resources for a patient such as meeting with a Registered Dietitian!
HOW INTUITIVE EATING DISMANTLES DIET CULTURE
Intuitive Eating is shifting the conversation away from weight! “Diet culture” refers to a culture that has been created around fad diets, quick weight loss solutions and restrictive eating patterns that result in long term damage to our bodies, emotional wellbeing, and relationship with food. Yes, weight can play a role in human health because there are cases in which weight loss or weight gain may improve the side effects of other health ailments, but weight status alone does not determine health. Registered Dietitians at Nutrition in Motion are trained to look at the whole person and their whole picture of health. Learn more about how our team is incorporating Intuitive eating here!
If you’d like to incorporate Intuitive Eating into your life or would like to learn more about how I can help you let go of food rules and enjoy the foods you love, please reach out! You can email me at [email protected]. Also, check out some of my favorite recipes and other food for thought on my website www.rachelartus.com.
SCHEDULE SOME TIME WITH YOUR LOCAL NIM TEAM MEMBER TO TALK ABOUT REACHING YOUR WELLNESS GOALS! REMEMBER, VISITS WITH A REGISTERED DIETITIAN ARE COVERED BY MOST INSURANCE CARRIERS FOR IN-PERSON AND TELE-HEALTH VISITS. ASK US A QUESTION OR REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT TO LEARN MORE!
Rachel Artus, RD, LDN
Specialties: Mindful and intuitive eating, body image improvement, outpatient eating disorder recovery & support, nutrition for athletes, meal planning and preparation/cooking on a budget, plant-based nutrition/vegetarian eating, motivation and goal setting, disease prevention and management
Locations: Boston, MA; Tele-Health