As an anti-diet dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor, I'm committed to helping people make peace with food and their bodies. In my view, the ONLY way for healthcare providers to accomplish that is to practice a philosophy called Health at Every Size® (or HAES), which helps people focus on health-promoting behaviors rather than weight loss.
The reason HAES takes weight loss out of the health equation is because intentional weight loss is not only unsustainable 95+ percent of the time (and most people actually gain back more weight than they lost), but pursuing weight loss also causes more harm than good to your physical and mental health.
You've likely experienced this harm firsthand if you've ever done something to try to lose weight (a diet, an eating plan, a "lifestyle change"), because most people who pursue weight loss end up having negative reactions.
Maybe for you it was following the diet or plan during the day (or during the week), and then eating large quantities of food and feeling out of control at night (or on weekends).
Or maybe it was obsessively planning meals, tracking and logging everything you ate, and just thinking about food nonstop.
Maybe it was exercising in a compulsive, self-punishing way.
Or maybe it spiraled into cutting more and more foods out of your diet and being afraid of the foods you used to love.
These are all incredibly common, completely normal reactions to the deprivation that people feel when pursuing weight loss.
And they're also not helping your health.
There is a better way to support both your physical and mental health, and that's where Health at Every Size comes in.
My guest on this week's episode of Food Psych is an expert on HAES, and she's also one of the smartest, most well-spoken people I know.
Writer, speaker, and health coach Ragen Chastain explains why healthcare providers need to stop prescribing intentional weight loss, how weight stigma (not body size) is likely responsible for the health issues typically associated with higher weights, why weight loss doesn't actually improve physical performance, the true meaning of the word "health," and lots more.
Tune in to this incredible episode to hear Ragen's wisdom, and join us in the Food Psych listener Facebook group to share your thoughts!
P.S. If you haven't seen my pal Isabel Foxen Duke's free video training series, Stop Fighting Food, be sure to check it out! I signed on to be an affiliate for Isabel's private coaching program this year because I love her work so much, so if you end up joining that you'll be supporting my work, too. But either way, check out the videos to get some great tips for making peace with food!
This post was originally published in my weekly email newsletter.