The Real Deal is designed for the individual confused about what to eat, but wanting to reject the dieting mentality for good. With the help of certified intuitive eating coach, Carol Guizar, you will discover a lifelong eating approach that is balanced, fun and unique to you. The focus is not on weight or weight loss, but on establishing sustainable, healthy behaviors that respect your body’s needs and support your physical and mental wellbeing.
A life with less food and body worries
You may be wondering if intuitive eating is right for you. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
- You’re staring at an unappetizing salad in front of you. You look up and see others at the dinner table eating and enjoying pasta and think, “Why can’t I eat like that?” You want to learn how to eat normally, too.
- You step on the scale in the morning and look down at the number. It’s higher than last week, and your mood immediately sinks. You think, “No sugar or carbs today.” You try to muster up the enthusiasm but can’t find it in you.
- You find yourself routinely overeating or getting up to search for more food after a meal, and are unsure why. "Why can't I stop eating? What am I really searching for?" You want to better understand why you keep reaching for food.
- You don’t know much about nutrition and are interested in feeling healthier, but going on a diet has zero appeal. “How can I eat healthy without feeling like I’m eating plain chicken breast and broccoli all day?”
Intuitive eating is for everyone, dieters and non-dieters alike. We are born eating intuitively. Somewhere along the way, we get disconnected with our innate hunger and fullness cues as we absorb mixed messages from authority figures, the media, and society. What results are confusion, anxiety and general apprehension about what you should and shouldn’t eat. This can all be undone and you can learn to eat flexibly without guilt and shame.
An intuitive eating coach can help
It can be a little daunting to navigate the beginning stages of intuitive eating alone, or you may find yourself feeling stuck. Carol guides you through the process at your own pace. One-on-one counseling will change your relationship with food as you become more attuned to what, when and how much your body needs.
By undertaking this journey, you will:
- Never calorie count or follow a meal plan
- Challenge the voice that tells you what is “good” or “bad”
- Reduce guilt around eating
- Discover foods you actually love and make you feel good
- Trust yourself around your favorite foods
- Become in touch with food’s physical effects on your body
- Find alternative coping mechanisms that do not involve food
- Discover joyful exercise that does not feel burdensome
- Arrive at your natural body size and learn skills to manage body image challenges
- Maintain or increase meaningful social interaction
- Feel happier and healthier
Carol will be there every step of the way to make sure you have support and guidance as you learn to adopt a non-diet life in a diet-filled world.
Intuitive eating coaching packages
The packages below are designed to ensure your long-term success and are available in-person or virtually.
Intuitive Eating FAQs
In a dieting mentality, what you eat is dictated by external rules, which forces you to ignore the internal signals that influence eating. This leaves dieters very susceptible to outside cues such as TV commercials, food aromas or cupcakes that appear in the office. Restriction inevitably sets you up for overeating in a moment of vulnerability.
Intuitive eaters are not daunted by these cues. Chocolate chip cookies may smell amazing, but one might be enough. Or you might not be in the mood for any. With intuitive eating, you are meeting your needs consistently, so the desire for more food dissipates.
Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach that teaches you how to have a healthy relationship with food and your body. The focus is not on food rules, restriction or calories. It’s learning to eating outside of dieting mentality and making food choices based on internal cues such as hunger, fullness and satisfaction. Instead of making food choices based on what’s “good” or “healthy”, you use the direct experience of eating a specific food and observing how it affects your body and mind. As you begin to understand your preferences and challenge long-held food beliefs, you will learn to eat in a way that preserves pleasure and honors health.
Intuitive eating is guided by ten principles, which you can learn more about here.
Intuitive eating is for everyone.* We are born eating intuitively, but it gets hammered out of us as we get older and absorb messages from the outside world. Food decisions often come from a place of fear and confusion, and ignore the signals that our bodies give us.
Intuitive eating ends the cycle of frustration brought on by emotional eating, food fears, dieting, overeating and body dissatisfaction. It can also be an enlightening process for individuals without a dieting history who are interested in becoming healthy without restricting their food choices.
*Intuitive eating is contraindicated in early-stage recovery of eating disorders. During later stages of recovery, intuitive eating may be explored. Contact Eathority using the form below if you have any questions.
The intuitive eating process can be uncomfortable and unfamiliar because it flies in the face of health ideals our culture holds dear---the pursuit of weight loss and thinness, and the validation of food restriction to achieve these. This discomfort is very normal and decreases over time.
If you undertake this journey, you will start challenging long-ingrained food and exercise rules. You will learn to listen to hunger and fullness cues and figure out foods that actually satisfy you. You make peace with your favorite foods, and learn that all foods are morally equivalent. You will examine the self-talk that goes on in your head and how this influences your self-perception and your relationship to the outside world. You will also make progress towards accepting your natural body size.
Another wonderful consequence of intuitive eating, and perhaps the most undervalued, is the freedom that accompanies it. As you begin to trust your intuition, you spend less time obsessing about food and your body. These effects trickle into other parts of your life and help you become more confident, self-aware and compassionate.
Unlike diets, intuitive eating is a longer-term process. How you progress depends on how long you’ve been dieting/restricting and how deeply entrenched dieting culture is in you. It takes time to figure out what makes you tick, which foods actually satisfy you and how you can build trust around foods you have been avoiding or overeating. If you have a great deal of body dissatisfaction, it can also take time to accept your natural body size (the size at which your body settles without restriction or overexercise).
Some people lose weight, maintain or gain during this process. Intuitive eating allows you to arrive at a weight that is natural for your body and easy to maintain. The cycle of losing and regaining, and the frustration that accompanies this, will end.
But weight is not the focus of intuitive eating. It is very normal to desire weight loss, and you may be experiencing pressure to do so from loved ones, doctors or society’s expectations. We do not ignore the desire for weight loss and we will discuss reasons for you wanting to do this and how it affects your relationship with food and your body. However, weight must be put on the back burner if you want to tap into a deeper body wisdom. The more you focus on weight, the more your food decisions are guided by external rules, feelings, and events. It can prevent you from rejecting the dieting mentality and fully making peace with foods.
When it comes to health, behaviors matter more than the number on our scale. Physical health can be obtained even in the absence of weight loss.
Our society is biased against larger bodies. People fearmonger about the dangers of larger bodies, citing studies that show correlation, not causation. We idealize thin bodies and equate them to health and beauty, which is misguided, unfair and deeply distressing for anyone who does not fit this ideal. But contrary to popular belief, you can be in a larger body and be healthy. Even for those who are thin, negative body image can still exist and often leads many to fixate on their bodies and diet to achieve “better” health and fitter bodies.
Research shows that a Health at Every Size (HAES) model can improve health outcomes in people of all sizes. The HAES (pronounced hayz) model accepts and respects the diversity of body shapes and sizes, supports life-enhancing movement and eating for well-being. Intuitive eating is the eating pattern that supports HAES.
Intuitive eating and HAES offer viable, evidence-based alternatives for achieving health and happiness. Many studies support their use in clinical practice, with the following demonstrated outcomes:
- Improved cholesterol
- Decreased blood pressure
- Increased physical activity
- Improved blood sugars
- Greater food variety in the diet
- Reduced food and body preoccupation
- Increased body satisfaction
- Less overeating
- Less disordered and emotional eating
- Higher self-esteem
- Better coping skills
Restriction and dieting do not result in long-term weight loss. In the short-term, dieting causes individuals to lose weight quickly, usually peaking at 6 months after the start of the diet. Most diets result in a maximum weight loss of about 5-10%. These losses are modest, and for people in larger bodies, many remain larger bodied and at continued risk for weight stigma and discrimination.
Weight loss eventually plateaus, and once dieting ceases, weight is slowly regained, often returning to original levels. Studies have shown that 90% to 95% of dieters regain all their lost weight within a few years. Within the first year of dieting cessation, less than 20% of people are able to maintain their weight loss, and many regain 30-35% of weight that is lost. After four to five years, one-third to two-thirds of dieters regain more weight than was lost, although researchers believe this latter statistic may actually be higher.
The cycle of losing and regaining usually leads to another diet, more weight loss and eventual regain. This puts people at risk for the following:
- Future weight gain
- Cravings, overeating or binge eating
- Cardiovascular stress due to fluctuations and increases in cholesterol, blood sugars, insulin and blood pressure
- Slower metabolism
- Muscle loss
- Emotional and psychological distress, including lower self-esteem
- Premature death, especially from heart disease
For the small percentage of people who are able to maintain weight loss in the long-term, losses are usually modest. Any health benefits that are observed cannot be fully attributed to dieting because it is difficult to untangle the possible effects of other changes, such as exercise.
Based on this information and studies showing that health improvements can be attained in the absence of weight loss, there is a strong case against prescribing weight loss via diets.
Like any new journey, it can be a little scary to navigate the beginning stages of intuitive eating on your own. For some who have already started the process, they may feel stuck and in need of having a travel partner to talk through the tricky parts. Working with a certified intuitive eating coach provides you with consistent support and guidance. You are in charge of the destination, and I will be holding the map to guide you there.
Sessions occur on a weekly or biweekly basis depending on the level of support that is needed.
If you are ready to explore intuitive eating, sessions can be scheduled on a biweekly basis if you feel comfortable.
If you are not ready for intuitive eating and need more nutrition support, sessions are conducted weekly until you feel comfortable enough for biweekly sessions. If you have financial considerations, we can reassess the frequency of sessions after our first four weeks together.
Sessions often take place in Eathority’s office in Greenwich Village. If your insurance plan covers virtual meetings or you are paying out-of-pocket for nutrition services, we can meet by phone or secure video. Eathority can also travel to you, but you will be charged for both travel and session time.
During the first session, we will discuss your eating history, digestive health, lifestyle factors, how you feel about your body and any other relevant information you feel comfortable discussing. Depending on what your concerns are in session, you decide what sort of between-session “assignments” you want to engage in, if you want to engage in any at all. Examples include:
- Some reading or workbook exercises to support topics we discussed
- Thought-provoking questions to consider
- Observing emotional and physical responses to your eating patterns
- Listening to podcasts
- No homework at all – just getting comfortable with your new dietitian and this new process
In follow-up sessions, you are free to discuss any successes or challenges since the previous meeting or any topic that feels pressing to you that day.
Eathority is in-network with Aetna, Cigna, Emblem, and Oscar in the greater New York area. If you have one of these plans, you may have coverage for nutrition services. Contact your insurer and inquire about your plan’s details. If you have one of these insurance plans but Carol is not a participating provider, Eathority can provide you with in-person or virtual nutrition coaching, but it will be subject to out-of-pocket fees.
For all other plans, please contact your insurer to inquire about out-of-network coverage. Eathority will provide you with a superbill after each session to submit to your insurer for possible reimbursement.
Eathority encourages potential clients to consider this: change does not occur in a single session. But if you are exploring whether intuitive eating is the right approach for you or you want to get to know Carol and her style, single sessions are available.
For Aetna, Cigna, Emblem, and Oscar clients in the greater New York area, your plan will determine how many sessions you are allotted. You are free to see Carol for one or more sessions. If you need additional sessions that your insurance will not cover, you will be responsible for paying out-of-pocket for these sessions. Eathority has various package and payment options and she can discuss these with you in session.
For any out-of-network clients, a single session may be purchased, and if you decide to move forward together with Carol, sessions are sold in package form. Please contact Eathority using the form below to inquire about pricing and payment options.
Yes, you can! Carol works with clients who are ready for outpatient weekly meetings with a dietitian. She also will meet with you if you are unsure if you need help and want to discuss your options. During the first session, Carol will get to know you and your history and will assess if her level of care is right for you.
Carol values a team approach and requires a therapist, psychiatrist, and doctor to be involved in your care. If you do not have any of these, Carol can help you find empathic providers who you connect with and can help you in your healing journey.
In the case of an eating disorder, you may not be ready for intuitive eating. While each eating disorder is unique, you will likely be working on the following before advancing to intuitive eating:
- Establishing a regular eating pattern with balanced meals
- Working through body image struggles
- Challenging food beliefs and the eating disorder voice
- Increasing distress tolerance
- Normalizing exercise patterns
- Discussing any other issues you feel are relevant to your recovery
With Carol, you will discuss and learn about intuitive eating concepts along the way, and when you feel confident and comfortable with your new eating habits and coping mechanisms, you may be ready to give intuitive eating a try!