Nutrition and dieting are often confused in our culture, each reduced to an “eat this, not that” mentality that sees “healthy” eating as food restriction and deprivation. Think “clean eating” and fasting. Calorie counting and detoxes. Setting certain foods off-limits and strict times for when and when not to eat. Mainstream ideas about nutrition are rigid, often extreme, and heavily influenced by diet culture and our society’s obsession with weight.
But nutrition is not a diet. Dieting, in fact, can be a form of disordered eating—not healthy eating—and contribute to eating disorders of all types. Regardless of the nutritional content of food in any given non-medical diet, the act of dieting often compromises a person’s underlying relationship with food.
At The Emily Program, we approach nutrition from a different, more inclusive perspective. It’s a philosophy where all foods fit, one that removes judgment from food and encourages flexibility and variety with eating. Key to this broader understanding of nutrition is food acceptance and inclusivity. Along with the aspects of eating flexibly and meeting individual needs, this concept is a cornerstone of our approach to nutrition in eating disorder treatment.