“Emotional Eating” Is A Made Up Problem — But Your Feelings Aren’t

“Emotional Eating” Is A Made Up Problem — But Your Feelings Aren’t

Five second exercise: What immediately comes to mind when I say “emotional eating”? 

…Maybe visions of spooning cookie dough ice cream directly from the container with your best girl friends? 

…Or ordering pizza after a tough day at work?

…Or eating when you’re not hungry, mindlessly moving from the chip bag to the cookie container to the bowl of gummy candy without missing a beat? 

Chances are good you’ve encountered this “problem” at some point, or have overheard women strategizing their way out of it as if they were secretly plotting a getaway at midnight. 

I’m Doing This Intuitive Eating Thing — So Why Do I Keep Overeating?

I’m Doing This Intuitive Eating Thing — So Why Do I Keep Overeating?

“I’ve been doing this intuitive eating thing, but…I keep overeating. You said I would feel sane around food if I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted, so what gives?”

As an intuitive eating counsellor and nutritionist — someone who helps women all over the world to stop bingeing, make peace with food, and feel at ease in whatever body they happen to find themselves in — one of the chief concerns I encounter involves “overeating.”

Because “overeating” isn’t as clear a term as you’d think, let’s start there.

Eating more than you did when you were dieting is not “overeating.”

Eating more than what your fitness tracker recommends is not “overeating.”

Eating what you feel is a large volume of food is not “overeating.”

Eating beyond the “portion” on the label is not “overeating.”

Eating more than what’s on your meal plan is not necessarily “overeating.”

Are you "addicted" to food or just deprived?

Are you "addicted" to food or just deprived?

“I’m addicted to chocolate.”

“Cheese is my weakness.”

“I can’t stop eating almond butter.”

“Candy is irresistible.” 

“Can’t eat just one.”

When we talk about the foods we love, do you ever notice how Puritanical we get? These are all phrases that suggest we can’t control ourselves around the foods we love (and we need to be controlled.

While we can “feel” addicted to foods, clinical food addiction just isn’t a thing at this time. Even MSG-laden Chinese take-out, loaded ketchup chips, or Haribo tangfastics (my pers

5 Ways You're still Dieting (even though you’re not "On A Diet")

5 Ways You're still Dieting (even though you’re not "On A Diet")

Since most eating disorder originate with a diet, chances are good you’ve dieted in the past or are on one right now — even if you don’t know it.

Even if you’re “not on a diet” or “not dieting”, understand that dieting is not something you “do” — it’s the way you think. 

An Open Letter to the Wellness Industry: I Give My Clients Oreos and Ice Cream -- and Here's Why.

An Open Letter to the Wellness Industry: I Give My Clients Oreos and Ice Cream -- and Here's Why.

In the event we’re not acquainted, I’m a (holistic) nutritionist and certified intuitive eating counsellor who specializes in disordered eating and eating disorder recovery. I count my lucky stars every day that I get to do this meaningful and deeply fulfilling work. 

 

While I, too, have been seduced by the compelling rhetoric of diet culture in all of its degrees and forms, my stance is firmly anti-diet and weight-neutral. Of course, not everyone agrees with or echoes this positioning — understandable, given the coupling of health with aesthetics and the “change your body, change your life” (and by extension, “change your food, change your body”) rhetoric widely promoted by our culture.

Understanding Disordered Eating and What It Means to Heal

Understanding Disordered Eating and What It Means to Heal

Few people understand treatment and best practices when it comes to eating disorders — including health professionals. I know this as someone who works with eating disorders first-hand. But the same can also be said about disordered eating. 

In a culture that glamorizes eating disorder symptomatology (restriction, weight loss), it can be difficult, if not impossible, to separate which pieces belong to an eating disorder and which belong to diet culture. Fat-positive Ragen Chastain has previously said that we prescribe to fat people what we diagnose in thin people. And though fat people are also diagnosed with eating disorders including Anorexia Nervosa, this is pretty true. 

We may look aghast at an emaciated woman whose circulation is so poor her feet have turned purple and her face as sunken in, yet we feel it’s perfectly acceptable to encourage the same habits and behaviours in someone occupying a fat body, including semi-starvation and restriction, over-exercising, calorie counting, and the use of Bulimia-like medical devices. You know, the types of tactics used to entertain people on The Biggest Loser

How to Stop Restricting in Intuitive Eating

How to Stop Restricting in Intuitive Eating

Whether you’re new to intuitive eating or have been at it for a while, I think you’re going to benefit from today’s discussion about (unconscious or unrealized) restriction. I’ve received many questions and comments lately that all revolve around restriction and today I'm digging deep into it to shed some light on where you're limiting yourself. 

For example:

…You want to eat a plate of vegetables, but doing so makes you feel “virtuous” — and triggers you to eat something you deem “bad”, “unhealthy,” or “indulgent.” 

…You don’t want to deprive yourself of sweets, but you don’t feel satisfied by the amount of sugar you’re eating until you feel you’ve overdone it. 

…You’re trying to create new health habits and behaviours, but your mind is always rebelling or resisting these changes. 

How to Move Away From Wanting Weight Loss in Intuitive Eating

How to Move Away From Wanting Weight Loss in Intuitive Eating

Okay, I want to become an intuitive eater, but how do I shelve the weight loss goals? And why should I?

I’ve given a lot of thought about this both personally and professionally. On one hand, moving away from weight loss goals, the oh-so-degrading “body goals”, and so on can feel impossibly hard. 

I want you to take a moment to acknowledge that, and to know that I acknowledge it, too. It is tough, especially when it seems like everybody and your neighbour is on a diet, a new eating plan, trying to “eat clean”, or some variant of the above. 

Just because you’ve committed to intuitive eating doesn’t mean you automatically stop wanting the things you’ve always wanted. It doesn’t mean you will automatically love your body. It doesn’t equate to an automatic, amazing relationship with food.