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What is ‘normal eating’ during Eating Disorder Awareness Week (Feb 23rd-28th)?

From: WeightMatters,

What is ‘normal eating’ during Eating Disorder Awareness Week (Feb 23rd-28th)?

Hi everyone,

During 'Eating Disorder Awareness Week' I believe it is important that we all consider the way that we eat. Do you eat a healthy diet? Or do you eat to relieve stress or to help push away difficult emotions? Are you fearful of the way you eat - do you have good and bad foods? Perhaps you are always anxious about what you eat just in case you get fat? Whatever your relationship with food, take a moment this week to become more mindful about how and why you eat. Does anything need to change????

Here is a definition of 'normal eating' from Ellyn Satter ..... enjoy food my friends, and tell me what you've learnt from some mindful munching!

Definition of "Normal" Eating

  • Normal eating is being able to eat when you are hungry and continue eating until you are satisfied.
  • It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it - not just stop eating because you think you should.
  • Normal eating is being able to use some moderate constraint on your food selection to get the right food, but not being so restrictive that you miss out on pleasurable foods.
  • Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good.
  • Normal eating is three meals a day, or it can be choosing to munch along the way.
  • It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful when they are fresh.
  • Normal eating is overeating at times: feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. It is also under-eating at times and wishing you had more.
  • Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating.
  • Normal eating takes some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.

In short, normal eating is:

Flexible and varied, in response to your emotions, your schedule, your hunger and your proximity to food.

Source: Adapted from How to Get Your Kid to Eat… But not too much (pp 69-70) by Ellyn Satter

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James Lamper is the founder of WeightMatters. His understanding and empathy of the struggle that people experience with weight-related issues, is the bedrock of the culture that is WeightMatters.

With 20 years of study and experience in the fields of psychology, diet and exercise he knows a lot about weight. He understands weight.

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