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About Non-Diet Nutrition Therapy

At Nicole Merryman Nutrition, you can expect to receive evidence-based care rooted in the non-diet approach. Read below to learn more about the principles of non-diet nutrition therapy:

Food as nourishment and enjoyment.

It's important to adopt eating patterns that honor your health and happiness. While food plays the important role of nourishing our bodies, it is also much more than that. Food is also culture, experience, connection and enjoyment. Embracing all of the ways food enriches our lives is crucial in building a healthy relationship with food based on nourishing your body while feeling at peace with food.

Ditching the diet mentality.

There is a large body of evidence that supports the failures of fad dieting and weight-loss dieting. Diets for weight loss often result in disordered eating patterns and eventual weight regain after weight loss is achieved. Common reasons diets fail are that they promote a "one-size-fits-all" approach or call for severe restriction. Rather than following a set of strict, unsustainable food rules and eating practices, the answers to achieving long-term health and well-being are found through exploring your individual needs, finding balance and feeling free in your food choices.

Placing less focus on weight and more focus on building healthy habits.

The standards our society has created surrounding body weight are often strict and unrealistic. While there is no denying that weight plays a role in overall health, there is a natural diversity in body shape and size among us that should be respected and celebrated. Even if everyone ate and exercised the same way, we'd still see that diversity. What determines our weight is complex. The different factors that contribute to weight, outside of eating and exercise patterns, are largely due to genetics and environmental factors. The non-diet approach recognizes that all bodies deserve respect and care, no matter the size. It emphasizes body respect, which is about giving your body what it needs to thrive, while treating it with compassion and kindness. Non-diet nutrition therapy focuses on building healthy habits, rather than focusing solely on weight-reduction methods. As you build body respect and balanced eating habits, this often helps you reach a stable and healthy weight that is best for you. 

Exploring joyful movement.

Exercise benefits our health in many ways. It's important to build a healthy mindset around exercise so you feel motivated to make it a habit. Rather than seeing exercise as a chore or a form of punishment, it's key to find ways of moving your body that bring you joy and inspire you to commit to them long term.

Trusting your body.

Diets often promote strict food rules that may or may not actually apply to an individual's lifestyle. Everyone's eating experiences and needs are different, so it's best to find ways of eating that honor your individuality. Ultimately, you are the expert of your own body. Trusting the wisdom you have about your preferences and your body's needs enable you to create lasting, healthy habits that are best for you. Two non-diet strategies that help us form a healthy relationship with food and our bodies include mindful and intuitive eating. Continue reading for more information about these approaches.


Mindful Eating

Mindful eating involves bringing full awareness to our eating experiences, without judgement, while considering both internal and external events. By noticing internal signals, it is easier to make food choices based on our personal needs. Some of those signals include thoughts, feelings, hunger cues, fullness cues, satiety cues, and other physical sensations. Eating mindfully also involves acknowledging the nourishing opportunities that come from food selection and preparation methods. 

Intuitive Eating

Intuitive eating is a non-diet, weight-neutral approach that was developed by two registered dietitians in the 1990's. Intuitive eating encompasses practices that are similar to mindful eating, but takes it a few steps further by incorporating other principles that help you ditch restrictive dieting methods for a healthier relationship with food. The intuitive eating framework is made up of 10 basic principles:

1. Reject the diet mentality

2. Honor your hunger

3. Make peace with food

4. Challenge the food police

5. Discover the satisfaction factor

6. Feel your fullness

7. Cope with your emotions with kindness

8. Respect your body

9. Movement- feel the difference

10. Honor your health- gentle nutrition

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