10 Things Diet Culture Doesn’t Want You to Know
WTF is diet culture?
Diet culture is the system of beliefs that values weight, body shape, and body size over well-being.
This culture, diet culture, teaches you that your worth is tied up in your physical appearance. Nuh-uh.
What’s worse is that “success” is often defined by shrinking your body.
BTW you don’t have to be on a diet to be influenced by diet culture.
Diet culture is hard to spot.
We’re so inundated with diet messages that they seem normal. They’re everywhere: social media, ads, magazines, TV shows, medical offices.
Diet culture, and the industries that profit from it, want you to believe that you fail diets because of personal failures.
But the reality is that diets fail because your body is physiologically wired to resist them. 🤯
It’s not your fault.
Diets teach you not to trust your body.
You’re taught by diets that you can’t trust yourself around food. That you need to follow something to “keep yourself in check.”
A diet program with rules and restrictions to improve your relationship with food? Seems like an oxymoron.
Can you tell that I think diet culture sucks? 😏
This fear-mongering, combined with the overwhelming amount of nutrition info out, creates more confusion. Doesn’t it stress you out?!
10 Things Diet Culture Doesn’t Want You to Know
Diet culture teaches you that there’s a “right” and a “wrong” way to eat and exist. And sets you up to feel like you’re not good enough. Like you’re the failure when a diet fails you.
That’s not true.
Here are 10 things that diet culture doesn’t want you to know:
The problem isn’t what you’re eating. It’s the way that you’re thinking about food, weight, and your body. As soon as you start to restrict. You start to binge. It's the diets that cause over-eating.
You can trust your body. In fact, not honouring your hunger cues and dieting can set you up for bingeing without even knowing it.
You’re already good enough. Somehow there’s always more to do. Right? As soon as you start one diet, you learn about a new and improved version that you’re supposed to try next.
A “lifestyle change” is still a diet. Diet culture is tricky. As the message gets out that diets don’t work, diets are re-packaging themselves as “lifestyles,” “detoxes,” and “cleanses.” All in the name of health. It’s not health. It’s diet culture. 🙄
Eating isn’t cheating. The concept of a “cheat day” comes from diet culture. This language assumes that everyone is dieting. And treats eating what you feel like eating as the exception.
Your body is supposed to change. Hello hormones. Bodies change. Weight fluctuates. That’s okay.
Restriction isn’t normal. Do you have to cut something out? If the answer is yes, it’s a diet.
Over-eating or emotional eating isn’t a character flaw. The solution to stress eating or emotional eating isn’t another diet. With this approach, you’ll spend years trying to “control” your emotional eating.
Food is meant to be pleasurable. You’re taught how to diet, but not how to eat for enjoyment, satisfaction, and nourishment. Weird, huh?
Health is your body’s default state. You can be “healthy” without giving up gluten, sugar, dairy, alcohol, grains, and/or processed food. You’re already on track. Your body doesn’t need to detox or cleanse to “get back on track.”
Ready to say goodbye to diet culture?
Diet culture has controlled the convo about health and wellness for way too long. Agree?
The simple fact is: diets don’t work.
Diets don’t lead to sustainable weight loss. They do not lead to health improvements. And they don’t lead to happiness.
Are you ready to try something different?
As a Non-Diet Nutritionist and Intuitive Eating coach, I don't believe in diet trends, counting calories, or maintaining a list of "good food" and "bad food."
There’s no “wagon” to fall off of.
Because a set of rules of what you’re allowed and not allowed to eat won't help you have a balanced relationship with food.
The food rules work until they don’t.
You feel good about following the rules until you can’t anymore.
Then you go off the plan, “cheat,” feel guilty, beat yourself up, and then try to have more “willpower” the next time. Sound familiar?
Rather than dissect nutrition labels and “keep you on track,” I’d rather help you work through the beliefs, fears, and false info holding you back from honouring your body, listening to your intuition, and living with joy.
How can intuitive eating help?
Intuitive eating is all about honouring you as the expert of your own body. Rather than teaching you to rely on diet rules.
Sound good, but not convinced?
Letting go of dieting doesn’t mean that you’re “letting yourself go.” Nope. It gives you the ability to focus more on the things that matter in your life.
But even if you’re aware of the impact of diet culture, it’s hard to break up with it. Right?
How can you start your non-diet, intuitive eating journey?
Start by tuning in to your body—your hunger signals, appetite, emotions, thoughts, and feelings about food.
It can also help to surround yourself with non-diet messages. You can find me on Instagram over @thegoodyolk. Let’s be friends!
If you prefer some one-on-one support. Claim your free 30-minute Free Discovery Session to learn how I can help you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meet Ellen Kaross (she/her), the Non-Diet Nutritionist and Intuitive Eating Coach behind The Good Yolk. Diets do more harm that good, so she uses a Healthy at Every Size® (HAES) approach.
Ellen’s mission is to help people find joy and balance through intuitive eating, self-care, and self-love.
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