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Our Nutrition Philosophy

At Thrive Wellness Waco, we recognize our bodies and brains are significantly affected by the ways that eating disorder behaviors alter food intake and activity. This impact is further complicated by the society and culture we live in, as we are constantly surrounded by conflicting, confusing, and inaccurate messages about how to “eat right” and how our bodies should look. Our passion is to help each individual develop a more peaceful, intuitive, and autonomous relationship with food. Gentle nutrition support plays a key role in this process.

Our registered dietitians are happy to help clarify and simplify misleading and overgeneralized nutrition and health information. We clarify by supporting each individual in recognizing how their current distorted thoughts and beliefs toward food can fuel their eating disorder. We then simplify by providing education rooted in facts – not fads – and exploring the ABCs of nutrition: adequacy, balance, and choice.

Adequacy simply means eating enough to obtain the energy and nutrients required to meet the body’s needs. Because many biological reactions impact both the brain and body when malnourished, eating adequately is fundamental to recovery. We work hand-in-hand with each individual to establish this foundation.
Balance refers to eating various types of foods in each food group in proportion to each other. Balanced eating provides the body with sufficient carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. It should be noted there is no such thing as “perfect balance.” While we do use nutrition science to provide education and gentle guidance regarding the general needs of the body, we do not apply a one-size-fits-all approach. Balance looks and feels different for everybody.
Choice encompasses many aspects of nutrition, including variety, moderation, and autonomy. Authentic choice diminishes when an eating disorder is in control, as variety tends to narrow, moderation becomes distorted, and autonomy is lost. To regain true choice, we must significantly expand the variety and challenge the rules, restrictions, and compulsions dictated by an eating disorder.
Additionally, all nutrition interventions, recommendations, goals, and messages we deliver are rooted in three principles:

1

We can trust our bodies: We work from an intuitive eating lens which we define as helping each individual discover the food and movement their own body and brain needs and desires to feel its best. Intuitive eating emphasizes that we can trust our bodies to appropriately use the fuel and nutrients we consume without micromanaging our intake.

2

All foods fit: The “all foods fit” approach stresses there are no “good” or “bad” foods and ultimately challenges the idea that food has moral value. This mentality helps dismantle an eating disorder’s categorization of foods as “safe” or “unsafe” and shifts the perspective from foods being “allowed” or “off-limits” to considering all foods on an even playing field instead. This philosophy helps foster a neutral rather than stressful interaction with food as we move through the phases of treatment and recovery. We honor medically or otherwise necessary dietary restrictions while helping individuals explore the origin of their eating disorder’s restrictions and ultimately overcome them.

3

All bodies are deserving of respect and compassionate care: The truth is body size does not categorically determine health status. All bodies are worthy of respect, and people of all shapes and sizes deserve support and encouragement to find compassionate ways to take care of themselves. Incorporating these and other ideals of Health at Every Size (HAES®) in treating those with eating disorders helps us support both short-term and long-term recovery.

A Place to Grow

For more information about Thrive Wellness, please reach out. We’ll connect you with the care you need.

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