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The Missing Piece of the Intuitive Eating Movement

With January 1 right around the corner, that means the diet culture vultures are coming out and are ready to prey on people that want a quick fix for weight reduction. This episode with Michelle Shapiro will help arm you so that you don’t fall into that and know that you are in power of your own healing. Molly admits to having a compromised relationship with nutritionists due to most of them believing that a “one-size-fits-all” approach of intuitive eating is the answer when in reality, it is more complex than that. Michelle Shapiro is an integrative/ Functional Registered Dietitian and Patient Advocate and she agrees that the issue with the intuitive eating movement and diet culture, in general, is that it is not focusing on the specific needs of an individual. 

While the 10 principles of Intuitive eating are based on great intentions, that doesn’t mean that it will work for everyone. It gets tricky when we try to discern between intuition and emotion, and a lot of us are unable to make the distinction. For those with gut issues or chronic illness, it is not as simple as just being able to tune into intuition to make food choices. 

Michelle explains the philosophy of “Internal Family Systems” and the idea that we have separate parts of ourselves that speak to us, and while those parts have our physical safety in mind, it is important to know whether the part speaking to us is our true self, or just a part that wants us to be safe. 

As Molly and Michelle go through each of the 10 principles of intuitive eating, they explain that while the overall goal is great, the question becomes, is this approach focusing on the individual’s needs or just telling us this is the only way? Our approach to food and our body should be one that is individualized based on our own unique needs. That is why it is important to work with someone that is invested in getting to the root cause of any mental or physical issues you are experiencing. The goal is to approach health changes in a loving manner and in a way that addresses your own unique needs and is of your own desire. 

Episode Quotes:

  • “I don’t feel that losing weight is something that deserves a badge of honor because I don’t want it to be attached to my morality as a person. I just believe that healing as a process is something to be very proud of, but weight loss as a parameter of morality or success is not something that I like to attach.”- Michelle Shapiro
  • “Being able to focus on intuitive eating as a first line of defense is a privilege for people that aren’t sick.” – Michelle Shapiro

Key Highlights

  • The importance of finding the right person to work with to help heal your relationship with food and your body
  • The problem of targeting people’s pain point to sell diet programs
  • Strict diets don’t work for brain health and endocrine health
  • The societal consequences of occupying larger bodies and how it affects our mental health
  • Michelle’s journey of losing a significant amount of weight too quickly and how that affected her mentally and socially
  • Is it okay to want a different body? 
  • How to separate which part of you is talking to you: Michelle explains Internal Family Systems
  • The importance of focusing on the process and not the outcome
  • The problem with highly processed food and what it can do to our brain chemicals
  • What is missing from intuitive eating and the body positivity movement? 
  • The issue with “all foods fit” posts on social media 
  • What are the 10 principles of intuitive eating?
  • What does it mean to be a functional dietician? 
  • Michelle shares exciting projects she has coming up and how you can access her programs

About Michelle Shapiro:

Michelle is an Integrative/ Functional Registered Dietitian and Patient Advocate practicing virtually in New York City. In her one on one practice, Michelle helps clients heal from chronic stress and digestive issues so they can lose weight lovingly and restore their energy, while experiencing a deeper connection with themselves and with life. In her supportive client work, Michelle is eager to bridge the gap between intuitive eating/ body positivity and functional nutrition, whereby there is generally a dichotomy. She believes clients can approach health changes lovingly, without force, and through their own agency.

Connect with Michelle: 

Websites: |

Instagram: @michelleshapirord

About Molly Carmel

Molly is a leading addiction and eating disorder therapist and the founder of the Beacon Program, which offers individual and group solutions to help people break free from their destructive relationships with food and dieting. She is also the author of ‘Breaking up with Sugar’ and the host of ‘What You’re Craving’ Podcast.

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