Article in Sussex Prestige January 2020
DITCH THE DIET
Nutrition Coach Sarah Moore, of Kale and Cake, helps people develop a normal relationship with food and to educate them on good nutrition for their bodies.
Words by Louise Howeson.
It's that time of year again when the diet industry churns out yet more quick-fix weight loss schemes. However, there is one woman holding back the tide of diets and teaching women how to stop dieting forever and gain a healthy relationship with food. Sarah Moore set up Kale and Cake in 2018 and has worked with a raft of clients.
"Diets are everywhere and, believe me, I get why they appeal to people. I still get tempted when I see the headline; "lose ten pounds in two days." However, I know it will lead to me restricting food, feeling bad and obsessing about what I'm eating and then overeating."
"The reality is, people overeat as a result of restricting food. If you never diet, you would never overeat. The overeating is a natural bodily response to restriction - our bodies fight back."
Sarah offers a six session Full Exploration programme where she spends six hours with clients bi-weekly. She explores themes including: why diets don't work; how to gauge hunger and fullness cues; mindful eating; emotional eating; body positivity; and good nutrition.
Sarah has a BA Hons degree in Anthropology and Psychology, and a diploma in Eating Psychology and a diploma in Diet and Nutrition.
"It can take a while for people to get into eating intuitively, and people might get an element of push back, but by breaking the restriction/binge process, a side effect can be weight loss. However, that is not the only positive aspect. The freedom it gives and the space freed up in your brain, after all those years worrying about food and eating, is amazing," enthuses Sarah.
Looking back, she says her own disordered relationship with food started from an early age. Sarah says; "As a child we didn't have squash or any sweet treats in the house. We had 20p to spend on sweets, which I savoured, but that was it. Then I went to boarding school at 12, I went from no sweets to a tuck box full of mini chocolate bars, so when I felt sad, I ate them."
Sarah stepped on the diet wagon as a teenager and would restrict food and then overeat for many years. I used to have a poster of Kate Moss on the wall with her weight printed on it, not very healthy for a teenager to see," says Sarah. "The girls at school were all on diets and so I joined in and then it was many years later that I finally stopped."
Sarah spent 15 years in the advertising and marketing world, her last advertising role was on Maltesers at AMV BBDO, and her last marketing role was as Marketing Controller of Sky Atlantic Channel working on Game of Thrones.
She says: "I did come across intuitive eating in my twenties and I went to a workshop on the subject, but the principle of eating ice-cream all day if you wanted to was too much for me to take on board."
Sarah works with her clients and their eating past to help them break free from dieting. Sarah says "I ask clients "when was the last time you felt hunger?" most can't remember because they are so out of touch with their body's cues. We outsource our eating to other people, but our hunger mechanisms tell us best when to eat."
Sarah recommends that people eat with their hunger and to not restrict any particular foods. If a person eats for emotional reasons then they can explore which emotions they are trying to cover up by eating.
"There should be no forbidden foods because it just makes us crave them, and then if we do eat them, it's quickly, at the kitchen cupboard, we end up not tasting them.
When we eat when we're not hungry and we sit with it sometimes we realize we are not hungry for food but we are bored, missing something in our lives, or need time for ourselves. There are other ways to soothe yourself that aren't to do with food. Lots of women put themselves at the bottom of the list and eating is a relief to the pressure and it works. But there is another way."
Sarah believes an individual's attitude needs to change in order for them to accept themselves as they are. "In the last week of the course we focus on body acceptance because it is fundamental to accept who you are now in order to make any changes," says Sarah.
The nutrition element to Sarah's course comes at the end of the course when her clients are able to be more relaxed about food and eating. She has put together some simple recipes for hearty wholesome meals.
"January will be full of diets but you do not have to be hooked by them, you can free yourself from diets forever," says Sarah.