What is HAES & The Non-Diet approach?
The Health At Every Size® Principles are:
1. Weight Inclusivity – Accept and respect the inherent diversity of body shapes and sizes
and reject the idealizing or pathologizing of specific weights.
2. Health Enhancement – Support health policies that improve and equalize access to
information and services, and personal practices that improve human well-being,
including attention to individual physical, economic, social, spiritual, emotional, and other needs.
3. Respectful Care – Acknowledge our biases, and work to end weight discrimination,
weight stigma, and weight bias. Provide information and services from an understanding
that socio-economic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and
other identities impact weight stigma, and support environments that address these inequities.
4. Eating for Wellbeing – Promote flexible, individualized eating based on hunger, satiety,
nutritional needs, and pleasure, rather than any externally regulated
eating plan focused on weight control.
5. Life-Enhancing Movement – Support physical activities that allow people of all sizes, abilities,
and interests to engage in enjoyable movement, to the degree that they choose.
The Non-Diet approach is the application of HAES® principles.
It is a wellbeing and self-care focused therapy, which helps individuals build skills
in responding to their natural, internal signals of what, when and how much to eat.
It assists people to engage in health enhancing behaviours – such as eating well, moving
their body and looking after their mental wellbeing – regardless of a persons size or shape
and irrespective of if their weight changes or not.
What can I expect from a HAES & Non-Diet consult?
You can expect a kind, caring and empathic understanding of your current body, food or
eating distress. An initial assessment can take 1-2 sessions to gain a full picture of whats
really going on, whats been helpful in the past and whats been unhelpful. The assessment
includes gaining a history of body image distress, any restrictive eating, what your family
environment was like with food and eating growing up, understanding any specific food
behaviours and triggers or cues to eat or restrict food. There will be an explanation of the
approach and introduction of skills building exercises such as hunger and fullness awareness,
mindful eating practice and hunger matching as appropriate. Theres likely to be some diet
debunking and food myth busting. But most of all its a collaborative process helping you to move
from a place of discomfort to a place of comfort with food, eating and your body.
Is the HAES & The Non-Diet approach just a different way to lose weight?
No. Weight change is not a focus, nor an intended outcome of non-diet therapy.
The intention is to connect with and build trust in our body to find its own comfortable weight,
when we are enjoying eating well and moving the body in enjoyable and sustainable ways.
Some individuals find that their weight changes, others dont – but either is ok!
Are you just telling people to eat whatever they want?
Yes! We promote eating with attunement – paying non-judgemental attention to our eating choices in order to explore and discover what, when and how much food is a great match for us at any given time. So people are able to include a wide variety of food, that feels great for their body, without experiencing guilt or shame.