Infuse Infuse 10 December 2019 | Page 33

"Diets do not work and eating a more balanced variety of food is more important" The HAES approach recognises that body weight is determined by many internal and external factors and that changes to weight are not simply a matter of willpower. It acknowledges that the experience of a formerly larger-bodied person is fundamentally different (physically, metabolically and experientially) from an effortlessly smaller-bodied person, and that the behaviours required to sustain weight losses among this group often conflict with ‘healthy lifestyle advice’. "[Dietetic counselling] made me realise how unhealthy my internal dialogue around food was" Health-oriented size accepting approaches offer an alternative to hyper-focus on weight control and energy intake. They support adults to engage in health- enhancing eating habits prompted by their body cues and a desire for self- nourishment. Sometimes this comes with weight change, but often it does not, making body acceptance work a necessary part of HAES nutrition counselling. As dietitians, we must ask ourselves ‘what style of service is this client seeking?’ with every new client/patient that walks into our practice. We need to have good working knowledge of both weight centric and size-accepting modalities and allow clients to choose the right path for them - even if that means referring out. My research found that having a health focus was superior to a weight control focus for supporting dietary variety in Australian adults, and that HAES dietitians are effective conduits for increasing body acceptance among women. In addition, we’ve found that dietetics clients have a preference for nutrition counselling rather than nutrition education. That is, they’re seeking someone to support them through ongoing lifestyle challenges, not just a one-time visit to receive facts and advice. © Dietitian Connection LEARN MORE: @FionaWiller 33 @fionawiller Infuse | December 2019