Have you listened to your body lately? Is your perspective on food clouded by years of dieting and food myths? Or maybe you’ve found yourself saying, “I was good all day, and then I binged.” If so, four free Intuitive Eating workshops to be held in Starkville this month might help you stop obsessing and start enjoying a more consistently healthy lifestyle.
Free to everyone, the 7-8:30 p.m. sessions taking place Oct. 7, 14, 21 and 28 in 324 Colvard Student Union on the Mississippi State campus are based on the book “Intuitive Eating,” by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch (St. Martin’s Griffin, third edition, 2012).
Certified Intuitive Eating counselor Mandy Conrad of the university’s Health Education and Wellness Department said the workshops can help participants improve their approach to food and get back in touch with their bodies’ needs.
“Intuitive eating is really eating based on what your body is telling you,” said Conrad Monday. “The body’s going to tell you when it’s hungry, and it lets you know when it’s full. So much of the time, however, chronic dieting — which we see so much of the time — is teaching you to stop listening to the body signals and just follow a set a guidelines.”
“Good” food, “bad” food
In her position with MSU, Conrad sees many individuals who are unhappy about their relationship with food.
“They’re overwhelmed by what they’re supposed to be eating and carry a great deal of guilt about what they are eating,” the Eupora native said. As a consequence, some resort to chronic dieting.
“That doesn’t set people up for success,” Conrad emphasized. “It teaches the body to retain more fat when the diet is over. It increases cravings and interferes with the body’s own natural cues. It erodes an individual’s confidence and trust in what their body is telling them.”
With the “Intuitive Eating” book as a foundation, the workshops are designed to help combat labeling foods as “good” or “bad,” at helping participants shed some of that guilt.
Through the Intuitive Eating process, participants are less likely to internalize modern culture’s “thin ideal” or deal with emotional eating or disordered eating issues, she explained. They also are more likely to eat a variety of foods, have improved self-esteem and gain satisfaction and pleasure from eating. Research has shown intuitive eaters tend to have lower body mass indexes, improved triglycerides and cholesterol levels, she added.
According to Conrad, the workshops focus on several common issues, such as self-acceptance and body image, and self-restrictions or -deprivations of certain foods that lead to overeating or binging.
The workshops will explore 10 primary principles:
Mind and body
The four Intuitive Eating workshops are open to females and males.
“We think of dieting, and we think of women as the target audience, but we know more and more men are turning to diets and that the media is targeting harder with that population,” Conrad remarked.
The registered dietitian is passionate about helping others create better relationships with food, mind and body. She’s seen too many individuals frustrated by the guilt they carry around related to food choices and eating habits.
“It’s really inspired me to find something that offers a little different approach, a more effective path to healthier choices,” Conrad said.
Workshops are free, but registration is required. To find out more, email Conrad at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
You can help your community
Quality, in-depth journalism is essential to a healthy community. The Dispatch brings you the most complete reporting and insightful commentary in the Golden Triangle, but we need your help to continue our efforts. Please consider subscribing to our website for only $2.30 per week to help support local journalism and our community.