Are Intuitive Eating Dietitians Anti-Weight Loss?
There is a lot of information out there these days regarding intuitive eating and not all of it is accurate. I hear a lot about weight loss and whether or not you will lose weight with intuitive eating. I thought it was important to address this question: “Are Intuitive Eating Dietitians Anti-Weight Loss?” and expand upon it a little more.
I started writing this the other day for an Instagram caption, but it became so long that I figured I should just turn it into a blog post. So here we are.
it is okay to be an intuitive eater and celebrate changes in your body
The other day I was passing by a mirror in my room and noticed some muscles in my leg popping a little more than usual. I took a few seconds to look at them longer. I even flexed a little bit, like “damn, where’d those come from?”
Is it bad that I liked seeing that? Absolutely not!!! I work hard at my gym several days a week, and it’s rewarding as hell to see my muscles show. But, is that the only reason I go workout? Nope.
are intuitive eating dietitians anti-weight loss?
Someone recently said to me “I know you’re against weight loss & stuff like that now, but….”
HOLD UP. I wanna clear this up. Just because I’m an advocate for intuitive eating & not selling a weight loss program doesn’t mean that I’m against weight loss, or against YOU if you wanna lose weight, or that I refuse to celebrate your accomplishments. (Although, I see the healthy behavior change and/or the improvement in self-confidence and/or mental health as the accomplishment — not the change in the scale.)
What I’m against is weight loss being the ONE AND ONLY end goal, even if it means disrespecting your body in the process. Only getting 4 hours of sleep a night? Oh well, at least you crushed your workouts all week! Only eating 1 meal a day? Isolating yourself from loved ones to avoid getting “off track”? Who cares, the scale went down again!
NO. These are the things I’m not okay with. Compromising your health just to meet a specific weight goal or to fit society’s unrealistic standards isn’t okay with me. I believe that forming a healthy relationship with food & your body should come first. I am fully aware this is something that takes time — I’ve been there.
You may not always love your body during the journey, but I hope you’ll respect it and take care of it regardless of how it appears today.
Most importantly, I hope that you’ll learn to love and accept your body wherever it lands, because the reality is, your set point weight may not be where you want it to be. You may naturally sit at a little bit of a higher weight even when you’re eating healthy consistently (while also giving yourself some flexibility and freedom in your food choices), exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, practicing self-care, etc.
And guess what? That’s more than okay.
your weight does not define your worth
I hope the biggest transformation for you is internal, and that if you do lose weight, your weight loss doesn’t become your entire identity and the most important thing about you. What happens if the weight comes back?
Don’t let your worth depend on the scale.
You have SO much to offer the world in your right here, right now body. Maybe you’re just not allowing yourself to see your own potential because you’re blinded by weight loss goals and comparison.
I think it’s more than okay to have fitness goals and to celebrate our bodies, but let’s try to avoid the mindset of “I’ll be happy when I weigh ‘x’ pounds”.
Don’t put off happiness until you reach a magic number on the scale, or a number in your bank account, etc.
set behavior-based goals; not weight loss goals
We all have good and bad body image days. That’s life, and on bad body image days, it’s usually not even about your body. There’s typically something deeper going on.
I want to challenge you to pay attention to how you’re speaking to yourself daily. It matters. Change that inner dialogue.
Self-care matters. Don’t sacrifice your physical and mental well-being solely to lose weight. Honestly, try to avoid setting a weight loss goal at all.
Instead set goals that will result in a happier, healthier you — that looks different for all of us! For example, set goals to be more consistent with healthy behaviors like exercising, eating more veggies or getting 7-8 hours of sleep. How do you feel when you do these things on a regular basis? THAT matters.
The goal of intuitive eating is not weight loss
To be 1000% clear, the goal of intuitive eating is not weight loss. Intuitive eating is not a diet, and it truly has nothing to do with your weight.
The goal is to form a healthier relationship with food, ditch rigid food rules, avoid the restrict/binge cycle that often occurs as a result of dieting, and learn to respect your body by eating a wide VARIETY of foods you enjoy, as well as engaging in exercise you enjoy. (Do you see a trend here? Living a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be torturous…)
Some people may gain weight, others may lose weight, while some may stay the same — it just depends where you’re starting. (Click the link for more on that from one of the IE creators, Evelyn Tribole).
The best thing you can do is shift your focus away from weight, and toward body kindness and respect. Throw away the scale for all I care!
the pursuit of health looks different for everyone
Not everyone has access to the same resources, so the pursuit of better health looks different for all of us and that’s okay. (Also worth noting: weighing less does NOT always = better health.)
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. We are all at different points in our journey. Just do your best with what you have and give yourself grace.
You don’t have to be perfect to be better.
Repeat that: you don’t have to be perfect to be better.
That is all. XOXO.
To read more about Intuitive Eating and to find resources (books, podcasts, IE accounts to follow, etc.), click here.