Dietary variety (eating lots of different foods from all the different food groups) has long been considered a pillar of “good nutrition”. Blanket dietary recommendations like this are intended to support the greater population, but when these guidelines are solely focused on nutrients and physiological health, many groups of people get overlooked, left out, and placed in a disadvantaged position where health and wellness (when measured by whether or not a person is meeting a given recommendation) are essentially out of reach. And when these folx continue to chase after an impossible standard, other aspects of health (mental, emotional, relational, financial, etc.) suffer… and that isn’t really supportive of health at all.
When we talk about health, instead of trying to fit everyone into one box, we need to consider and understand what is REALISTIC, CONTEXTUAL, ACCESSIBLE, POSSIBLE,...
By Rebecca Hambright MS, RDN - Wise Heart Nutrition Dietitian
Who decided that “emotional eating” is bad? I don’t know exactly where this rumor started (other than the obvious master-villains... anti-fatness and diet-culture), but I want to slap my flip phone closed (ultimate diss - duh) and be done with this shitty game of telephone.
Instead, let’s flip this narrative around. Intuitive eating principles guide us to “cope with our emotions with kindness”, which ultimately means developing a tool box of coping skills and choosing one to compassionately meet our emotional needs. Sometimes food is that coping skill. And that’s ok!!!
Food is something that can be readily accessible, so it is common for it to be used as a coping mechanism from an early age. If you weren’t given the tools or support to develop other coping skills, it makes sense that you would turn to what you had available in your...
So if you’ve heard anything about intuitive eating, you’ve heard the classic slippery slope argument - “But that means you’ll only want to eat “junk food” forever”. Is that true, though?
When you first give yourself radical permission to eat all foods (with no labels), it is true that you may initially go through a phase of wanting to enjoy all the foods that you were previously restricting. We’ll call this the “fuck it phase”. This is because when you restrict or feel fear around a food, all it really does is build the power or allure this food holds over you. Like a kid who has been waiting all year for Halloween, you may go all in on the candy or “insert fun food here”. This experience is completely normal, and to be expected for us humans who undoubtedly will always want what we “can’t” have, whether real or self-imposed (hey thanks, diet culture :/)
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