This is such a valid question and deserves time to explore it.
You may be wondering if it is appropriate to work with an Eat Love Live (ELL) dietitian if you are unhappy with your body and would like to lose weight? You may be a practitioner who is unsure if it is appropriate to refer clients for weight management.
At ELL we use a lot of language and phrases like weight inclusive, non diet, HAES etc which you may or may not be familiar with.
Basically they all boil down to centering the clients needs and respecting the client. Reducing the possibility of harm, and embodying the values of our practice in actions such as informed consent, informed decision making and body autonomy.
In short - yes, you can come to ELL or refer clients to us who are seeking weight management.
However, the long answer is that we won’t prescribe restrictive diets, do weighing or measures, or focus on, or celebrate weight loss.
Despite years of research and billions of dollars there is no evidence based interventions that leads to long term weight management. This is acknowledged by the Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, Adolescents and Children, citing level A evidence to support this statement (1).
Weight cycling from repeated dieting has been shown to lead to increased weight, increased fat mass, inflammation, poor mental health, eating disorders, and significantly increased risk of development of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and coronary heart disease (2,3,4,5,6,7,8).
Weight is only linked to poor health outcomes at very high BMI levels. Weight is often conflated as the cause of disease.
Weight and disease risk are often seen together but the confounding factors are the health behaviors, which can be targeted, changed, and disease risk improved regardless of change in body size.
Evidence shows us that health and disease risk can be can be improved by focusing on ( 9-14):
Irrelevant of changes in body size or composition; as monitored by clinical markers such as blood results, Bp, fitness levels and client reported well being.
As all ELL dietitians are excellent at supporting people with eating disorders they have well developed counselling skills.
Think of us as nutrition counselors.
We support clients to connect with and understand their body, the complexity of health, nutrition, diet culture and establish controllable, measurable goals to move towards improved health and mitigating disease risk .
We are able to hold space for people to talk about their experience in their body. Maybe, their experiences of being in a higher weight body the impact this has had on their life.
We can help them to understand the multi faceted impacts on body weight and start to decrease the shame that it is all their fault or other messages they have received throughout their life..
We can help them to understand what is and is not in their control to change their body and their health. To have realistic goals, and appreciate what long term changes may look like.
We can help clients understand what are normal and expected changes in body shape and size through the lifespan.
We can explore ambivalence and help to move them forward to a place of change.
We can focus on evidence supported interventions to improve blood pressure, BGL, Cholesterol, sleep, energy and feelings of wellbeing.