Become a Competent Eater


Would you like to take the worry out of eating? That’s just what Ellyn Satter, a Registered Dietitian and Family Therapist, recommends in her Eating Competency Model. Satter developed her model after seeing that though people often feel guilty or worried about food, they often don’t actually follow published nutrition guidelines. Her mission is to help people feel joyful and confident about eating.
Competent eaters demonstrate the following behaviors:

  1. * Feeling good about food and about eating…and not worrying about feeling good about it
  2. * Liking a variety of foods and enjoying learning to like new foods
  3. * Trusting themselves to eat the right amount (and allowing body weight to reflect genetics and lifestyle)
  4. * Taking time to eat regular meals and snacks and paying attention while eating

​The Eating Competency Model has been studied and found to be associated with stable or improved BMI, improved diet quality, increased physical activity, and better physical self-acceptance. To help yourself become a competent eater, try the following:

  • Eat rewarding, regular, and reliable meals
  • Pay attention while you eat
  • Eat what you want and how much you want

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©2016 Kathleen Searles, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN

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