Intuitive eating: Learning to trust your body, ditch the scale

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NEW YORK — As Thanksgiving brings in the holiday season, for many Americans it triggers anxiety about weight gain. But a new approach to good nutrition tells us to just trust your body and forget about the scale.

Nutritionist Alissa Rumsey wants her clients to ditch their diets.

“It’s dieting that has caused you to feel out of control around food.”

Instead, she believes the better way to health and wellness is intuitive eating, which means trusting the signals from your body, rather than external dieting rules.

“Our body biologically is wired to know how much we need to eat, and what we need to eat. As we get older we tend to lose sight of that.”

Rumsey gives clients permission to eat what they want, as long as there’s a healthy balance. The program is not for weight loss. But the idea is, if you stop restricting the foods you crave, you’re less likely to binge.

“You just get used to the fact, okay ice cream is going to be there. I can have it if I want it and you know what, I don’t really feel like it tonight.”

Photographer Karen Obrist is one of her clients, and is trying to unlearn food habits from her childhood.

“I always kind of went through life finishing whatever was in front of me. I would go to the store and I would get a snack, like a bag of chips and I would eat the whole thing.”

She says intuitive eating has helped her relax around the foods she once thought of as forbidden and recognize when she’s full.

“It just has really helped me feel good about myself and feel comfortable in my skin, and be able to eat and enjoy food and not be so hard on myself.”

Rumsey also tells her clients to throw away their scales. She says rather than focus on a number – focusing on how your body feels will lead to healthier decisions.

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