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I bought this thinking I could use it to be less hard on myself about food, but there is scientific evidence that obesity is killing us and taxing out healthcare systems, so the HAES trend is dangerous, and this book is definitely written by someone who wants to jump on that bandwagon.
Just wait, when all the people who are extremely overweight die off the trend will change back again to putting emphasis on eating to stay within a weight range, based on the evidence that it is good for you.
We humans are not supposed to be fat. Our organs and skeletal system are not made to carry around 100 extra pounds. Books like this are a lie.
As someone several years in recovery for an eating disorder and looking to maintain good intuitive eating habits to stay that way, this is workbook is PERFECT. It makes intuitive eating feel very approachable, and even my husband who has had no exposure to good nutritional training has enjoyed learning from it. I highly recommend it. Moms of teenagers, get this and work through it with your kids. If someone had done that with me before my broken behaviors began, I might have never gone down the path of bulimia, food addiction and the heartbreak of disordered eating.
4.0 out of 5 starsMore about mindfulness (less about dieting)
Reviewed in the United States on 7 July 2019
This is not a "diet" book. It's a self-help book full of kindness and compassion that aims to teach the reader mindfulness and awareness and start you on the road to understanding yourself and establishing good habits. I'm 58. Last year I lost 60 pounds, and I've maintained it for just about a year. While I lost in a rather extreme way (keto + intermittent fasting + LOTS of exercise) I am maintaining by eating "normally." I was already a WW Lifetime members so I also attend meetings for support and accountability. I weight daily and I never miss >10K daily steps. I was very interested to read this book as I am worried about regaining the weight. Supposedly 90% of people who lose a lot of weight regain it in the first 3 years. I am hoping to beat those odds. I found this to be a well-written and helpful book. Weight Watchers (WW) has recently pivoted toward a "mindfulness" focus and a lot of the concepts that are covered in workshop are also covered in this book. The exercises are quite helpful and enlightening. The book does NOT recommend for or against any "diets" (other than a few pages that recommend lean protein, healthy fats and complex carbs).
I know that in my own circle of close family and friends, there are so many who struggle with poor body image, weight problems, nutrition-related health challenges, eating disorders and SO much drama and stress entailed in something that can't be avoided - namely, eating.
This book has a stated agenda of healing your relationship with food, as defined by several well-articulated markers; namely: [quote] * ENDING THE FOOD FIGHT: If food is no longer the enemy, you are free to enjoy the experience of eating, whether it's a solo mindful meal, or a boisterous social event. * CHANGING THE RANKS: If you're able to look at ingredients and meals in a neutral way, gone is their power to control you. Instead, they are there to support and serve you - not the other way around. * RECONNECTING WITH YOUR BODY: No more questioning your hunger or fullness. You can trust what your body and move through the day with more peace of mind about food-related decisions. *MINIMIZING CHAOS: Becoming an intuitive eater means that you'll benefit from a non-diet approach, and have opportunities to build a flexible structure that promotes good self-care. *DISCOVERING A WHOLISTIC APPROACH TO WELL-BEING: "Health" is much more than regular visits to the doctor, adequate sleep, and "clean" living. Without a fixation on food, you'll have space to consider your needs in the areas of emotional, mental, social, financial and spiritual health. [endquote]
Here are some things I like about it:
* The book is thoughtfully and intuitively designed, presented in an authoritative-but-not-bossy way that engenders confidence, and a compassionate and empowering voice. * The book includes a self-assessment to help you gain clarity regarding your attitudes toward food, eating, your body and your emotional postures. * It includes a cool graphic that helps you reframe/rescript your goals vis a vis food/body in a way that is healthy and practical. * It's attractive in design, and the graphics, fonts and use of color are excellent for holding your attention, setting apart important information and making it all more attractive and fun to use. * The workshop exercises concise, and well-formulated. * It includes resources for counseling and support for the individual and family members * It has a great bibliography of resources * It cites its sources
All in all, I think this is a fantastic resources for an individual who's serious about healing their relationship with their body and their eating, and will go a long way toward helping the reader achieve it.
5.0 out of 5 starsHealthy Eating Once and for all!
Reviewed in the United States on 20 August 2019
Here’s my Life Study 101 perspective on unhealthy-emotional-mindless eating. These food fixes are just that, a fix. In other words, they are band-aid solutions to more deep-rooted challenges. When we get fed, we try and fix “the fix” with a diet. As studies show, diets fail. Why? Diets deal with the exterior. Overeating derives from the interior; from our emotions, conditioning, habits and decisions. In essence, food has no power over us. WE are the power source of our actions, which includes acts of food indulgence.
Self-awareness is the first step to change our relationship with food. Cara Harbstreet’s Healthy Eating for Life: An Intuitive Eating Workbook to Stop Dieting Forever is a resource written by the acclaimed registered dietitian to jump start the process and move from external motivation to self-motivation and, ideally lead us to a happier and healthier lifestyle.
The guidebook is only 121 pages, but provides a core of useful information and guides readers with written exercises to help them establish healthier eating patterns. In addition, Ms. Harbstreet’s writing style is engaging, and her concepts are easy to understand.
I particularly love her “Sitting with Difficult Emotions” exercise. Repeatedly, I had heard about this concept, but never received the proper instruction to pull it off. The author answers the “how” behind the “what.”
Though most of the book is a soulful adventure, the author also offers some commonsense eating tips. “My formula for balanced meals and snacks” is an excellent example.
Overall, I highly recommend this book. I think most people who have a desire to stop an unhealthy relationship with food will get something out of this book; I sure did.
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3.0 out of 5 starsNot For Me, But Others May Find It Helpful
Reviewed in the United States on 1 August 2019
This book isn't what I had expected. With the largest part of the title being "Healthy Eating for Life" I expected a balanced book about healthy eating. Instead this is a work book geared towards folks with an unhealthy fixation on dieting & food. I find it incredibly sad that so many people have eating disorders in today's day & age. Most so called food being offered to us humans can hardly be called food with how heavily processed it is & deliberately made to be addictive.
While this book isn't necessarily a bad book, it really does nothing for me personally. I find books that discuss how processed food is made & how conventional food is grown to be much more helpful to me so I can indeed, eat healthy for life. Because I am so disturbed by the garbage being called food, I quit my job & bought farm land so that I could grow & raise my own organic foods & fibers. Now it is my micro-business, my eco family farm. Knowing (or I should say experiencing) the extreme amount of back breaking labor that goes into growing & raising the foods we eat, starting it from a wee certified organic seed to see it grow taller than myself, to nourish &/or clothe me, I have a healthy respect & understanding of wholesome foods.
To be clear, I didn't mention all of the above to pat myself on the back or any other such self righteous nonsense. I love my sweets. I don't grow sweet sweets (I grow berries, apples, & peaches), so yes, I still will overeat my chocolate or whatever because well, yum! I mention all that I did because it is how I learned to eat healthy naturally. I cannot imagine a book like this would have ever brought me to my level of comfort not only in my own skin, but also around food (I was bulimic as a teen & dieted so many times as an adult, I cannot even keep count). Knowledge about food is what has given me appreciation & respect for food & this wonderful body I am honored to live in. Plus, when I eat nutritious foods that nourish me, I feel fantastic. That is such a reward. I am by no means a fountain of youth & health. I have an autoimmune condition & miraculously have found that eliminating certain foods has almost entirely eliminated my symptoms. While how I eat is called a "diet" it's not a weight loss diet, it's for healing. This too, is why this book doesn't work for me. Some foods for me are indeed bad with a capital B. This books tries to teach that there are no "bad" foods. For many that is probably true, but for others, there really are bad foods. To be fair, this book does lightly mention food intolerances/allergies, but that light touch is feather light, as in barely there at all.
Personally, the only real use I see this work book providing is for nutritionists, dietitians, health coaches, etc. to provide to their patients (along with their educated opinions & skills) to help their patients find a way of life with food that works for them.
Overall, if you want, try this work book if you think it might help you. I also encourage you to really learn about your food. Knowledge truly is power.
4.0 out of 5 starsGood, but missing some key aspects of change
Reviewed in the United States on 1 February 2020
First off, I must say that many years ago,long before the book, "Intuitive Eating," was published, a very similar approach to eating issues virtually saved me from extreme weight cycling and all of the anguish that goes with that. I am profoundly grateful, and feel that I have a pretty good sense of what this process of learning and growing entails.
"Healthy Eating for Life" offers a very good entry into this way of thinking and acting. There are well written chapters that help one to put a hopefully permanent end to wandering from diet to diet as fads change. The ultimate harm of dieting is explained, and there are spaces for noting one's own feelings and experiences. In the next chapter, the hunger scale is introduced, and readers are encouraged to truly explore within, allowing the body's natural feedback system to speak, and listening for its signals, which are sometimes speak in a whisper. Mindful eating, which was a big part of my solution to all of this, is explored and encouraged. Again, this being a workbook, we are often given space to look within and comment on our own experiences.
Then we get to the hard part: dealing with emotions that can be so loud and demanding that they completely override the body's messages about hunger and satiety. Some good information about feelings is given, but to truly recover from disordered habits, way more is needed. I highly recommend to early work of Laurel Mellin (her first, book, The Solution, is excellent if one truly does what it says) in this regard: she offers a cogent system for dealing with emotions, over and over again, though the demands of each day.
The later chapters deal with actual food choices. Good ideas are given, but without the comprehensive treatment of intense emotions, this is kind of a bandaid measure. There is no substitute for dealing with the root cause of so much unhelpful eating behavior.
I can happily say that I did not have to settle for a weight I found uncomfortable, and I was able to find lasting peace through these methods, without restricting eating choices.
Wishing everyone reading this a similar positive experience.
My issue with food started when I was 10 and my brothers teased me for being fat. The teased me often and they were pretty mean. I wasn’t big, I only ate when I was hungry. After they teased me, I was literally eating in a closet and eating more than I wanted or needed because I was no longer eating at meals and normal amounts.
I read a book a few years ago about a woman who discovered that the more she dieted the more she gained. I thought reevaluating what food and I were fighting about seemed like a good idea to get back to the basic natural instinct type eating.
The book is a workbook with some informative pages on why this exercise is important and how to interpret the information. I think if it feels like food is controlling you you may want to evaluate that and this workbook is a very helpful tool.
"Healthy Eating for Life: An Intuitive Eating Workbook to Stop Dieting Forever" is a great workbook for those who struggle with constant dieting but do not feel they have an eating disorder.
I used to yoyo diet. I would eat anywhere between just one meal a day, and six small meals a day to two or three meals daily. Then I got into exercise, and that helped me stop dieting and weird eating habits forever. This workbook asks you questions about how, why, and when you eat, and works with you to change unhealthy habits. It does talk about exercise and what a healthy body image is. The media has been much better about portraying different body types lately but up until the time of the internet they were not great about encouraging normal body types in women, which range.
This book is 119 pages with references at the end. If you find yourself struggling with diet and body image issues this book is for you.
3.0 out of 5 starsMore Geared Towards Eating Disorders
Reviewed in the United States on 23 August 2019
I was looking for a book that could help me be more mindful in what and how I ate as either a finisher to a CICO diet or in conjunction with one. Instead this book spends a lot of time seemingly saying diets are bad and useless (including counting calories, which I’ve always had great success with). The author has a history of eating disorders and tends to focus on that angle a lot, which I couldn’t relate to at all.
The workbook angle didn’t interest me as it is all stuff I’ve gone over many times before in my weightless journey (eating triggers, eating behaviors, etc). It might benefit someone who is totally new to wanting to eat healthier and to understand their relationship with food, but if you’ve already done a ton of research, there’s no new information to be found here.