"Women who accept their bodies the way they are seem to be more likely to follow principles of healthy eating, new research shows.

The findings suggest that women's typical reasons for changing their diet – a dissatisfaction with their bodies – may backfire [...].

“The message that women often hear is that some degree of body dissatisfaction is healthy because it could help them strive to take care of their bodies,” Tylka said.

“But it may be just the opposite: an appreciation of your body is needed to really adopt better eating habits.”

 

Attuned Eating

The summer of 2006 brought us a a media buzz about what we call attuned eating, or what is now called Intuitive Eating. It confirms what we have been saying--that ending dieting once and for all is the most effective path to a healthy weight and no eating problems.

The buzz started with American Idol runner up Katherine McPhee’s announcement that she is recovering from bulimia and has been helped by the intuitive eating approach. Much research supports how powerful intuitive eating can be.

Intuitive Eaters Have Lower BMIs - Women who accept their bodies and eat intuitively have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than those who diet due to body dissatisfaction. 8/06

Intuitive Eaters Have Higher Self Esteem - This same research, published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology,  also indicated that intuitive eaters have higher self esteem, are more optimistic and have better coping abilities. 8/06

Again, Lower BMIs for Intuitive Eaters - Intuitive eaters had more pleasure and enjoyment when eating, lower BMI scores, fewer dieting behaviors and less anxiety. American Journal of Health Promotion, May/June 2006.

Those Eating Intuitively Have Significantly Improved Health - No surprise that this improved health was accomplished without significant weight loss, since much research shows health can be improved without weight loss. Restrained eaters initially lost weight, but at one year follow-up, had regained all the weight they had lost, and showed no health improvements. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2005 Jun;105(6):929-36.

Compare the above to this:

More Proof That Getting Off That Diet Will Help Your Weight and Eating - Those who diet are three times more likely to become overweight--even if that dieting is simply "eating healthy with the intent to lose weight"!!!!! Moving away from dieting actually decreases risk of obesity and eating disorders. Journal of the American Dietetic Association; 2006 Apr;106:559-68.