Welcome to

Beyond the Food Blog

A catalog of evidence-based articles written by Stephanie Dodier Clinical Nutritionist on all topics supporting the non-diet approach to health. 

Welcome to

Beyond the Food Blog

A catalog of evidence-based articles written by Stephanie Dodier Clinical Nutritionist on all topics supporting the non-diet approach to health. 

Pick A Topic You Need Help With

Our Most Recent Articles

PRO Series: My Anti-diet Business Journey – S2 EP2

PRO Series: My Anti-diet Business Journey – S2 EP2

My Anti-diet Business Journey

One of the frequent questions from health coaches who encounter my work in the non-diet approach for the first time is this:

How do I make money as a non-diet coach?

I get it. I had the same question 6 years ago when I first came to the world of anti-diet health coaching. If we don’t tell people what to eat when to eat and how to eat, what will they pay us for? Right?

To help answer this question, I’d like to give you an inside view into my anti-diet health coaching business more precisely what I wish I knew before starting my anti-diet health coaching business.

In today’s episode, I’m going to share with you what I wish I knew before starting my anti-diet health coaching business.

What you’ll learn listening to this episode about my anti-diet business journey:

  • How I started my non-diet business
  • What I wished I knew before starting my non-diet business
  • My top 10 lessons over the last 6 years
  • My biggest learning in this non-diet health coaching business

Mentioned in the show:

Beyond The Food PRO Mentorship Program

Free Intuitive Eating Guide

PRO Series – Free Training & resources

PRO Podcast Series – Full Listing

read more
Non-Diet Approach for Health Coaching

Non-Diet Approach for Health Coaching

When I first started in my nutrition practice the term “non-diet approach” didn’t even cross my mind. “Anti-diet approach” didn’t even exist.  Unbeknown to me, I was practicing the “diet approach to nutrition” simply because that’s what was taught in health & nutrition school.

Fast forward close to 10 years now, a lot have changed. The non-diet approach is growing rapidly, so has the anti-diet approach and intuitive eating is booming.

So, let’s discover what is the non-diet approach.

Non-Diet Approach for health coaching

What is the non-diet approach


Core values of the non-diet approach

The pillars of the non-diet approach

Non-diet approach training for professionals

Non-diet Mentorship Program

What is the non-diet approach?

The non-diet approach to health coaching & nutrition is the exact opposite of dieting. It recognizes that food, eating and body weight aren’t the problem to be fixed. It’s a weight-neutral approach to health instead of focusing on a weight-oriented outcome. This approach focused on all the other factors that can impact one’s health beyond body weight. In other words, the ultimate goal is to support the patients to become their own experts at their bodies.

The Going Beyond The Food Method™️ is our proprietary methodology that helps women to recover from diet culture and learn the non-diet way of life. Firstly, our 4 pillars are Body Wisdom, Body Trust, Body Respect, and Body Neutrality. Secondly, our framework is composed of 5 steps process: Intuitive eating, Body Neutrality, Self-Coaching, Emotional Intelligence, and Mindfulness.

Core values of the non-diet approach

The non-diet approach to health coaching and nutrition holds key core values:  Fundamentally, it recognizes that diets do not work. It’s holistic in nature. It is focused on the Why not the What,  it’s focused on finding solution that are based on love and compassion. Moreover, it believes that all humans and bodies are worthy.

Non-diet-approach for health coaching

Diets don’t work

A  2016 study by researchers at UCLA studied 40,420 adult participants in the most recent U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Researchers looked at the participants’ health as measured by six accepted metrics (not including BMI). These metrics are blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose, insulin resistance, and C-reactive protein.

The study found that 47% of people classified as overweight by BMI and 29% of those qualified as obese were healthy based on at least five of those other metrics.

Meanwhile, 31% of normal-weight people were unhealthy by two or more of the same measures.

A number of research studies show that weight loss is not necessary to improve physical health. Studies have also found that fitness is more predictive for mortality than weight. This study defined ‘fit’ as 3-4 hrs per week of walking.

non-diet approach for health coaching

Source: JAMA. 1999 Oct 27;282(16):1547-53.
Note: “Fit” is not synonymous with “thin” or “lean.” That’s Diet Culture. Being fit means being in good health, especially because of regular physical movement.

Furthermore, trying to change your health status simply by losing weight has not only proven to be an ineffective approach but also carries potential negative side effects to your health. The focus on intentional weight loss via dieting can be harmful. Multiple studies demonstrate negative side effects of dieting behaviors. The three most documented negative effects are weight cycling, disordered eating, and weight stigma.

The non-diet approach for health coaching is holistic

The World Health Organization defines health as “a complete state of physical, emotional, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  The non-diet approach is a weight-neutral approach to health is based on the idea that your health status or risk level can’t be determined solely by your weight.

Instead it recognized that humans are more than a physical body: mental, emotional, spiritual and physical human bodies.

Its focus is on the WHY instead of the WHAT

The non-diet approach looks at the root cause of the behaviors. For example, when considering nutrition it considers why the individual is eating instead what the individual is eating. What we eat, how we eat and when we eat come second to why we eat.

Compassion versus fear-based threat

The non-diet approach will help the client switch his approach to health behavior to one of compassion for self. It will help form a relationship of respect towards one’s body helping the client to make choice based in love for body and self instead of fear (fear of disease, fear of weight gain, fear of other people opinion, etc…)

All humans are worthy; All bodies are worthy

The non-diet approach is grounded in the fact that all humans are worthy therefore all bodies are worthy. The non-diet recognizes the danger to one’s health when face with any stigma, discrimination or prejudice.

Therefore, the non-diet approach must be anti-discriminatory: anti-fatphobia, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-transphobia, anti-classist, non-binary, etc.

The pillars of the non-diet approach for health coaching

When practicing the non-diet approach to health and nutrition with clients, practitioners must follow a sequential order in their approach. Although adaptable in nature, some fundamental pillars must be in place

1. Investigation of belief and history

The first step is for the practitioner to have a clear understanding of the current state of their clients/ patients relationship to food and body. A number of assessments are available: Intuitive eating assessment, Body Acceptance Assessment and Dieting Impact Inventory.

Next, the practitioner will help the client understand how they go to be where they are right now using a dieting timeline. It’s very important for the patient to understand that it’s not their fault but instead diet culture.

2. Mindset & Unlearning Diet Culture

The next phase of the non-diet approach is the most important: unlearning. Unlearning the diet mindset, dogmatic beliefs about food and exercise, the thin ideal, etc..

When we trained professional inThe Going Beyond The Food Method™ our practitioners are trained in a Cognitive Behavior Therapy approach called Self-Coaching. This will be the tool they will teach their client to help them unlearn Diet Culture.

3. Attunement & Reconnecting

As the client progress in unlearning diet culture the next steps will be to help patient to reconnect with their body via body sensation. Using various mindfulness approach our graduates of our non-diet certification have a number of tools available to them to teach their client attuned with their body.

The first set of sensations we focus on with the clients are eating cues: hunger, fullness and satisfaction. Gradually, clients will be able to trust their own ability to read and interpret their innate body sensations.

4. Emotional Intelligence & Processing

As the client gets more attuned to her own innate body wisdom, the focus will shift to building skills set to process emotions & feelings. One of the most effective tools for this step is deconstruction of the eating behavior using two questions: What am I feeling? and What do I need?

The outcome of these pillars is to build emotional intelligence and shift the individual engagement with their emotions from Reacting to Responding.   

5. Empowerment & Relearning

The non-diet approach is truly beyond the food and this next pillar is the reason behind this powerful transformative process.

To help build empowerment, the process of habituation will be use to help client regain power over fear foods. Gradually reclaiming their power at first with food and naturally expanding their empowerment to other part of their life using their inner wisdom.

6. Respect & Liberation

 In this last step practitioner will support client in the process of rebuilding a relationship of respect with their own body. Engaging in body image healing using body neutrality and Health At Every Size approach to help build an inventory of health promoting behaviors.

At this point in the process client is also ready to re-engage with food using a gentle nutrition philosophy and with exercise using a joyful movement approach.

Non-diet approach training for professional

We have created a number of free non-diet approach training resources to help you begin learning more about this revolutionary health approach. Join my non-diet professional community by requesting our non-diet professional starter pack.

You can also listen to our non-diet podcast.

The non-diet approach mentorship program

The Going Beyond The Food non-diet approach mentorship program is a space where you can receive support guidance to become the best non-diet professional. It’s a program geared to refine your non-diet professional skills set and teach you the skills you need to build a successful business that can impact thousands of women. It will help you develop as a powerful leader and help other women come back to their power. You will learn how to harness your ability to support and help other women. As a result, you can impact thousands of other women and dismantle diet culture.

Anti-diet training for health coach

Non-Diet Approach FAQs



The non-diet approach to health & nutrition is the exact opposite of dieting. It recognizes that food, eating and body weight aren’t the problem to be fixed.
It’s a weight-neutral approach to health instead of focusing on a weight-oriented outcome. This approach focused on all the other factors that can impact one’s health beyond body weight. In other words, the ultimate goal is to support the patients to become their own experts at their bodies.



The non-diet approach to health and nutrition holds key core values: Fundamentally, it recognizes that diets do not work. It’s holistic in nature. It is focused on the Why not the What, it’s focused on finding solution that are based on love and compassion. Moreover, it believes that all humans and bodies are worthy.



1. Investigation of belief and history

2. Mindset & Unlearning Diet Culture

3. Attunement & Reconnecting

4. Emotional Intelligence & Processing

5. Empowerment & Relearning

6. Respect & Liberation



We have created a number of free non-diet approach training resources to help you begin learning more about this revolutionary health approach. Join my non-diet professional community by requesting our non-diet professional starter pack.

You can also listen to our non-diet podcast.



The Going Beyond The Food non-diet approach mentorship program is a space where you can receive support guidance to become the best non-diet professional. It’s a program geared to refine your non-diet professional skills set and teach you the skills you need to build a successful business that can impact thousands of women.




read more
PRO Series: The Anatomy of the Non-Diet Approach- S2 EP1

PRO Series: The Anatomy of the Non-Diet Approach- S2 EP1

non-diet approach anatomy

When I first started in my nutrition practice the term “non-diet approach” didn’t even cross my mind. “Anti-diet approach” didn’t even exist. Unbeknown to me, I was practicing the “diet approach to nutrition” simply because that’s what was taught in health & nutrition school.

Fast forward close to 10 years now and a lot have changed. The non-diet approach is growing rapidly, so has the anti-diet approach and intuitive eating is booming.

So in this episode, we will deep dive into the non-diet approach anatomy. You’ll learn:

  • What is the non-diet approach
  • Core values of the non-diet approach
  • The pillars of the non-diet approach
  • Non-diet approach training for professional
  • Non-Diet Mentorship Program

Mentioned in the show:

Beyond The Food PRO Mentorship Program

PRO Series – Free Training & resources

PRO Podcast Series – Full Listing

Health Beyond Dieting – Studies

read more
Non-Diet Business Training

Non-Diet Business Training

Non-Diet Business Training

Non-Diet Business Training is essential for any women health entrepreneurs starting their business adventure in the non-diet health approach.

Your business success means women’s learning how to ditch diet culture. Your willingness to accept that your business success means more lives transformed is key to your being successful in your professional journey.

In the same way you ask your client/patient to invest in themselves by working with you: are you investing in yourself to be successful in your business?

Non-Diet Business Training

In episode 2 of season 1 of the Pro series, we discovered why crafting a business strategy is so important to your overall business. Without the foundation of a strategy, there’s very little chance your business will grow and transform hundreds of women’s lives.

In today’s episode, we will discover the various business model available to you to create your business strategy. A business model is a framework for how you will create value. It answers fundamental questions about the problem you are going to solve, how you will solve it, and the growth opportunity within a given market.

What you’ll learn listening to this episode:

  • What is a business model
  • Why it’s important to have a business model
  • Look behind the scene of my business model
  • The one thing that most important to your business success

Mentioned in the show:

Mentorship Program
Free Intuitive Eating Guide
PRO Series – Free Training & Resources
PRO Podcast series – Full listing

read more
PRO Series: Non-Diet Business Model- S1 EP8

PRO Series: Non-Diet Business Model- S1 EP8

non-diet approach business training

Non-Diet Business Training is essential for any women health entrepreneurs starting their business adventure in the non-diet health approach.

Your business success means women’s learning how to ditch diet culture. Your willingness to accept that your business success means more lives transformed is key to your being successful in your professional journey.

In the same way, you ask your client/patient to invest in themselves by working with you: are you investing in yourself to be successful in your business?

Non-Diet Business Training

In episode 2 of season 1 of the Pro series, we discovered why crafting a business strategy is so important to your overall business. Without the foundation of a strategy, there’s very little chance your business will grow and transform hundreds of women’s lives.

In today’s episode, we will discover the various business model available to you to create your business strategy. A business model is a framework for how you will create value. It answers fundamental questions about the problem you are going to solve, how you will solve it and the growth opportunity within a given market.

What you’ll learn listening to this episode:

  • What is a business model
  • Why it’s important to have a business model
  • Look behind the scene of my business model
  • The one thing that most important to your business success

Mentioned in the show:

Mentorship Program
Free Intake Forms
PRO Series – Free Training & Resources
PRO Podcast series – Full listing

read more
Our Anti-Racism Commitment

Our Anti-Racism Commitment

For most of my life, I have been one of those liberal inclusive feminists who believe that I wasn’t racist. I could have listed many reasons to demonstrate how I wasn’t racist.  That’s until last weekend.

And then someone sent me this quote:

“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”
— Angela Davis

Anti-Racism

I was well verse in thin privilege but not for one minute did I thought about white privileges. That ignorance is what hurts black people.

I’m sorry. I am listening. I am learning.

To the black people in our community, you are in my heart and prayers but most importantly, my actions.

What am I doing?

I’m being a student: this is not my area of expertise so I found teachers. Just like a toddler taking her first step I’m trying, making mistakes, and learning. I stumble and stand up again.

I’m investigating how my white privilege is showing up… Neither I’m staying silent while I’m learning because our silence as a white people is complicit in perpetuating systemic racism. I’m speaking to my followers, students, clients, and YOU right here right now.

I am leading.

I’m committed to the work of anti-racism. As the CEO of Beyond The Food I’m committing this company to be anti-racist.

Here’s a few tools I’d like to share with you on anti-racism

1.  I discovered this site that answered all of my questions and give me next steps . Anti-Racist Resources Center

2. I watched some movies and documentaries that were mind-blowing: 13th on Netflix, Selma on iTunes & Harriet on iTtunes.

3. I donate to The Loveland Foundation that supports access to therapy for black women and girls.

4. I want to share with you my favorite teacher, Rachel E. Cargle. Go watch her Public Address.   

read more
Business Transition to Non-Diet Model

Business Transition to Non-Diet Model

business transition

The business transition from traditional model of nutrition and health to the non-diet model can be scary but also can be life-changing.

As with everything in life, how you approach the need for you to transition your business will make the journey scary, filled with anxiety and uncertainties OR you will make the journey pleasurable, filled with learnings and growth both personally and professionally.

I want you to take a moment and reflect upon your client and patient for a moment. When they come to you and you stand in front of them presenting Intuitive eating and the non-diet approach to health.

Does your client feel scared at the thought of not dieting? Hell yess…

Do they feel anxious about potentially gaining weight? Hell yess…

Are they uncomfortable with the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen? Hell yess…

Most of your clients will trust you and move forward following your guidance. Leaning into you for leadership. They will face their fears because the pain of staying into diet culture is greater than the one of facing their fears.

This episode is for all of you, Health PRO’s that know that making the transition to non-diet model is the right thing to do but are crippled with fear. I ask you to be as courageous as the people who daily face their fear and ditch diet culture, make peace with their body and overcome fatphobia.

Rachel’s story of transition

The best way for me to express the possibilities that are in front of you is not with teaching but instead with inspiration. The best way I know to inspire is with lived experience.

I’m welcoming a colleague, a good friend, and mentee, Rachel Molenda. Rachel will be sharing her lived experience as she transitioned her business over the last 12 months to the non-diet model.

What you’ll learn listening to this episode:

  • Rachel’s origin story
  • How her own relationship to food led her to this work.
  • Rachel did a traditional model very successfully
  • Rachel shared how she was trying to be someone else
  • “I was living my life as a fiction” moment that changed everything
  • The business transition step by step
  • The transition culminates with the launch The BreakFree method
  • Right now, Rachel is learning intuitive living

Connect with our guest

Rachel’s website
Rachel’s Instagram
Rachel’s Podcast
Break Free Method

Mentioned in the show:

Mentorship Program
Free Intake Forms
PRO Series – Free Training & Resources
PRO Podcast series – Full listing

read more
PRO Series: Business Transition- S1 EP7

PRO Series: Business Transition- S1 EP7

intuitive eating business transition

The business transition from the traditional model of nutrition and health to the non-diet model can be scary but also can be life-changing.

As with everything in life, how you approach the need for you to transition your business will make the journey scary, filled with anxiety and uncertainties OR you will make the journey pleasurable, filled with learnings and growth both personally and professionally.

I want you to take a moment and reflect upon your client and patient for a moment. When they come to you and you stand in front of them presenting Intuitive eating and the non-diet approach to health.

Does your client feel scared at the thought of not dieting? Hell yess…

Do they feel anxious about potentially gaining weight? Hell yess…

Are they uncomfortable with the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen? Hell yess…

Most of your clients will trust you and move forward following your guidance. Leaning into you for leadership. They will face their fears because the pain of staying into diet culture is greater than the one of facing their fears.

This episode is for all of you, Health PRO’s that know that making the transition to a non-diet model is the right thing to do but are crippled with fear. I ask you to be as courageous as the people who daily face their fear and ditch diet culture, make peace with their body, and overcome fatphobia.

Rachel’s story of transition

The best way for me to express the possibilities that are in front of you is not with teaching but instead with inspiration. The best way I know to inspire is with lived experience.

I’m welcoming a colleague, a good friend, and mentee, Rachel Molenda. Rachel will be sharing her lived experience as she transitioned her business over the last 12 months to the non-diet model.

 

What you’ll learn listening to this episode:

  • Rachel’s origin story
  • How her own relationship to food led her to this work.
  • Rachel did a traditional model very successfully
  • Rachel shared how she was trying to be someone else
  • “I was living my life as a fiction” moment that changed everything
  • The business transition step by step
  • The transition culminates with the launch The BreakFree method
  • Right now, Rachel is learning intuitive living

Connect with our guest

Rachel’s website
Rachel’s Instagram
Rachel’s Podcast
Break Free Method

Mentioned in the show:

Mentorship Program
Free Intake Forms
PRO Series – Free Training & Resources
PRO Podcast series – Full listing

read more
Feminism and Diet Culture

Feminism and Diet Culture

Statistics may vary to the exact % but one thing is clear: most women are dissatisfied with their body.

Research released by Dove, for their ‘Self-Esteem Project’, found that 96% of women in the UK reported feeling anxious about the way they look, compared with 86% in China, 72% in Brazil, and 61% in the US. Only 4% of the women in all the countries surveyed would consider themselves ‘beautiful’, and by the time girls reach 17, 78% will be ‘unhappy with their bodies’.

Women don’t diet because they enjoy dieting. Women who diet do it because they think they have to. These women think they are their body, thus,  their bodies’ ability to meet the diet culture expectations define their worth.

Helping women leave and recover from diet culture is a feminist issue.

 

Why a non-diet approach for women?

Feminism and diet culture

The intersection between diet culture & women history

Women socialization to diet culture

Women internalization of diet culture

Dieting is a feminist issue

Women empowerment

Non-diet Approach for women Professional Training

Non-diet Approach for women mentorship

 

If you would like to listen to the article in audio format the Going Beyond The Food Show – Pro Series Season 1 Episode 6

 

 

Links mentioned in the episode…

Mentorship Program

Free Intake Forms

PRO Series – Free Training & resources

PRO Podcast Series –  Full Listing

Women Food and Power

 

Feminism and Diet Culture

Why a non-diet approach for women?

When women first seek to stop dieting, they think they need to “fix” their “food issue”.  After years of dieting they’ve been told in many different ways that the issue was them, not the food. That if they could eat “normally” they would finally achieve their “normal body”. Sounds familiar?

It’s normal that your future client thinks like this… that’s all they’ve ever known. They’ve spent their life wondering why they struggle with food and if they could only “fix what’s wrong with them and food,” life would unlock their dreams.

The truth is: they have no issues with food. In fact, as we discovered in S1 EP 1 Intuitive eating Mentorship – First do no harm for us, as practitioners, to validate their thoughts about food and them being the issue can cause more harm. The way they engage with food now is the result of the restriction of dieting. Dieting is the issue not food. But why do your clients diet? As we’ve learned in the last episode: fatphobia: the fear of fatness.

A weight-neutral approach to health

The non-diet approach helps clients stop dieting, make peace with food and body image. It’s a weight-neutral approach to health that helps people reconnect to their innate power and become their own expert at their bodies.

Although the non-diet approach is gender-neutral, I believe that a segment of the healing approach should address the specific forces pulling at each gender/ sex: Cis-women, Cis-men, Trans, Genderqueer, non-binary, etc… I believe that each gender should have non-diet professionals that understand the specificities and struggle for each group for the best care.

The Going Beyond The Food Method™️ is for people that identify as women. I created this methodology based on my experience as a cis-woman over the last 45 years. As a person in a women’s body who has been exposed to the force of patriarchy and its attempt to control me as a woman and my body.

Feminism and Diet Culture

Feminism & diet culture

First, let’s take a step back and understand patriarchy. Patriarchy is a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege, and control of properties. Patriarchy views men as dominant and women as submissive.

One of the many ways in which patriarchy attempts to dominate women is by exerted forces that dictate how women handle their bodies: reproduction, sexuality, beauty, and yes, body size and shape.

Most recently over the last 100 years, Diet Culture has become the cultural form of oppression on women’s bodies. Diet culture judges women’s worth based on their physical body size and looks. It assigns moral values to the ability of women to meet up with their standards.

The diet culture keeps women focusing on their bodies. Dieting keeps women distracted on food, exercise, and trying harder at restricting instead of using their innate resources to achieving much more important things in their life. Given that the tools proposed to women to achieve their “ideal body according to patriarchy” doesn’t work, it keeps women thinking they are the problem and not the diet. Women keep doubting themselves, their abilities, their capacities, and their obsession with trying to make up for what they are told are a personal failure to achieve the “good enough body”.

It is my belief as a health professional that women must understand why they “chase” a smaller body to their healing and recovery. For women, to truly liberate themselves from diet culture and its chain, they must know why society created it in the first place.

The intersection between diet culture & women history

If you look through history, their beauty or body didn’t always control women. Instead, their ability to procreate and religion controlled women. It’s not until recently that women’s bodies became the center of attention.

The mid 19th century

The feminist movement was beginning to form as women gain access to education. Women involved themselves in the abolition movement and women continued asking for their own political power. As women become more vocal and demanding more power, patriarchy responded with pressure on women’s bodies to be smaller.

Feminism and Diet Culture

The Gibson Girl

The Gibson Girl was born in 1880. This was the personification of the feminine ideal of physical attractiveness as portrayed by male artist Charles Dana Gibson. This body female ideal was heavily promoted and published via the new magazine and printing industry. So, ensure product advertisement ways to look like Gibson’s girl: beauty products, pills, cream, arsenic pills, etc…Diet culture was born. This period also introduced ready-made clothes and women needed to “fit” clothes when up to then clothes were made to fit women.

Intersection between diet culture & women history

The Flapper girl

As the suffragette movement began to gain the right to vote in many countries, the Flapper girl was born. Women became “liberated” from the Gibson girl corset only to find themselves binding their natural feminine curve into the linear look of the 1920’s. Thinness was a sign of “perceived freedom” for women. This solidified the diet culture.

Women socialization to diet culture

Twiggy

With every gain in socio-economic power, women gained a smaller and smaller body ideal. Whereas the first-wave feminism in the early 90’s focused mainly on suffrage and political power, the second-wave feminism that began in the late 1960’s was focused on equality issues. That’s when Twiggy became the first supermodel; willowy, thin, adolescent physique.

feminism

The 80’s

In the 80’s as women affirmed their new equality, came the low-calories, low-fat, and aerobic era with Jane Fonda as the leader. Calories counting began and this is when women became obsessed with dieting.

feminism and diet culture

And it continues up to today. The 90’s saw Kate Moss as the body ideal for all women. With an even smaller body than Twiggy, women’s ideal was body waifish, extremely thin described as “Heroin Chic”.  The ’00s saw the Victoria Secret angels, and today we have the influencer healthy body ideal throne by the Kardashian.

 

“A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one”

Naomi Wolfe

 

Women socialization to diet culture

Socialization is the process of internalizing the norms and ideologies of society. It may lead to a desirable outcome and in certain aspects of life ensure our survival.

Socialization to diet culture and female body ideal happens at a very young for women. When were you gifted your first Barbie?

Among many societal behaviors, Their body, their beauty, and being a “good girl” defined women. Society conditioned women to please using their bodies. While society defined boys to be strong, intelligent, and non-emotional.

Most women who diet chronically today encountered their first diet in their early teens. They first observed their female caregiver being “dissatisfied” with their body and dieting. As these women entered their puberty and began awakening to being attractive, they engage with their first diet. Worse, some women experienced diet before the age of 10 as their parents wanted to prevent the “shame” of being in a non-conventional body.

women internalization of diet culture

Women internalization of diet culture

The process of internalization pertains to the person’s acceptance of a set of norms and values established by others and learned through socialization.

Women internalized diet culture in their teens leading to adulthood. This is when of having to please, as a woman, using among other things our body moves from outside of our own mind to being part of our own mind. At that point, diet culture has shaped who we are as a woman.

As we discussed in a previous article Non-diet Approach: Addressing the root cause, fatphobia is at the root as to why women diet. The process of diet culture internalization leads women to be fatphobic. They fear of being fat. They fear others judging their body as a fat body. It’s said that women fear weight gain more than illness.

Women’s fear of being in a non-confirming body is validated daily. Hundreds, if not thousands of times, marketing images and words, social media, conversation with other women, medical treatment, the beauty industry, etc… remind women that they should fear to be in a non-thin ideal body.

To cope with this constant pressure, women adapt. Diet Brain is a term I coined that best expresses how women adapt to diet culture socialization and internalization. To adapt, women become people-pleasers, we expect perfection for ourselves in the hope to offset our inability to be in a confirming body ideal. While the solution to achieve this thin ideal, “dieting” has a 91-95% failure rate, we blame ourselves for it not working so we adopt an “All or nothing” mindset when it comes to food and health.

This adaptation process is unique to people identifying as women and is the reason why diet mindset professional training is essential for health professionals helping women recover from diet culture.

 

“Your dislike of yourself is a side effect of the POISON you are being fed. None of this messaging is real. Your inner bully has learned the lies society fed it, and is giving you fake news about your looks, your value, your worth, your right to be happy. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this crap. Diet Culture is just making you hate yourself for a profit”

Naomie Wolfe

 

Dieting is a feminist issue

Opting out of diet culture as a woman is more than simply stopping dieting.  It’s a feminist act. When we stop buying into the diet culture definition of what being a woman is, we reclaim our power back. We say no to being our bodies. We say yes to trusting and respecting ourselves first.

Helping women recover from the diet culture must include the education to how we got to be where we are today as women. That we were capable to feed ourselves, to care for ourselves, and to be more than our bodies. The socialization and internalization of diet culture are what created the beliefs that lead us to dieting and trying to fit in using our own body against ourselves.

One of the paths to reclaim our power from the diet culture can be with intuitive eating. Using our source of shame, that is food, can actually rebuild a relationship of trust and respect towards our own selves. As we reconnect to our innate body wisdom, we get to witness the power that is within us.

As we build confidence in our innate capacity to feed ourselves, we can continue to use diet culture source of shame to regain our power as women. Healing our body image and crafting a new way to be in our human body shell is not only necessary but very empowering.

 

“If your self-esteem is dependent on external result, you have given all your happiness and agency away. It’s an exhausting, and powerless way to live.”

 

Women empowerment

Individual autonomy is this idea that refers to the capacity to be one’s own person, to live one’s life according to reasons and motives as one’s own and not the product of manipulative or distorting external forces.

Leaving the jail of diet culture is a revolutionary act for women to not only be autonomous but to claim their power back from a patriarchal society that suppressed our empowerment.

In today’s society, the greatest punishment is to take away people’s autonomy and freedom by sending them to jail. Diet culture has taken women’s autonomy and freedom. Diet culture robs women of the capacity to be in their now body, to feed themselves naturally, to wear clothes they desire, to decide their own beauty standards, etc…

Helping women recover from diet culture is truly about empowering women to live their full life today… unconditionally. Choosing to accept your body is hard but doing hard “things” is what builds confidence in women… not body size. Saying ‘no’ to outside control and ‘yes’ to inner power is what builds self-esteem in women, not beauty.

Non-diet Approach for women Professional Training

The non-diet approach is the exact opposite of dieting. It’s a weight-neutral approach to health and nutrition that empowers women to become the expert of their own body. That shifts women from being their body to supporting their body so they can live their full life… right now!

The Going Beyond The Food Method™️ is our proprietary methodology that helps women to recover from diet culture and learn the non-diet way of life. Firstly, our 4 pillars are Body Wisdom, Body Trust, Body Respect, and Body Neutrality. Secondly, our framework is composed of 5 steps process: Intuitive Eating, Body Neutrality, Self-Coaching, Emotional Intelligence, and Mindfulness.

We have created a number of free non-diet approach training resources to help you begin learning more about this revolutionary health approach. Join my non-diet professional community by requesting our non-diet professional training starter pack.

You can also listen to our non-diet podcast.

non-diet professional training

Non-diet Approach mentorship program

The Going Beyond The Food non-diet professional mentorship program is a space where you can receive support guidance to become the best non-diet professional. It’s a program that will refine your non-diet professional skills set to empower women and teach you the skills you need to build a successful business that can impact thousands of women.

It helps you develop as a powerful leader and help other women come back to their power. You learn how to harness your ability to support and help other women. As a result, you can impact thousands of other women and dismantle diet culture.

 

Why a non-diet approach for women?

The non-diet approach helps clients stop dieting, make peace with food and body image. It’s a weight-neutral approach to health that helps people reconnect to their innate power and become their own expert at their body.

Feminism and diet culture

The diet culture keeps women focusing on their bodies. Dieting keeps women distracted on food, exercise, and trying harder at restricting instead of using their innate resources to achieving much more important things in their life. For women, to truly liberate themselves from diet culture and its chain, they must know why society created it in the first place.

Intersection between diet culture & women history

If you look through history, their beauty or body didn’t always control women. Instead, their ability to procreate and religion controlled women. It’s not until recently that women’s bodies became the center of attention.

Women socialization to diet culture

Socialization to diet culture and female body ideal happens at a very young for women. When were you gifted your first Barbie? Among many societal behaviors, Their body, their beauty, and being a “good girl” defined women. Society conditioned women to please using their bodies. While society defined boys to be strong, intelligent, and non-emotional.

Women internalization of diet culture

Women internalized diet culture in their teens leading to adulthood. This is when of having to please, as a woman, using among other things our body moves from outside of our own mind to being part of our own mind. At that point, diet culture has shaped who we are as a woman.

Dieting is a feminist issue

Opting out of diet culture as a woman is more than simply stopping dieting. It’s a feminist act. When we stop buying into the diet culture definition of what being a woman is, we reclaim our power back. We say no to being our bodies. We say yes to trusting and respecting ourselves first.

Women empowerment

Leaving the jail of diet culture is a revolutionary act for women to not only be autonomous but to claim their power back from a patriarchal society that suppressed our empowerment.

Non-diet Approach for women Professional Training

The non-diet approach is the exact opposite of dieting. It’s a weight-neutral approach to health and nutrition that empowers women to become the expert of their own body. That shifts women from being their body to supporting their body so they can live their full life… right now!

Non-diet Approach for women mentorship

The Going Beyond The Food non-diet professional mentorship program is a space where you can receive support guidance to become the best non-diet professional. It’s a program that will refine your non-diet professional skills set to empower women and teach you the skills you need to build a successful business that can impact thousands of women.

 

read more
PRO Series: Feminism & Diet Culture – S1 EP6

PRO Series: Feminism & Diet Culture – S1 EP6

intuitive eating for women

Women don’t diet because they enjoy dieting.

Women who diet do it because they think they have to.

From a very young age, women have been socialized that they are their physical bodies. Women have internalized that their worth is associated with their body and its ability to achieve the expectation from diet culture.

Not sure… let’s look at research released by Dove, for their ‘Self-Esteem Project’, It found that 96% of women in the UK reported feeling anxious about the way they look, compared with 86% in China, 72% in Brazil and 61% in the US. Only 4% of the women in all the countries surveyed would consider themselves ‘beautiful’, and by the time girls reach 17, 78% will be ‘unhappy with their bodies’.

Helping women leave and recover from diet culture is a feminist issue.

In today’s episode, we will discover why as health professionals, we need to adopt a specific non-diet approach for women.

What you’ll learn listening to this episode:

Why a non-diet approach specific to women?
Feminism & diet culture
The intersection between diet culture & women history
Women socialization to diet culture
Women internalization of diet culture
Dieting is a feminist issue
Women empowerment
Non-diet Approach for women Professional Training
Non-diet Approach for women mentorship

Links mentioned in the episode…

Mentorship Program

Free Intuitive Eating Guide

PRO Series – Free Training & resources

PRO Podcast Series –  Full Listing

Women Food and Power

read more
The Non-Diet Approach

The Non-Diet Approach

But is the non-diet approach addressing the real root cause?

In the first three years of clinical practice, I thought I was addressing the root cause of my patient health concerns. I was asking a lot of questions and doing an in-depth assessment. My goal was uncovering the “real issue” that no other health professional had identified yet. This unidentified root cause was, as per my training in functional medicine, the reason why my clients were “still struggling”.

As I shared in Intuitive eating Mentorship – First do no harm although my patient had short term reliefs…. long term, their health wasn’t better. In fact, in many cases, it was worse.

So, was I really addressing the “real root cause”?

What’s the root cause?

Why healing the root cause is so important

The non-diet approach

Weight stigma

Fatphobia

Body Image healing

Health can be weight neutral

The Non-diet Approach Professional Training

Non-diet Approach mentorship

If you would like to listen to the article in audio format the Going Beyond The Food Show – Pro Series Season 1 Episode 5

Links mentioned in the episode…

Women Food and Power

Mentorship Program

Free Intuitive Eating Guide

PRO Series – Free Training & resources

PRO Podcast Series –  Full Listing

Non-Diet Approach

What’s the root cause?

In my training in holistic health & functional medicine, we are trained on addressing the underlying or root cause of chronic disease, taking into account the whole person including their environment, genetics, and lifestyle factors. Addressing the root cause is a fundamental philosophy, and honestly, the pride of alternative health approaches: resolving the root cause vs. just dealing with side effects.

Even beyond the health sector, the root cause is the cause of a problem. If adequately addressed, it will prevent a recurrence of that problem. By asking the question “why” a few times, the root cause of a problem is often identified as a procedural, or management, shortcoming.

For example, imagine you have a lot of weed growing in your lawn. If you remove the weed using a lawnmower, will that solve the problem? Temporarily, yes. Visually, your lawn looks good. However, you probably know that this is only at the surface level. After a short period of time, the weed will grow back. So, how do you fix this long term? If you replied “By removing the weed from the root,” then you are totally right!

As a nutritionist, people came to me to change their eating habits or to address health issues that they thought were caused by food. However, my training had taught me that the root cause was in the: what, when and how they ate.

What I couldn’t understand was why it wasn’t working? Why were my clients not able to adhere to the in-depth protocols? Why were they disappearing after a few sessions? And why, when I would see them a year or two down the road, they had reverted back to their old habits?

Why healing the root cause is so important

If I was healing the root cause, then this shouldn’t be happening. I knew this from my training. So, I started to research and quickly realize I wasn’t addressing the “real root cause” but still just the “ side effects”.

It’s understandable why we are inclined to deal with effects instead of the root cause. Effects are what’s most immediately observable, so it’s easy to act on them. Think here “size of body”. Upon doing so, you see an instantaneous change — an impression that you have progressed in your goals. When you go on a diet, you lose a small amount of weight immediately. That’s until the diet stopped working and you regain all the weight (most often more than the original amount of weight loss).

Non-Diet Approach 1

On the other hand, trying to uncover the root causes can be tedious, complicated, and at times, scary. Sometimes, to the extent where people run away when they realize the root cause problems that are underneath.  Subsequently, addressing these root causes often requires a change of thinking and some pain and effort, but the results will be much permanent and higher-value than correcting side effects (symptoms as known in health).

As we touched in our  S1 EP3 podcast episode Diet mindset professional training, we unpack how our certain traits of character are the results of dieting.

Here are just some of the real root causes:

  • Perfectionism (Effect): Need to have “perfect” diet (Effect): Diet Cycle (Effect): Desire to lose weight (Effect): Body Dissatisfaction (Effect): beliefs about what body should look like (Cause): fatphobia/weight stigma (Cause)
  • Low self-confidence (Effect): Need to lose weight (Effect): Perfectionist Body Fantasy(Effect): beliefs about what body should look like (Effect): fatphobia/weight stigma (Cause)
  • Binge eating (Effect): food restriction (Effect): Dieting to lose weight (Effect) : fatphobia/weight stigma (Cause)

The root cause wasn’t in the what, when, and how they ate.  It was in the why. In my first few years of practice, I stopped asking why too early in my investigation process. Even when I asked “Why do you eat like this?” “Why do you want to lose weight?”…I was blinded by my own fatphobia.

Fatphobia

Fatphobia is the fear and dislike of obese “fat” people and/or “obesity”.  I was fatphobic and was profoundly afraid of gaining weight. In fact, I was professionally trained to believe that “fat” was the root cause of most chronic conditions. I was taught that everyone should be or want to be at a “normal BMI”.

Hence, I had to confront my own and discover the truth about body weight, BMI & health to be able to ask the right question with my patient and for my own recovery from diet culture.

Not only was my own fatphobia preventing from being the best health professional I knew I could be, but it also was keeping from accessing my best health. Fatphobia in research is also described as weight stigma. Research recognizes two forms of weight stigma:

Experienced weight stigma

This occurs when people observe or believe that others have made unfair negative assumptions about them or discriminate based on nothing more than their weight or body image.

Internalized weight stigma

This is the process by which people accept weight-based stereotypes and make them true about themselves. People who have internalized weight stigma are the harshest critic of themselves. They have come to believe that they are “less-than” because of their weight/ body image.

Research is pointing out that internalized weight stigma has the greatest impact on physical and mental health over experienced weight stigma.

“Some people fear that if people feel too good about their bodies and themselves, they will not be motivated to engage in healthful eating behaviors and physical activity. Studies show the exact opposite to be true: When people internalize weight stigma and feel bad about themselves because of their weight, they feel less confident in their ability to engage in healthful behaviors and are more prone to binge eating, avoiding physical activity, and other behaviors that contribute to weight gain.”

 – Rebecca Pearl, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Fatphobia

Weight stigma is the REAL root cause

Weight stigma is the negative attitudes and beliefs about people because of their weight. It leads to the labeling of people with stereotypes based on their weight. Unfortunately, it’s a common belief that weight stigma will motivate people who don’t meet body size ideals to change their behaviors, in order to avoid further stigma.

Weight stigma originated from the “old school” model of behavior changes through punishment or shaming. A great example of this today is the “before and after” picture we see so frequently on social media. They are unfortunately used by many health professionals.

Weight stigma is a centric element of diet culture. In fact, research has demonstrated that diet culture helps frame a larger body as a “health hazard”I like to explain it to my students as the “goon” of diet culture. Without it, diet culture may stop existing.

Weight stigma has been researched extensively over the last 20 years. What research overwhelmingly shows is that weight stigma doesn’t encourage people to lose weight or improve their health. Instead, stigma leads to a greater risk of depression, poor body image, and self-esteem. It also leads to increased stress, disordered eating behaviors, and avoidance of physical activity.

Weight stigma has also been linked to many common health problems that were first associated with “obesity”.  Is “obesity” or the stigma associated with “obesity” the true culprit?  As you can imagine, experts and researchers are divided on this question. Since we acknowledge that weight stigma is causing the health issue, then diet culture will need to be condoned publicly… can you see the issue?

You can read more Cyclic Obesity Weight Based Stigma Model.

Weight Stigma

The Solution: Body Image healing

The only way to address the real root cause is to include body image healing in your practice/ program.

Making peace with my own body and healing my own body image was the path to releasing my own fatphobia. Doing so unlock my ability to end weight stigmatization in my own practice.

What most health professional doesn’t realize is that our individual body image is not only how we see ourselves when we look in the mirror. It’s also multidimensional. It encompasses:

  • Perceptual body image: how you see your body
  • Affective body image: how you feel about your body
  • Cognitive body image: how you think about your body
  • Behavioral body image: the way we behave as a result of our perceptual, affective, and cognitive body image.

Research is showing that a distorted body image leads to lower self-esteem, distorted relationship to food, depression, anxiety, hormonal disruption, and many other side effects. Many of our clients and patients come to see us for this in the first place.

Thomas F. Cash, PhD, is a true pioneer in the psychology of physical appearance research. He also developed today’s most effective treatment approach to body image issues, as well as many of the measures used in body-image research. Likewise, the body image healing cognitive-behavioral model  is at the center of our proprietary non-diet approach, The Going Beyond The Food Method™️ .

Body Neutrality

Body Neutrality

In our non-diet clinical approach, we teach our clients the body neutrality framework and not body positivity. It includes body image professional training, the body neutrality framework.

Body Neutrality empowers women to embrace themselves as they are, including the parts they don’t like about themselves. Its focus is to avoid self-hate while simultaneously relieving from the pressure of having to love their body. Most importantly, the goal is to respect and accept your body for what it is – and that’s it.

Body Neutrality is the middle ground between positivity and negativity (shaming). Embracing body neutrality over body positivity allows our clients to experience negative feelings about their bodies, but without the pressure that comes with having to be positive all the time.

Body Neutrality helps women detach their self-worth from their bodies (good or bad). It’s about crafting a relationship of functionality with our bodies and engaging with it from a place of self-care instead of control.

Health can be weight-neutral

The World Health Organization defines health as “a complete state of physical, emotional, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” A weight-neutral approach to health is based on the idea that your health status or risk level can’t be determined solely by your weight.

It acknowledges that your weight is determined by a complex set of genetic, metabolic, physiological, cultural, social, and behavioral determinants. Many of these factors are either difficult or impossible to change.

Instead of focusing on a weight-oriented outcome, weight-neutral programs teach you to take charge of the factors within your control. These factors include your thoughts and behaviors. In short, taking charge of these factors will help you improve your well-being, regardless of your weight.

Weight-neutral approaches to health like the non-diet approach have significantly decreased body dissatisfaction, disordered eating, and depression. They’ve also increased sustainable, enjoyable self-care behaviors such as eating and moving well in the long term.

A 2013 study by the Journal of Obesity found no link between body weight and the way we feel about ourselves. Yet, the findings show a link between how we feel about ourselves and the healthy activities we engage in. Meaning, the better we feel about our bodies the more likely we are to take care of them by eating well and being active, allowing us to create a positive cycle.   Likewise, dissatisfaction with our bodies can discourage us from taking part in certain activities, eating properly to fuel our bodies and can eventually lead to weight gain.

Non-Diet Approach 5

The non-diet approach

The non-diet approach to health and nutrition recognizes that weight stigma is a contributor to one’s health.  As professionals, we must address how our clients and patients relate to their body as the root cause before we can effectively address the effects ( eating and health habits).

The non-diet approach to health is the exact opposite of dieting. It’s a weight-neutral approach to health that instead focuses on a weight-oriented outcome. This approach focused on all the other factors that can impact one’s health beyond body weight. In other words, the ultimate goal is to support the patients to become their own experts at their bodies.

The Going Beyond The Food Method™️ is our proprietary methodology that helps women to recover from diet culture and learn the non-diet way of life. Firstly, our 4 pillars are Body Wisdom, Body Trust, Body Respect, and Body Neutrality. Secondly, our framework is composed of 5 steps process: Intuitive eating, Body Neutrality, Self-Coaching, Emotional Intelligence, and Mindfulness.

The non-diet approach professional training center

We have created a number of free non-diet approach training resources to help you begin learning more about this revolutionary health approach. Join my non-diet professional community by requesting our non-diet professional starter pack.

You can also listen to our non-diet podcast.

The non-diet approach mentorship program

The Going Beyond The Food non-diet approach mentorship program is a space where you can receive support guidance to become the best non-diet professional. It’s a program geared to refine your non-diet professional skills set and teach you the skills you need to build a successful business that can impact thousands of women.

It will help you develop as a powerful leader and help other women come back to their power. You will learn how to harness your ability to support and help other women. As a result, you can impact thousands of other women and dismantle diet culture.

What’s the root cause?

Even beyond the health sector, the root cause is the cause of a problem. If adequately addressed, it will prevent a recurrence of that problem. By asking the question “why” a few times, the root cause of a problem is often identified as a procedural, or management, shortcoming.

Why healing the root cause is so important

Addressing these root causes often requires a change of thinking and some pain and effort, but the results will be much permanent and higher-value than correcting side effects (symptoms as known in health).

The non-diet approach

The non-diet approach to health and nutrition recognizes that weight stigma is a contributor to one’s health. As professionals, we must address how our clients and patients relate to their body as the root cause before we can effectively address the effects (eating and health habits).

Weight stigma

Weight stigma are the negative attitudes and beliefs about people because of their weight. It leads to the labeling of people with stereotypes based on their weight. Unfortunately, it’s a common belief that weight stigma will motivate people who don’t meet body size ideals to change their behaviors, in order to avoid further stigma.

Fatphobia

Fatphobia is the fear and dislike of obese “fat” people and/or “obesity”. I was fatphobic and was profoundly afraid of gaining weight. In fact, I was professionally trained to believe that “fat” was the root cause of most chronic conditions. I was taught that everyone should be or want to be at a “normal BMI”.

Body Image healing

The only way to address the real root cause is to include body image healing in your practice/ program. Making peace with my own body and healing my own body image was the path to releasing my own fatphobia. Doing so unlock my ability to end weight stigmatization in my own practice.

Health can be weight neutral

A weight-neutral approach to health is based on the idea that your health status or risk level can’t be determined solely by your weight. Weight-neutral approaches to health like the non-diet approach have significantly decreased body dissatisfaction, disordered eating, and depression. They’ve also increased sustainable, enjoyable self-care behaviors such as eating and moving well in the long term.

Non-diet Approach Professional Training

We have created a number of free non-diet approach training resources to help you begin learning more about this revolutionary health approach. Join my non-diet professional community by requesting our non-diet professional starter pack. You can also listen to our non-diet podcast.

Non-diet Approach mentorship

The Going Beyond The Food non-diet approach mentorship program is a space where you can receive support guidance to become the best non-diet professional. It’s a program geared to refine your non-diet professional skills set and teach you the skills you need to build a successful business that can impact thousands of women.

read more
PRO Series: Addressing the Real Root Cause – S1 EP5

PRO Series: Addressing the Real Root Cause – S1 EP5

body image professional training

In the first three years of clinical practice, I thought I was addressing the root cause of my patient health concerns.

In my training in holistic health & functional medicine, we are trained on addressing the underlying or root cause of chronic disease, taking into account the whole person including their environment, genetics, and lifestyle factors. Addressing the root cause is fundamental philosophy and honestly, the pride of alternative health approaches: resolving the root cause vs. just dealing with side effects.

I was asking a lot of questions and doing an in-depth assessment with the goal of uncovering the “real issue” that no other health professional had identified yet. This unidentified root cause was, as per my training in functional medicine the reason why my clients were “still struggling”.

Was I really addressing the real root cause”?

In today’s episode, I open the discussion to find out if we really addressing the real root cause with our traditional health coaching and nutrition model?

What you’ll learn listening to this episode:

What’s the real root cause?
Why healing the root cause is so important
Weight stigma
Fatphobia
Body Image healing
Health can be weight neutral
How the non-diet approach address the real root cause

Links mentioned in the episode…

Women Food and Power

Mentorship Program

Free Intuitive Eating Guide

PRO Series – Free Training & resources

PRO Podcast Series –  Full Listing

read more

Welcome!

 

I’m Stephanie Dodier - Clinical Nutritionist, Intuitive Eating expert, Podcast host, and Creator of the Going Beyond The Food Method™️, which was born from my own journey with chronic dieting & body image and has since grown into a global movement.

Discover Intuitive Eating

Sign up and receive our free introductory guide to discover the power of intuitive eating. It will change the way you eat forever!

© 2021 Stephanie Dodier

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY!

Get exclusive content and our roadmap!

Copyright © 2021 Stephanie Dodier. All Rights Reserved.