Diet culture is a system of beliefs perpetuated by people, companies and organisations that profit off of consumer’s dissatisfaction with their bodies. Let’s ditch it, once and for all.
Why ditch diet culture:
If you’ve ever tried and “failed” at a diet, or quit one, it’s not your fault. Our bodies are biologically designed to override calorie (or any type of dietary) restriction.
Diet culture is so ingrained within our society. It is all around us. It influences how we speak, what we eat and wear, and even how we feel about and talk to ourselves. We are living and breathing diet culture every day, yet most people don’t even know it exists. That’s because it is so deeply embedded into our lives that it seems completely normal (until you start to do a little digging, that is).
While diet culture harms everyone, its effects are especially detrimental to marginalized groups. That’s because diet culture reinforces existing systems of oppression.
How to ditch diet culture:
Unfollow those people on instagram that makes you feel like dirt. Social media can be great. But it is also heavily crafted. And unrealistic. And triggering.
2. Watch your language (and others)
Sometimes we and others use language that feeds into diet culture. Ever commented on your body in front of someone? Has a relative ever commented on your weight? Has someone at work talked about this new diet they are on? This is all diet culture. Other types of language to avoid:
3. Ditch the apps and programs
Diet culture often encourages us to under eat whilst overexercising, following fitness programmes designed for the many, rather than a more individualised routine attuned to our bodies and unique needs. Apps such as MyFitnessPal may feel benign at first but what may be initially a tool or convenient record to keep track of food may become both a source of and a salve for extreme food-anxiety and obsessiveness.
4. Tune inwards
Start listening to your own hunger cues. Tune inwards. Eat mindfully. Start appreciating food for what it is.
If you feel like you may need some extra guidance when it comes to nutrition and your relationship with food, help is out there <3
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©2023 [alice bleathman dietitian]