How is Wise Mind Nutrition Eating Disorder Informed?

Dr. David Wiss

December 10, 2022


How is Wise Mind Nutrition an Eating Disorder Informed Program?

As a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who has worked with people with disordered eating for over ten years, I know how important it is to create feelings of safety during a healing journey. Safe nutrition messaging is gentle and non-triggering. This can be very difficult when creating a curriculum because there is a wide range of approaches that can work for people. One size does not fit all.

For example, many individuals benefit from improving the quality of the food they eat. However, nutrition education designed to encourage better choices can be triggering for some people if it feels like restriction. This is why nutrition education must be trauma-informed. 

Below is a list of characteristics that embody the spirit of Wise Mind Nutrition that make it an eating disorder-friendly program:

  • It takes a non-diet approach, which means it is not attached to any trends or single food philosophies. 

  • Avoids using potentially triggering language such as “diet” and does not discuss weight-related matters. 

  • Focuses on eating for mental health.

  • Encourages cooking and culinary literacy.  

  • Discourages math-centric approaches to nutrition (no calorie counting or tracking macros or exchanges).

  • Uses a hunger-fullness scale to strengthen interoceptive awareness. 

  • Encourages mindful eating and the incorporation of spirituality.

  • Discusses known risk factors for disordered eating, such as juicing instead of eating. 

  • When recommending vegetables, it discusses the potential for some people to eat too many of these foods at the expense of other food groups. 

  • Encourages inclusion of all food groups and as much variety as possible. 

  • Encourages consistency with food, meanwhile not eating the same foods over and over.

  • Instead of emphasizing what to avoid, it emphasizes what to include.  

  • It only discourages artificial sweeteners since they reek of diet culture.

  • Looks at one's entire lifestyle, including sleep patterns and exercise patterns.

  • Educates about the risk of over-exercise.

  • It deemphasizes appearance by encouraging sanity over vanity, with a very special lesson on body image, including 14 considerations for improving body image.

Have questions about the program? Please send us a message and we are happy to set up a chat.