Everyday society reminds us that obesity and overweight are not desired conditions. Between the commercials to join diet clubs, buy diet products, and news stories about children now afraid of becoming overweight, the message is undeniable.
There are multiple diet and even surgical approaches for obesity which can be associated with significant morbidity and mortality including the risk of regaining weight. Dieting can also be associated with weight cycling, poor self esteem, risk of eating disorders and poor body image. So why do people do it, and why do clinicians continue to recommend it?
I first learned of the Health at Every Size (HAES) approach in 2007 at the Academy for Eating Disorders conference. While I didn't learn of Intuitive Eating until later, I've become more convinced of its utility and have added it to my "therapeutic toolbox." HAES is a "non-diet" approach to overweight. While difficult for some clinicians fathom recommending, it just makes sense.
As the article below states, "HAES shifts the focus from weight management to health promotion. The primary intent of HAES is to support improved health behaviors for people of all sizes without using weight as a mediator; weight loss may or may not be a side effect."
1. HAES asks for acceptance of your body. We naturally take care of the things that we love.
2. HAES asks for rejection of the diet mentality and adoption Intuitive Eating. This is a wonderful way of eating pioneered by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA. It stresses listening to your hunger and fullness cues and learning to enjoy, yes enjoy food.
3. HAES asks for physical activity and movement that is enjoyable, not for exercise.
Read more about HAES here.
Peace be with you.