The philosophy of Joyful Eating involves ditching the diet mentality. It involves eating without restriction or deprivation, and without the guilt and shame that may follow. It allows you to release the stress of dieting and attempting to control your body.
Joyful Eating requires you to draw your full awareness to the experience of eating. It’s surrendering completely to the appearance, smell, taste, and sensation of food as you eat, without labelling the food as healthy or unhealthy, fattening or naughty. It involves recognising that the meaning you might ascribe to the food you eat is not reality. The food you eat does not define who you are or your self-worth.
When you embrace Joyful Eating, you realise that your use of food as a comfort or distraction, or something to provide self-love, is not a personal failing. It’s the reliance on diets that perpetuates discontentment in your body, and erodes trust in your body and yourself around food. The thing is, there is nothing you need to do or accomplish to be worthy of self-love and acceptance, just as you are.
Joyful Eating involves recognising your body’s cues that it’s hungry, as distinguished from food labels, eating rules, habitual or emotional reasons for eating. It involves an awareness of how your body feels in response to the food you eat, while recognising that there is no perfect way to nourish your body and mind. Instead, Joyful Eating enables you to spontaneously make food choices that you require to feel good: physically, mentally and emotionally.
When you embrace Joyful Eating, you can appreciate that food provides pleasure and nourishment, and that there are other ways to cope with your emotions without food. You recognise that embracing the joy of eating and your sense of aliveness is your highest priority in each moment… without having to change a thing.
Eating psychology considers the personal, emotional, situational, societal, environmental and marketing influences that affect our food choices and eating habits. Through understanding why we are eating and why we make the food choices we do, how our food preferences and our eating behaviours have been formed, we are better able to adopt healthier habits and be more mindful of our eating. We can reclaim food as enjoyment and nourishment, rather than as a temptation to resist or something to control.
The non-diet approach is a way of providing nutritional guidance and correcting nutritional deficiencies without dieting. Rather than diets, which restrict calories and enforce strict diet rules to lose weight, the non-diet approach is a more intuitive way to choose when and what to eat. It considers eating behaviour and incorporates both emotional and physical health. Diets are often short-term measures to shed excess weight, but do not focus on long-term health. It is now well accepted that most dieters regain the weight they lose on a diet, and then some, and that weight is not an accurate measure of health.
The non-diet approach shifts the focus from weight loss to health, and on changing eating and lifestyle behaviours that can be sustained for life. This approach is supported by research that shows “patients often feel less guilt about eating, increase their enjoyment for food, become more aware of the physical signal of hunger and satiety and become less dissatisfied with their body shape and weight, plus negative feelings associated with overall appearance decrease”. 
 Kausman R, Murphy M, O’Connor T, Schattner P. 2003. Audit of a behaviour modification program for weight management. Australian Family Physician. 31(1)