Grace Russell, Dietitian, Baulkham Hills NSW
8th May 2019
We are led to believe that dieting started as early as the 3rd century, by the Greeks eating light soothing foods, running hard, wrestling, using sea salt enemas and vomiting after meals. The Greeks believed being fat was the result of luxury and corruption so food should be plain and not arouse the appetite.
Over the years that followed, people started to change the things that they ate for reasons such as being too heavy to ride a horse or simply feeling unwell.
In 1917 calories lurked on the scene in the form of a weight loss book authored by Dr Peters, who urged readers to see foods as calories rather than nutritional value. In the last 100 years people have been using this same method (and many more!) to try to lose weight. And how is it working? Not very well. In fact studies show that 98% of dieters regain the weight they lost with a few added kg’s within 5 years. Thus we know diets do not work in the long run.
Dr Rick Kausman of ‘If not dieting then what’ believes diets stand for:
They grab our attention by appealing to our quick fix mentality but in reality they take up a lot of brain space, leave you with little energy and blame you for that they can’t do!
‘What do I do about my eating then?’
In steps intuitive eating. Which by the very meaning of the word means innate, built in, natural. We don’t need external regulators. We don’t need a calorie counting book. We just need to become more attuned with our appetite and body cues, our emotions and our thoughts. And these factors vary so widely from person to person, so no structure or rigidity imposed on groups of people could ever work.
In a contrast to diets which are about weight, intuitive eating is all about wellbeing, for which I have come up with my own acronym:
Why we eat not what we eat
Living with intention
Listening to your body
Being content with your body
Enjoying food and movement
Individual for lifestyle and preferences
Nothing is good or bad
Giving yourself care and acceptance
This is intuitive eating in a nutshell. It isn’t a quick fix. It is a slow, loving, gentle approach to more complete health. After all, it is healthy behaviours rather than the outcome of weight that determines optimal health.
If you would like to learn one on one about intuitive eating and how to return to this innate ability, please feel free to contact the Talbot Centre.
Dietitian, Baulkham Hills NSW
Grace is enthusiastic about supporting women of all ages to find their own authentic health. Grace brings a caring, compassionate nature to her work and believes that kindness towards the self is a crucial agent for change. She is passionate about blending this with practical skills to ensure her patients can approach eating in a realistic, manageable way.