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There is no one "right way" to eat
Dieting keeps us stuck in a rigid, perfectionistic mindset that causes us to believe there is only one way to eat, says the wellness coach. This, she says, can chew at our self worth.
“We’re all unique and we all have different needs, and dieting doesn’t address that, but intuitive eating does, or a more intuitive lifestyle does, because you recognize that we’re all an individual and we all have different needs,” she says.
Embrace the idea that ‘all bodies are good bodies’
Thinness simply is not in everyone’s genetics, and that’s ok, explains Vina-Baltsas.
“To me and the work that I do, it’s important that clients have a more body-neutral approach in that all bodies are good bodies, and people of all sizes have gifts they can offer the world,” she says.
What people often don’t realize, she says, is that dieting is causing their weight gain.
“They think there is something they are doing wrong that is causing them to continue to weight cycle,” she says, “when in reality, it’s the dieting and the restriction that’s causing that.”
Restricting your food intake with dieting can lead to overeating, she says, and this can become a vicious cycle.
“It’s just part of the process and that’s something that’s important for people to realize,” she says.
Body acceptance is freedom
The way we feel about our bodies impacts the foods we choose to eat, explains Vina-Baltsas. It’s simple: When you love your body, you take better care of it.
The wellness coach is not obese, but she isn’t thin either. She says her health has dramatically improved nonetheless. She no longer has high triglycerides like she once did, and her blood pressure and blood sugar are normal.
How will you know when you’ve learned to accept your body?
“You’re no longer in that mode of obsessing all the time about what you look like, what you just ate at your last meal,” Vina-Baltsas says. “You’re not counting the calories in your head.”
She says intuitive eating has freed her from her obsession with food.
“It’s a beautiful place,” Vina-Baltsas says. “It’s freedom. It’s knowing my value regardless of what the scale says.”
How to get started with intuitive eating
- Forget the number on the scale: Freedom cannot be found when you’re focusing on a number, because that number will guide your food choices and will keep you in a perpetual cycle of dieting.
- Stop the blame game: People who struggle with their weight often feel that it is their fault. Blaming yourself rips away at your self esteem and perpetuates the dieting cycle.
- Find your own way: Dieting keeps us stuck in a rigid, perfectionistic mindset. Recognize that you are an individual with your own unique needs.
- Remember that ‘all bodies are good bodies’: Thinness is not in everyone’s genetics, and bigger bodies aren’t necessarily unhealthy. That’s why it’s better to take a weight-neutral approach to health.
- Body acceptance is freedom: The way we feel about our bodies impacts the foods we choose. It’s simple: When you love and accept your body, you take better care of it.
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