Food Psych #190: Why Intuitive Eating Is NOT a Diet with Caroline Dooner

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Fellow author and podcaster Caroline Dooner returns! We discuss her new book, The F*ck It Diet: Eating Should Be Easy, why mental deprivation is just as much of a problem as physical deprivation, why people often treat intuitive eating as another diet (and why it’s not), the essential role of rest in healing our relationship with movement, why focusing on fullness can be problematic, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether a certain model of treatment for binge-eating disorder is actually making the problem worse.

Caroline is the creator of The F*ck It Diet, where she teaches chronic dieters how to heal their relationship with food and weight. Caroline recently released her first book, The F*ck It Diet: Eating Should Be Easy. Find her online right here.

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We Discuss:

  • What Caroline calls “F*ck It Diet 2.0”: her two-year commitment to resting and rejecting unrealistic societal pressures in other areas of her life, not just around food and body

  • Trust, and its role in recovering from diet culture

  • How Caroline initially interpreted intuitive eating as another diet, and how she stopped

  • Embodiment, and its importance in healing our relationship with food and body size

  • How various traumas, including diet culture, can disconnect us from our bodies

  • Recovery as a non-linear process, and how that can make it difficult

  • How yoga can be helpful and harmful in healing our relationship with food and our bodies

  • Our culture’s fear of feeling and honoring unpleasant feelings and emotions

  • Yoga nidra

  • Rest as a form of basic self-care

  • Over-exercising, and how it is reinforced by diet culture

  • Why it’s understandable for intuitive eating to feel “impossible”

  • The changes that Caroline has experienced in her relationship with food

  • Why focusing on fullness can be problematic

  • How quickly diet culture robs us of our innate ability to eat intuitively

  • Mental deprivation, and how it can affect our relationship with food in the same way as physical deprivation

  • Why intuitive eating is possible for anyone, and why it’s NOT another diet

  • Deprivation in people with larger bodies

  • Caroline’s book, The F*ck It Diet: Eating Should Be Easy (TW: weight and calorie numbers, and "o-words")

  • The “nocebo” effect

  • Diet food, and its role as a tool of diet culture


Resources Mentioned

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Listener Question of the Week

Should people be given the option to choose non-weight-inclusive treatment options for binge eating disorder? What is wrong with referring to intuitive eating as “healthy living”? How has diet culture twisted otherwise weight-inclusive therapies? What are the risks of intentional weight loss? How does offering intentional weight loss as a treatment option promote diet culture? Why doesn’t Christy debate folks who promote diet culture on the podcast? Why should eating-disorder treatment centers be free from diet-culture influences and messaging? What are some next steps for eating-disorder clinicians who want to move away from weight-centric messaging in their work?

(Resources Mentioned:

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