Health at Every Size & Intuitive Eating

How do we work through food and body issues?

Eating Disorders, Yo-Yo dieting, and disordered eating are complex issues that usually have their foundations starting in childhood. Everyone is different so they path we take is based on individual needs and areas of strength. There are two key theories we use to base our work towards recovery from called Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating.

KEY 01

Health at Every Size

HAES was coined by the Association of Size diversity and Health (ASDAH) and affirms a holistic definition of health that does not include the absence of any physical, mental, or emotional illness or disability since all people are in a continuum. There are five basic principles of HAES that build the foundation of recovery.

Weight Inclusivity

All body shapes and sizes are accepted and respected. This also means that the idealizing of thin bodies and the vilifying of fat bodies is rejected.

Health Enhancement

Supporting health policies to improve over-all human well-being in all arenas including physical, economic, social, spiritual, and emotional needs.

Eating for Well-Being

Promoting flexible eating that is based in hunger, fullness, nutritional needs, and pleasure not any diets or “lifestyle changes”.

Respectful Care

HAES practioners are committed to working through our own biases and to provide compassionate care across ALL identities.

Life-Enhancing Movement

Supporting joyful movement to the degree to which people choose.

The words Health at Every Size are spelled out in edible pasta letters on a china saucer plate with a dainty pink floral design. The plate rests on a cream or off-white tablecloth with a subtle woven pattern. A small silver metal fork rests on the saucer.

KEY 02

Intuitive Eating

IE is the idea that our bodies inherently understand what we need and is capable of regulating itself without any outside intervention. This is the flexible food model that we utilize in recovery. If you think about how young children eat, they are very connected to what their tummy’s want. They eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full. Adults, even with the best of intentions, disrupt this natural process and we start teaching children to eat at lunchtime, only eat dessert after we finish those last few pieces of broccoli, and to not snack or else they’ll spoil their dinner. In recovery we work to reconnect with our hunger and fullness cues and heal our inner child.

The words All Foods Fit are spelled out in edible pasta letters on a china saucer plate with a dainty pink and yellow floral design. The plate rests on a cream or off-white tablecloth with a subtle woven pattern.

10 Principles of Intuitive Eating

Adapted from The Original Intuitive Eating Pros

Reject the Diet Mentality

Diet books, influencers, Gwyneth Paltrow, and even some “experts” give you the false hope that you can lose weight quickly, easily, and forever. In reality, the diet industry is worth 72 Billion dollars a year with a 95% failure rate. Any small hope that someone other than your own body will help you find something that works will prevent you from food freedom.

Honor Your Hunger

Eating when your body biologically signals hunger an adequate amount of nutrition will prevent our primal “OMG I’m hungry and there’s no food to eat there MUST be a famine! I have to eat EVERYTHING I can find to survive!”

Make Peace with Food

Give yourself unconditional permission to eat! Denying yourself physically or mentally can lead to uncontrollable cravings. Trusting this process will lead to trusting your body to regulate hunger and fullness cues.

Challenge the Food Police

There are no “good” or “bad” foods! Food has no system of morality, that is a product of diet culture to sell us “guilt-free” snacks. Say a loud “NO” to your thoughts.

Discover the Satisfaction Factor

We get to find the pleasure and satisfaction of eating again, in being able to enjoy the entire experience and feel content.

Feel Your Fullness

Observe and listen to your body’s signals that tell you you are no longer hungry and comfortably full. Checking in with fullness levels and eating what you desire are ways to develop trust with your body.

Cope with your Emotions with Kindness

Food is a biological way to self-soothe, but emotional eating won’t fix any feelings. Instead of using food as your number 1 coping skill, we learn how to make it number 10 with more effective skills at the beginning of the list.

Respect Your Body

Accept your genetic body and respect your body so you can fully accept who you are.

Movement-Feel the Difference

Joyful movement! If you hate the gym, don’t go! Instead try something that you liked as a kid. Go on a bicycle ride, swim, have a dance party, hula hoop!

Honor Your Health- Gentle Nutrition

Eat foods that honor your health and taste buds. Remember that the only “bad” food are ones that you are allergic to or ones that have spoiled. Health does not equal perfect and eating consistently matters.

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