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Here at Sweet Spot Health, we the principles of Intuitive Eating and non-diet nutrition to help people get it together around food, body image and movement so that they can say a big stuff you to diet BS and develop a sustainable way to care for their health.

Hi! I’m Maddi

founder of sweet spot health

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The RAVES Model: Your Roadmap to Healthy Eating

In a world saturated with diets, unattainable body ideals, and the inaccurate depiction of ‘healthy eating’, recovering from an eating disorder can often feel like an uphill battle.

A huge part of recovery often involves shifting the understanding of what “healthy” eating really means. For this reason, Dietitian Shane Jeffrey created the RAVES Model. An evidenced-informed model that supports the development of finding your sweet spot with food through combining science and personal values.

This guide is not just about reshaping your connection with food. It’s also a holistic journey that liberates you from diet culture and empowers you to uncover your sweet spot with food through intuitive eating.

Adopting a RAVES approach to eating goes so much further beyond food itself. It positively influences how you see and treat your body, and, in the end, how you see yourself. Through 3 phases, RAVES offers a transformative guide in the realm of what healthy eating really means.

Phase 1 of the RAVES Model:

R: Regularity

In the world of disordered eating and diet culture, finding your sweet spot begins with regularity. Instead of succumbing to restrictive diets, embrace the concept of regularity by creating a consistent rhythm in your eating habits.

Eating regularly means eating 3 meals, 3 snacks, and 3 hours apart (ideally). While this isn’t always feasible, it should still serve as a good goalpost.

We like to think of regularity as the foundation for a sweeter relationship with food. It assists with reducing grazing and binge eating episodes, boosts metabolism, improves digestion and helps maintain blood sugar levels.

A: Adequacy

Adequacy is the cornerstone of the RAVES model. It emphasises the importance of nourishing your body with the nutrients it needs. It builds on the foundations of regularity and moves to optimise the overall amount and quality of foods eaten. The goal? To ensure that your body receives the necessary nutrients in the right proportions.

By prioritising adequacy, you empower yourself to make food choices that align with your body’s unique needs, cultivating a sweeter relationship with food. Let go of the unfounded food rules and embrace a mindful, adequate approach to eating that honours your well-being.

Phase 2 of the RAVES Model:

V: Variety

Variety is the spice of life, and the RAVES model encourages you to savour it in every bite. Rather than confining yourself to rigid food choices or ‘safe’ foods, this phase is all about diversity.

Building on from adequacy, variety in your diet promotes a balanced and inclusive approach to eating. This aims to tear down the idea of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods to make eating more flexible and enjoyable.

Seeing all foods on an even moral playing field allows your mental, physical and emotional health to thrive. It also sets the stage perfectly for social connection around food to occur.

E: Eating Socially

Eating socially is a vital aspect of the RAVES model. It typically takes place once safety around the amounts and types of foods eaten has been consistently established.

It goes beyond the nutritional content of your meals, emphasising the nourishment that comes from shared experiences with others. If you’re unsure what we mean by this, think of our Italian friends. They’ve been nailing the idea of social eating for centuries and epitomise the fact that food is so much more than food.

This could look like getting ice cream with a friend, accepting a cooked meal from a loved one as well as organising a lunch at a cafe. Eating socially contributes to a sweeter and healthier relationship, not only with food but with the people around you.

S: Spontaneity

Lastly, the final step of the RAVES model is spontaneity. This means moving further away from rigid food rules and routines and embracing life’s beautiful randomness.

This lays a platform for trusting food decisions, and allowing yourself the flexibility to respond to your body’s cues and desires. In doing so, you say goodbye to the constant mental acrobatics and welcome the liberation that comes from spontaneous, intuitive eating.

Embracing spontaneity means letting go of the need for excessive control and trusting your body’s signals. Overall, it leads to a sweet spot where food choices are made with joy and freedom.

Phase 3 of the RAVES Model:

Intuitive Eating 

The final phase brings us to the heart of intuitive, healthy eating. In short, it involves strengthening the ability to listen to your body’s cues, and making food choices based on what feels right for you.

The emphasis is on being attuned to your body’s signals and letting go of external rules. Likewise, it’s about honouring your hunger and respecting fullness, breaking free from the confines of rigid diets and embracing a more intuitive, mindful approach to nourishment.

Intuitive eating encourages a reconnection with the joy of eating and allows you to savour the experience without guilt or judgment.

The RAVES Model — Regularity, Adequacy, Variety, Eating Socially, and Spontaneity

This is your tool belt to navigate eating disorder recovery towards healthy, intuitive eating.

By incorporating these elements into your approach you’ll undoubtedly revolutionise your relationship with yourself, find your sweet spot with food, and foster sustainable healthy eating habits.

This blog was written by Rochelle Lopes – one of the Dietitians at Sweet Spot Health. She understands that health is more than just numbers on a scale and adopts a non-diet approach where she helps you find your sweet spot with food. Learn more about Rochelle here.

A woman having a healthy relationship with food through the RAVES model to eating.

Here at Sweet Spot Health, we the principles of Intuitive Eating and non-diet nutrition to help people get it together around food, body image and movement so that they can say a big stuff you to diet BS and develop a sustainable way to care for their health.

Hi! I’m Maddi

sweet spot health founder

BACK TO BLOGS