Do you want to ditch diet culture but are you worried it’ll mean you let go of your health?
Concerns that ditching diet culture will lead to you going in the complete opposite direction is very common. Here are some tips to navigate this fork in the road:
The first thing you need to accept is that health is a multifaceted concept. It isn’t just about what you eat. but how you think about food. how food makes you feel. your physical resilience and strength. your mental health. your social health. so on so forth.
I like to think it like this – shift from ‘diet mentality’ to ‘health mentality’
When you approach it from a holist health angel, I believe it is MUCH easier to incorporate balance and compassion.
When you are making the shift from a diet mentality to a health mentality, there are some basics to start with:
- Start slow: choose one or two small habits to adopt, do those for a few weeks, and once they become part of your daily routine, choose one or two more. diet culture makes us believe that we need to do things all at once. wrong. start small, grow big.
- Choose the “low hanging fruit”. start with habits that sound fun to you or are easy. often times we overcomplicate health. start by adding in an extra serve of veggies a day rather than choosing to make a fresh breakfast every morning knowing you have literally five seconds to eat it in the morning.
- Try to be additive rather than restrictive. start by adding in more water rather than taking out the soft drink.
- Avoid the all-or-nothing approach. diet culture is very black or white which teaches us that any time we don’t do things ‘perfectly’ we feel like we have ruined it and need to start again. reminding yourself that this is a forever journey health is far more than black and white.
- Put your blinkers on. when we start to observe diet culture from an objective angle, it can become a lot easier to notice yourself behaving in ways that may be supportive of diet culture. one way to do this is to surround yourself with people who have a healthy, holistic approach to food and wellness (that includes social media as well!).
The other thing to remember is that it is unrealistic to think that you’ll immediately break free from diet culture. It’s literally all around us. and so bringing compassion, kindness and awareness is really important here.
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