Feel good about food and your body, Without all the Guilt
Hi! I’m Britt Richardson, a Vermont-based registered dietitian who loves food and lives without restrictions or food rules. I was born to help you learn to do that, too!
As a non-diet dietitian with a science-based approach, I use a weight-inclusive approach to help you break free from dieting and diet culture. This means I coach you to build behaviors that support physical, mental, and emotional well-being without focusing on weight.
Eating is about so much more than getting fuel in our bodies. Sharing a meal strengthens our social connections with one another. Food helps us celebrate our cultural traditions and pass them down to the next generation. Cooking and eating involve experimentation, creativity, and learning about what we really enjoy eating.
I have helped clients across the U.S. rediscover the pleasure, joy, and satisfaction of eating foods they truly love.
As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, I specialize in Intuitive Eating and eating disorder recovery. I help you foster a healthy relationship with food and your body, so that eating is not a source of stress, anxiety or shame, but an act of daily self care. Online nutrition counseling appointments are available now.
My intuitive eating blog is filled with tips and advice on ditching diets, making peace with food, and finding health using a non-diet approach.
You are not alone in your struggles with food and body image! If connecting to others is helpful, consider joining my Body Image Support Group. This community helps nurture body respect and acceptance in a safe, confidential group of like-minded folks.
I’m so glad you’re here and can’t wait to connect.
What is Intuitive Eating?
Intuitive Eating (IE) is a compassionate approach to self-care, eating, nutrition, and movement that promotes physical and mental health. It helps you find pleasure in food and the joy of moving your body. Through Intuitive Eating, you can learn to connect and respond to your body’s natural, biological signals, including hunger, fullness, satisfaction and emotional need.
There are ten guiding principles in Intuitive Eating (see below), which I describe in detail in my blog post The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. They are not a checklist. Together they create a framework for achieving greater attunement with your body and its needs. Intuitive Eating is a practice, and it will take time to master. But it’s worth it.
Being able to respond to what we REALLY need allows us to reap the health and wellness benefits that intuitive eaters enjoy, like better self-esteem and less emotional eating.
What are the 10 Intuitive Eating Principles?
Principle 1: Reject the Diet Mentality
The diet and weight loss industry make billions (yes, that’s a ‘b’) each year from convincing you that your body will be healthier, more attractive, more worthy of love and a whole line of other BS by buying their products.
Perpetuating these lies keeps the dollars rolling in and keeps you believing that you have failed when the diet stops working or when you gain weight back. You keep hoping the next diet/plan/cleanse/reset/powder/pill/surgery will be the one that works for good. Then it doesn’t, leaving you searching for the next plan.
STOP THIS MADNESS!
Rejecting the diet mentality is what will give you true food and body freedom.
Principle 2: Honor Your Hunger
Eat adequately throughout the day. Ignoring hunger cues because it’s not “time” to eat or we “shouldn’t” be hungry can lead us to feeling ravenous. Making nutrition decisions in a “hangry” state leaves us open to making less desirable choices and episodes of overeating. Giving yourself adequate energy, carbs, proteins, and other nutrients when hunger signals begin helps you rebuild trust in your body’s inherent wisdom about what and how much to eat.
Principle 3: Make Peace with Food
Remove the rules about which foods are forbidden or allowed. When we tell ourselves a food is off limits, it becomes increasingly appealing, like the bad boy parents tell their teen not to date. We crave the forbidden food more, and when we have it, look out! We can’t get enough. We may feel out of control around that food or binge it, leaving us feeling shame and guilt. When we give up the food rules and call a truce, the forbidden foods have no power over us.
Principle 4: Challenge the Food Police
That feeling of satisfaction when you’ve eaten “right” and shame when you haven’t – that’s the Food Police blowing their proverbial whistles. These judgemental thoughts are not helping you respond to your body’s needs or eat with intuition. Questioning diet culture’s arbitrary rules is what principle 4 is all about, so that you can tune in to what really helps you feel your best.
Principle 5: Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Food that satisfies us sends off pleasure signals in our brains – an evolutionary adaptation that helps us seek out food to keep us alive. When we deny ourselves the foods that truly satisfy us because of diet culture messaging, we miss out on one of life’s most basic pleasures. Intuitive eating can help bring the joy and satisfaction back into eating.
Principle 6: Feel Your Fullness
Dieting and restrictive eating practices disrupt the body’s natural signals for hunger and fullness. Intuitive eating helps you reestablish trust in your body’s ability to tell you when it has had enough. You can re-learn how to respond to fullness in a mindful way, so that eating until comfortably full becomes the norm.
Principle 7: Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness
Building skills for coping with difficult emotions, boredom, stress, or loneliness is part of pursuing a balanced life. If you have relied on food to soothe yourself when mad or anxious, you are not alone. Food can provide temporary relief or distraction, but often is not the long-term solution to the problem at hand. Becoming more attuned with your emotions and needs can be helpful to shift away from eating as a coping tool.
Principle 8: Respect Your Body
Recognize that your body is your “forever home” – it’s the only one you’ll ever have. Nourish it. Treat it with respect and kindness. Accept that your body’s size, like your height or shoe size, is determined largely by your genetics. Work towards a place of body acceptance so that you can reject the need to diet to change your body and truly feel better about who you are.
Principle 9: Movement—Feel the Difference
Finding movement that feels positive not punishing can make all the difference in keeping your motivation to move high. Redefine what physical activity means to you and engage in movement that makes you feel fantastic.
Principle 10: Honor Your Health—Gentle Nutrition
Find a balance between the foods that support your health and those that give you great pleasure and satisfaction – some will do both! All foods can fit into a healthy eating pattern, so focus on the big picture. Your eating habits over the long haul are what really matter, not your choices in just one meal or snack.