Don’t lose hope on your New Year’s resolutions just yet.

A workshop titled “Introduction to Intuitive Eating” was held in the Pomerantz Center on Tuesday to expose students to a more balanced way of approaching a healthy lifestyle.

“Intuitive eating is an approach to eating that moves people away from dieting and puts the focus on eating for physiological reasons such as hunger and fullness and satisfaction,” said JoAnn Daehler-Miller, a workshop presenter and dietitian at the University of Iowa Student Health & Wellness. “It helps move people away from a focus on body image and having to be a certain size.”

Research shows that 1 in five Americans choose some variation on “getting healthy” among their biggest annual goals. Even though a recent study by the American Psychological Association found that 33 percent of Americans ditch their New Year’s resolutions by the end of January, a change in mindset can be easier and more helpful than entering a crash diet or putting off goals for another year.

“We wanted to offer [the workshop] earlier in the semester and help direct people to healthier patterns rather than jumping onto restrictive diets that go along with their New Year’s resolutions,” Daehler-Miller said. “We want to take this opportunity to make students think about the negative impacts of dieting and about taking a healthier approach eating, from a mental and physical health perspective.”

More than 50 people filled a lecture auditorium as a brief overview was given on the principles of intuitive eating. The information had been modified by UI dietitians and fitness experts from a plan first developed in 1995 by dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. It emphasizes a strong rejection of fad diets, understanding one’s body’s signals and shifting focus from restricting yourself to embracing emotions towards food and exercise.

“It’s just really respectful of our body and our body’s needs. It focuses on general healthy eating but not having strict rules, which are really hard for most people to stick with for a long period of time,” Daehler-Miller said. “It’s a healthier balance and helps move people away from thinking they have to count things. It offers more flexibility, so it’s a more realistic lifestyle for most people.”

This can be especially meaningful for students who are experiencing a state of constant transition.

“Especially during college age, a lot of dieting goes on, and over time, that actually leads to increased weight gain and bad body image,” said UIHC dietetic intern Rachael Biggers. “It’s a time in life when you’re constantly comparing yourself to others and trying to fit the mold of celebrities or models. In the end, the crash diets aren’t going to really help.”

Biggers also noted that college is a critical time for students to develop healthy eating habits as they move from a dependence on their parents to a dependence on themselves for proper lifestyle management.

“I’ve been trying to diet for a while, and I’ve been exercising a lot. With exercising comes the healthy eating aspect that I’m trying to incorporate more into my lifestyle,” said UI freshman Victoria Rivera Snyder, an audience member. “It was a college resolution, trying to incorporate that, because I did not want the freshman 15. I learned that I should get the diet mentality out of my mind; getting rid of that word is important because that can create a negative connotation in your mind.”

[Source:-The Daily lowan]