In a world inundated with nutrition information and a array of diets to choose from and the pursuit of a certain body size, it's crucial to explore alternative approaches that prioritize holistic well-being. In this blog, we delve into the limitations of weight-centric healthcare and nutrition interventions, while shining a spotlight on the benefits of non-diet nutrition strategies, particularly those associated with weight neutral approach.
The Pitfalls of Weight-Centric Approaches:
Traditional weight-centric healthcare often fixates on the number on the scale, overlooking the complexity of health. Our medical system can be so concerned about weight that they lose focus of the actual health concern. Have you ever gone to see a medical doctor for a medical concern and they make the whole appointment about weight? This narrow focus can lead to various issues:
Limited Health Assessment: Relying solely on weight neglects crucial indicators like body composition, fitness, and lifestyle, providing an incomplete picture of overall health. Research has shown that when we control for factors such as stress and socio-economic status that weight really doesn’t have much to do with health. Weight is a correlation not a causation to health and that is a very important distinction.
Stigmatization and Discrimination: Weight-centric approaches contribute to weight stigma and discrimination, fostering negative stereotypes and impacting mental and emotional well-being. Often, I hear that if an individual feels the effects of weight stigma and/or weight discrimination, they are less likely to seek out necessary medical interventions as a result.
Unrealistic Beauty Standards: The obsession with weight perpetuates unrealistic beauty ideals, leading to body dissatisfaction and unhealthy behaviors. Here at Authentically You, we truly believe in the beauty of everyone’s uniqueness, including body appearance. There isn’t one person out there who looks identical to someone else. This should be celebrated, not criticized.
Ineffective Long-Term Outcomes: Diets often result in short-term weight loss with limited sustainability, promoting a cycle of weight regain and potential health risks. The human body and metabolism are complex. If diets worked, we’d all have our answers by now… but we don’t. What we do know if engaging in diets holds many risk both physical and emotional. Chronic weight cycling increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, thyroid and gastrointestinal disorders (just to name a few). Emotionally, engaging in diets increases the risk of developing disordered eating patterns, anxiety and depression.
So what’s the answer? A truly holistic approach that support physical and emotional wellbeing.
Our dietitian team at Authentically You fully supports weight inclusive and food neutral approach to health. The current weight centric healthcare system can lead to several problems and limitations such as limited health assessment, discrimination, lack of access to appropriate health care, long term harmful, medical effects of yo-yo dieting, and cultural insensitivity. Our team of dietitians provide medical nutrition therapy for all medical concerns in a supportive, function approach looking into the root cause of chronic disease, nutritional deficiencies, absorption concerns or compromised gut health, all while not focusing on weight or the scale but on overall wellbeing (physical, mental, spiritual, and cultural). We do not support non medical food restrictions or food eliminations but use all foods, herbs, supplements to truly nourish the body. We use targeted nutrition approaches to deeply nourish the body and improve symptoms of common health alignments all while supporting health at every size. We use modalities of mindfulness; lifestyle change; and individualized nutrition care to promote health while rejecting diet culture.
Our unique functional approach focuses on promoting a positive and holistic relationship with food and one's body, rather than emphasizing traditional dieting or weight loss. It promotes the idea that health is multifaceted and goes beyond the number on the scale.
Our team takes unique approaches to the common modalities of Health and every size, intuitive eating, mindful eating to create fully individualized care. We work to meet you were you’re at to work on behavioral changes to your relationship to food, focusing on sustainable habits rather than short term fixes. We support size diversity to create an inclusive and support environment, respecting that each individual requires a different medical nutrition intervention. We challenge diet culture so individuals can break free from disorganized eating patterns and unrealistic standards to foster a more balanced and sustainable approach to nutrition.
In the pursuit of true health, it's time to move beyond the scale and embrace a more inclusive, holistic approach. Non-diet nutrition interventions, coupled with a rejection of weight-centric norms, empower individuals to prioritize overall well-being, cultivate positive relationships with food, and embark on a journey toward lasting health.