You are calling on people to ditch dieting, what is the alternative?
We suggest that people follow intuitive or attuned eating as a way of reaching their natural weight and the size that’s right for them.
We recommend following these guidelines:
- Eating when you’re hungry
- Eating the food you’re hungry for
- Finding out why you want to eat when you’re not hungry
- Tasting every mouthful
- Stopping when you’re full
Please see our suggested reading list for books on intuitive eating.
If you are consistently eating according to your appetite – eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full – you will reach your natural weight. This is not a weight that can be determined with a blunt and discredited tool such as the BMI scale. According to the BMI scale, George Clooney is obese for example - it does not take into account people’s different ages, builds and metabolisms.
Obesity-related conditions are going up and the population is getting heavier and heavier. Isn’t it irresponsible and dangerous to be recommending to people that they forget dieting and trying to be healthier?
We believe that troubled eating and the so-called ‘obesity epidemic’ are merely more visible extremes of a much bigger, everyday phenomena: that we are accepting fear and hatred of our own bodies like gravity, that we are accepting ‘I am not good enough’ as a fact.
This ‘crisis’ is constructed from research funded by the industries that can make money from it, such as pharmaceutical and diet industries.
Traditional diet clubs are based around sensible eating guidelines, such as having a balanced diet and eating lots of fruit and vegetables. Surely this type of sensible eating is a good idea?
95% of diets fail – that is, within five years, the vast majority of people have regained the weight they lost and then some. These diet clubs don’t teach us how to respond to our appetites and how to pay attention to, and satisfy, internal cues. Diets are set up to fail us so that we will keep returning to them and spending more money. Diets interfere with our metabolism and the feelings of deprivation result in a binge/diet cycle. This yo-yo dieting has proved to be more harmful to our health than being ‘overweight’.
Will people eat more processed food if they stop dieting? Are you saying this would be healthier than being on a diet?
Our supermarkets are full of ready meals and other packaged foods that are high in sugar, salt and saturated fat and there is a fast-food outlet on practically every corner. If people are told they can eat what they want they will eat more of these types of food as they are cheap and accessible. Are you saying that this would be healthier than being on a diet?
We think that the food industry, of which the diet industry is a part - Heinz owns Weight Watchers, Unilever owns Slimfast and so on - were to get their house in order so that long life shelf food full of additives and corn sugars were removed, the world would be a better place. We want good food for all, eaten when you are hungry and without fear.
Read our Suggested Reading list for more information about the process of learning to eat intuitively.
We’re suggesting that when people pay attention to their food and how it affects their bodies they may choose not to eat these types of artificial food.
We would suggest that they receive medical treatment and also intensive counselling to support them to tackle the root causes of their immobility.
We’re not suggesting that people don’t care for, and pay attention to, their bodies - quite the opposite. Each of us needs to find out how specific foods affect us. If you have diabetes you may need to recognise that you cant have particular foods without their being consequences, but this is all part of finding out what foods work for you.