The Non Diet Approach

The non-diet approach (like Intuitive Eating) offers an alternative to dieting and can help you to have a healthy relationship with food and your body. It has been shown to have positive health benefits not only physically but mentally too. 

Please read on to find out more about why the non-diet approach may be perfect for you. 

Diets don’t work

In an attempt to lose weight or ‘be healthy’ you may have tried the latest diet (eg, keto, Intermittent fasting or Weight Watchers®) and probably saw some short term results. But were you able to sustain these results five years down the track? And if you did, what was the cost to you both physically and mentally?

Diet culture will lead you to believe that you are to blame for failing, but it is the diet that failed you!

Scientific evidence shows that dieting does not lead to lasting weight loss or health benefits and is therefore not helpful for the majority of people with weight concerns. [1]
Long-term follow-up studies show that people who embark on diets and/or exercise programs to lose weight regain virtually all of the weight that was lost during treatment, regardless of whether they maintain their diet or exercise program. [1, 2]

Dieting is also a known risk factor for developing disordered eating patterns (eg, restricting, bingeing, preoccupation with food) and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. It is also associated with poor physical and mental health outcomes over time. Dieting is usually unsustainable and damages our relationship with food and our bodies.

Furthermore, as weight is not a behaviour, it is not an appropriate target for behaviour change. [3] Instead, at Be Mindful Nutrition, we help to equip you with the skills and confidence to make lasting behaviour changes to improve your health and well-being.

The Non-Diet Approach

At Be Mindful Nutrition I utilise the non-diet approach to support you to eat mindfully and intuitively. In line with the Health At Every Size® principles, the non-diet approach eliminates the pressure to eat for the goal of weight loss. Instead, you will learn to reconnect and tune in to your internal wisdom enabling you to eat in response to appetite, satisfaction and taste cues; something which many of us have lost the ability to do.

This evidence-based approach equips you with the skills to feel empowered to make eating choices from a place of self-care and respect for your body. At Be Mindful Nutrition we work with you to help identify which health-related behaviours you can adopt to improve your mental and physical health, whilst also breaking free from the dieting cycle.

The non-diet approach is relevant for a range of diet-related concerns including weight concerns, yo-yo dieting, eating disorders, body shame, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome/digestive problems, coeliac disease and Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

Benefits of the Non-Diet Approach

Clinical trials [3, 5] show that a non-diet approach can have extensive benefits including:

  • Decreasing blood pressure
  • Decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Reducing depression
  • Increasing physical activity levels and fitness
  • Increasing self-esteem and body image
  • Promotes long term weight stability
  • Maintain long-term behaviour change (whereas the diet approach does not)


These studies show that non-diet approaches achieve these health outcomes more successfully than weight loss treatments. They also achieve these outcomes without the contraindications associated with a weight focus such as food and body preoccupation, poor self-esteem and body dissatisfaction. [3, 4] 

To find out more about the dietitian services that I offer to clients in Perth and online at Be Mindful Nutrition:

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References:

1.      Mann T, Tomiyama AJ, Westling E, Lew AM, Samuels B, Chatman J: Medicare’s Search for Effective Obesity Treatments: Diets Are Not the Answer. Am Psychol. 2007, 62: 220-233. 10.1037/0003-066X.62.3.220.
2.      Miller WC: How effective are traditional dietary and exercise interventions for weight loss?. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999, 31: 1129-1134. 10.1097/00005768-199908000-00008.
3.      Bacon L, Aphramor L. Weight science: evaluating the evidence for a paradigm shift.Nutr J2011;10:9 
4.      Clifford, Dawn et al. A Systematic Review of Non-Diet Approaches on Attitudes, Behaviors, and Health Outcomes: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume 47, Issue 2, 143 – 155.e1
5.      Bacon L, Stern JS, Van Loan MD, Keim NL. Size acceptance and intuitive eating improve health for obese, female chronic dieters. Journal of the American Dietetic Association