• Emma Green

‘Hunger-directed eating’ is BS

Let’s be clear, it’s great to be in touch with your hunger and fullness cues. Knowing when you need to eat is important and being able to honour that with the food you want in the amount you want is awesome. It takes a lot of work to be able to do that, especially if you have a history of disordered eating, but it is possible. Intuitive eating has principles not rules. You can eat for reasons other than hunger, the key is tuning into your body to see how it feels and making sure you’ve got lots of other ways to deal with emotions so you’ve got options. There is no guarantee that when practising intuitive eating that you will lose weight. It is equally likely you will gain or maintain your weight, depending on a whole host of factors. Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach. It is not designed to make people lose weight. It is an approach that specifically encourages you to eat and move in a way that feels good and let’s your body do it’s own thing.

The ‘Thin side out’ book by Josie Spinardi on hunger-directed puts thinness on a pedestal. Yes, thin privilege is real but the idea that a person needs to be thin to live a happy life is BS. You live your best life when you accept your body, enjoy food and exercise for fun. Happiness does not have a size, shape or weight. In fact, the ironic thing is that dieting to reach a specific body ideal is more likely to make you miserable than make you happy. You will never make peace with food, exercise and yur body if your underlying intention is to lose weight. Whilst diet culture can make you feel that your body needs to look a certain way, if you live your life trying to reach that ideal, you will be on a perpetual treadmill, being on and off diets, feeling anxious whenever you miss a workout, guilty whenever you eat something ‘bad’ and feeling that your body is never good enough. Don’t buy into that BS, learn to trust yourself to make your own decisions about food and exercise and your body will end up where it wants to be.

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