Community Wellness | Feel good about the food you choose

Community Wellness | Feel good about the food you choose

Summer is a great time to shake up your eating habits, thanks to the large selection and lower price of fresh fruits and veggies.

But changing isn't always easy, especially with all the conflicting information, dieting "rules" and guidelines that seem to change by the day.

Luckily, there are ways to make healthful living simple without counting each piece of fruit, eating foods you don't care for or even knowing what a calorie is.

Eating Competence, developed by Ellyn Satter, a well-respected nutritionist, family therapist and writer, helps people feel happier about eating and choosing healthful foods.

With this style of eating, you give yourself permission to choose the foods you like and to eat as much as you are hungry for.

You listen to your body's natural hunger cues and plan to have meals at regular times.

To become Eating Competent, first think about where and how you eat. Plan your mealtimes for when your body starts to feel hungry, instead of grabbing food whenever you happen to think about it, or when hunger drives you to it.

When you make time for meals, you'll be able to tune in to how your body feels while eating.

There are also no rules about what or how to eat. With no forbidden foods, you trust yourself to eat as much as your body needs.

When the habits of rule-following are finally broken, you are free to feel happy about the way you eat.

In short, Eating Competence means eating the foods you like when you're hungry and stopping when you're satisfied.

To learn more or to take the Eating Competence quiz, visit the Ellyn Satter Institute's website at

Remember, it isn't about dieting. It's about feeling good about the foods you choose while trusting your body to tell you when you've had enough.

Caitlin Kownacki is an educator for University of Illinois Extension serving Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion counties. Contact her at 217-353-0740 or

Sections (1):Living
Topics (3):Food, Nutrition, People