The place of weight in the nutritional approach in 2022

Intuitive eating and the anti-diet movement are very popular right now, but you have to rely on reliable sources to ensure quality nutritional guidance. So we hosted Vanessa Daigle in a webinar where we discuss the hot topic: the place of weight in the nutritional approach in 2022.

Presentation of the speakers

Vanessa Daigle - Nutritionist-Dietitian, Content Creator

On a daily basis, Vanessa shares her passion through different communication channels: one-on-one during private consultations or on a larger scale on social media, on the radio, in conferences or on her podcast Zone Grise.

Her goal is to inspire the general public to make healthy choices without compromising on taste. Vanessa puts pleasure and simplicity at the center of her recommendations and thus enables sustainable and healthy dietary changes for her clients.

Weight and health 

The link between weight and health is a hot topic! Indeed, we hear everything and its opposite.

However, there are different factors that lead to weight gain. It can be caused by stress or hormonal imbalance and not only by an unbalanced or unhealthy diet. Certain lifestyle habits can also cause weight gain.

The person's history, such as past diets, should also be taken into consideration. A person who wants to change his or her lifestyle habits will easily lose weight. A person who has been on several diets in the past will have difficulty losing weight.

The way in which weight is distributed also plays a role in the link that the public makes between fat and health. Fat in the arms or legs seems less unhealthy than fat in the abdomen, where the link to health is made directly. However, it is impossible to judge a person's health by looking at them. 


"Hexfit is, to date, the largest exercise database in the world."

Vanessa Daigle

A person with a lot of extra pounds is obviously at a higher risk of having various health problems.

These health problems include:

  • heart disease
  • Stroke
  • diabetes
  • certain cancers

As well as less common conditions such as gout and gallstones.

Perhaps even more compelling is the strong link between excess weight and depression, as this common mood disorder can have a profound negative impact on your daily life. Indeed, the overweight person may also experience grossophobia and feel excluded from society.

A Harvard study that combined data from more than 50,000 men (participants in the Health Professionals Tracking Study) and more than 120,000 women (from the Nurses' Health Study) revealed sobering statistics about weight and health.

Volunteers provided their height and weight, as well as details about their diet, health habits and medical history. The researchers followed the volunteers for more than 10 years. They recorded the occurrence of diseases and compared these developments with each subject's body mass index (BMI) - an estimate of an individual's relative body fat calculated from height and weight).

Obesity increased the risk of diabetes 20-fold and significantly increased the risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and gallstones.

Among those who were overweight or obese, there was a direct relationship between BMI and risk: the higher the BMI, the higher the likelihood of disease.

Following a diet adapted to these objectives is not always related to weight 

Whether the goal is to lose weight or eat better, many diets are possible. But one thing is certain, diets don't work. Sure, your clients will lose weight, but a few months later, the pounds will be back.


This diet is not actually a "diet" at all, but it can still help achieve dietary goals. It's called intuitive eating, and it's a movement that's gaining many followers.

At its core, intuitive eating is about getting in touch with body signals (like hunger and satiety) and learning to trust your body when it comes to food. There are no restrictions or forbidden foods; just an effort to eat better, feel healthier and enjoy food more.

For many people, the traditional approach to eating leads to nothing more than years and years of weight loss and gain and a negative relationship with food and their body image. Intuitive eating is here to put an end to that.

Clearly, there is something there. Instagram is full of comments from people raving about how intuitive eating has helped them stop obsessing about their weight, stop binge eating, and stop feeling guilty around food. Of course, this approach is much broader.

Here's what you should know about intuitive eating and how to make it work for your clients.

Intuitive eating, another way to link food and health 

As the name suggests, intuitive eating is about following your intuition. The biggest difference between intuitive eating and dieting - or lifestyle changes - is the focus on internal cues and signals rather than external rules. Intuitive eating uses feelings of hunger, satiety, satisfaction and body awareness to dictate food choices in the moment. Traditional diets, on the other hand, use external factors such as nutrient counts, calories or food groups to plan foods in advance with no room for flexibility.

While it is possible to lose weight by following an intuitive eating approach, this is not necessarily the goal. Instead, the goal of intuitive eating is to foster a healthier and happier approach to food.

Yes, it sounds very simple, but it certainly takes work to get there. We are all born knowing how to listen to our body's signals of hunger and satiety, but as we go through life, our natural intuition gets dulled on many levels. As children, adults constantly give us snacks, whether we are hungry or not. We are told to finish our plates even if our bodies are perfectly well fed. We are rewarded with food for good behavior. At the same time, we are told that hunger is an emergency, even though it is a perfectly natural sensation, just like fatigue.

While intuitive eating offers the enticing promise that no food is off limits, the process of restoring (and following) natural cues is tricky.

It's time consuming and time consuming, and sometimes you have to fail before you can succeed. The good thing is that once you learn to eat intuitively, weight control often becomes infinitely easier, because the body naturally has all the tools to guide itself. At this point, your clients will easily be able to eat only when they are truly hungry and stop when they are full. No stress.

De plus, l’alimentation intuitive permet de comprendre qu’un aliment ne doit pas nécessairement être évité sous prétexte qu’il n’est pas bon nutritionnellement.  

As professionals, we must be flexible 

Weight is not always relevant in the context of nutritional support. This is why if a person does not wish to communicate his or her weight because he or she does not weigh himself or herself or is ashamed to do so, this data is not always necessary for the support. The idea here is to validate the impact that diet has on health.

Most importantly, as a health care professional, you must be very flexible. You have to be able to meet the needs of your clients.

Intuitive eating is not necessarily for everyone. You have to see the expectations of the clients. The goal is to simplify food, because people don't have time to cook. So, you have to know how to adapt and not remain cloistered to intuitive eating as the miracle cure for every client.

Camille Boutin

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