The Non-Diet Approach

Q: What is the non-diet approach?

A: The non diet approach is a philosophy and lifestyle for feeding and eating based on making food choices using a hunger fullness scale rather than a restricted calorie and or portioned diet plan. It is appropriate for children and adults.  In theory, this is the way we eat as infants, using hunger and fullness when breast feeding or bottle-feeding.


Q: What is a hunger fullness scale?

A: This is a scale from zero to ten that helps someone rate their individual feelings according to the descriptions. Zero is starving, Five is neutral and ten is thanksgiving full. For instance, a number seven is equal to full. One would stop here when they have had enough food to keep them satiated for the next three to four hours.


Q: Are all people able to identify when they are hungry and or full? It seems that Americans have trouble stopping when full.

A: We are learning that some people may have hormone issues that prevent them from feeling full. But there are tools to help someone who is having difficulty identifying feeling full. I recommend the person stop before feeling stuffed and even before they think they are full. It is also helpful to get up half way through a meal and walk around. Checking in with belly fullness is easier when you get up from the table.


Q: Can people lose weight using the non-diet approach?

A: Yes, you can lose weight especially if you are a late night eater or someone who eats for emotional comfort. Many people change their relationship with food and feel freed from yo yo dieting.


Q: Are there any good resources to help them people learn more about this approach?

A: Two of my favorite authors are Geneen Roth and Ellyn Satter. My favorite book is titled Intuitive Eating By Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. I am currently working on a book on how to raise your children using this philosophy. Listeners can become educated on my blogs and


If you make resolutions, vow to choose these:

Vow to:

Take One Step at a Time.

Are you thinking about your 2012 resolutions? Consider this: Rather than making brash diet resolutions, make small changes in your intake instead to prevent the feeling of deprivation or a potential binge. For example, if you are feeling guilty from over-consuming during the holidays, identify one thing you can change. Make it a small change and start today rather than waiting until January 1st. Perhaps you decide to decrease your dinner portion by 25%. Do this for 1 week and then add another modification on week 2, such as enjoying one cookie after lunch rather than 4 after dinner. Remember that moderation is key when it comes to your nutritional intake and setting health goals—and achieving them with ease.


Eat Like You Have Diabetes.

There are 70 million American children and adults at risk for diabetes. Don’t let it be you. Eating consistent meals and snacks that incorporate a blend of wholesome carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats (MUFA’s and Omega 3 FA’s) will leave you feeling full longer, prevent a hormone rollercoaster and eventually aid in consuming less and depositing less body fat. Vow to eat mixed meals with an average of 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal.

Feed Yourself.

Don’t starve yourself with endless fad cleanses and one-meal-a-day dinner diets. Rather than skipping meals and slowing your resting metabolic rate, eat every 3 to 4 hours. If your stomach is grumbling at the start of a meal, you are more likely to overeat or even binge once your plate arrives. Worse yet, overeating and/or binging at the end of the day results in the consumption of more calories than had you eaten from breakfast until dinner. Vow to feed yourself regular meals and snacks to ultimately be a healthier you.


Center Before Meals.

Take a deep yoga breath and practice a simple mindful meditation before each meal. This will help you to relax and to separate your eating experience from your hectic day. You will be able to better recognize your fullness cues and, more importantly, to provide your brain with the opportunity to be psychologically satisfied with the food you have eaten and experienced. Vow to practice this form of “centering” daily to prevent over-consuming, decrease emotional snacking and develop a healthier relationship with food and eating.


Other Recommended Resolutions:

Vow to become a mindful eater.

Vow to put yourself & your health first.

Vow to love your body.

Follow my additional recommended resolutions 12/31/2011 on twitter @MomDishesItOut.