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Non-Diet Approach

The Non-Diet Approach

A common framework used that endorses the Non-Diet Approach are the Health at Every Size® (HAES®) principles. HAES® is a weight-neutral approach to improve health and well-being. Learn more about HAES®. Link to HAES section on website The Non-Diet Approach is a body-led, gentle approach that encourages healthy behaviours to support health, fitness and overall well-being in the body you have, without aiming for weight loss or changing your body shape. Thisa approach has shown positive outcomes in mental and physical health and weight tends to remain relatively stable or decrease during and after treatment.

The Non-Diet Approach call outs and reject the trillion-dollar toxic global diet culture and wellness industry. It honours and respects diversity in body shapes and sizes and rejects the ‘thin ideal’ and the one size fits all approach of dieting. It reconnects you to your lived experience where you are treated as the expert in your body to help rebuild body trust. The table below highlights the difference between the traditional diet (weight loss) approach and the Non-Diet Approach:

The traditional Diet Approach vs the Non-Diet Approach

Diet Approach

Non-Diet Approach

Rigid and driven by external rules

Curious, flexible, and inclusive

Suppresses hunger cues

Reconnection to internal hunger cues

Self-control, willpower and deprivation- physical and mental

Permission to feel nourished and satisfied- eating is an act of self-care

Failure, guilt, self-hatred, and shame

Respectful and compassionate

All-or-nothing thinking e.g. ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ foods

Gentle awareness and food freedom where all food fits

Transactional- calories in vs calories out

Permission to eat regardless of activity

Prescriptive, requiring weighing, measuring, counting, and timing

Relaxed and gives permission to eat

Fear-driven and perfectionistic

Trust-building, forgiving, and accepting

Food is calories and macros

Food is pleasure and connection- social and cultural

Time-intensive and thought-consuming

Peaceful, calm, and nurturing

Body distress and dissatisfaction

Body acceptance and respect for size diversity

Exercise to earn or burn food

Joyful life-enhancing movement

Weight gain is a problem needing to be ‘fixed’ and weight loss is glorified

Bodies are meant to change across the lifespan

 

 How our dietitians help using the Non-Diet Approach:
  • exploring your history of dieting and weight loss and your beliefs, feelings, and concerns about your weight
  • learning where diet culture, internalised fatphobia and weight stigma may show up in your life and how to challenge them
  • understanding the principles of the Non-Diet Approach empowering you to move away from the pursuit of weight loss
  • unpacking the weight science and the idealizing or pathologizing of different-sized bodies
  • teaching skills to help navigate internalised and societal weight stigma
  • understanding the diversity of body shapes and sizes and reframing the value of body weight and shape to find discover body acceptance and respect
  • empowering you to become a confident self-advocate for healthcare without recommendations to lose weight
  • recognising and rejecting unhelpful diet culture thoughts, feelings and behaviours e.g. meticulous planning, tracking and weighing of food
  • providing internal hunger-fullness awareness training to help you notice, reconnect and act on internal body cues
  • exploring the food satisfaction factor
  • building awareness and mindfulness of external triggers to eat
  • understanding what ‘normal’ eating looks and feels like
  • breaking the vicious diet/restrict – overeat/binge cycle
  • building trust in food and eating, giving permission to nourish your body
  • unpacking food rules and beliefs
  • building skills and confidence in body trust- your own innate ability to nourish your body.
  • achieving freedom from preoccupation with food, eating, weight and shape and discovering a place of food freedom where all foods fit
  • training in mindful eating

As dieting is one of the strongest predictors of developing disordered eating and eating disorders, our Dietitians are highly skilled to help you end dieting to transform and heal your relationship with food, eating and body, using a Non-Diet Approach. Learn more about disordered eating and impacts of dieting.

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