Reasons Why Diet Culture isn’t Maintainable

May 15, 2018

 

  When you hear the word ‘diet’, what thoughts come to mind? Is it calorie restriction? Is it a temporary punishment? Lately, I feel that there are many negative associations linked to the word ‘diet’. In this day in age, there are so many quick fixes that are offered like the Atkin’s diet, and South Beach Diet, but the truth is, there is no quick fix when it comes to losing weight and keeping the weight off! So, what is it exactly that is leading dieters to failure?


Dieting is a short-term fix to a problem that needs to be a long-term solution.


    Diets may seem like they are working out well initially. A lot of weight will be lost at first, but the problem is that many people don’t know how manage their nutrition to help successfully keep the weight off. What happens when you have reached your goal weight? Your nutritional needs are going to have to be adjusted. A yo-yo effect is extremely common when dieters reach their goals and somehow lose their way back to normalcy. Rather than focusing on a short-term fix, we should shed light on ways to nourish your body after you have lost the weight and continue to live your life while maintaining your waistline!


Everyone has different nutritional needs.


When it comes to weight loss, there is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ method. What works for one person may not work for another person. Someone who does not have a gluten intolerance does not need to cut out gluten like another individual that does have a gluten intolerance. The caloric needs of one person are different for another person. Fad diets tend to be very cookie cutter in their methods of tailoring a diet plan, which can be very unsafe for consumers to follow. 


Dieting/clean eating creates an unhealthy obsession with food.


The term “clean eating” has become a wide topic of discussion. Clean eating is a subjective term that is used to categorize foods that are considered to be safe foods that are healthy enough to eat. By grouping these foods, we are essentially demonizing all foods that fail to fall under the ‘clean’ category. While I do agree that eating healthy is important, I feel that putting a label on a way of eating is what promotes unhealthy relationships with food. There isn’t any scientifically approved definition to the term, which leaves room for a lot of gray area that is up for interpretation. Eating “clean” can be anything from avoiding consumption of processed foods to avoiding things like gluten and dairy. These types of restrictive eating habits can evolve into serious problems that lead to hyper focusing on food. You should be able to go out to eat and have that slice of pizza with a friend that you have not caught up with in a long time! You should be able to have your slice of birthday cake without feeling guilty afterwards. Life is about moderation and anything in excess, especially with food, is not beneficial for your health physically and mentally. 

 

Rather than seeking a quick fix to become a better and healthier you, conduct a bit of research on the strategies that you pick. Keep in mind

 

that health is a multifaceted term that doesn’t only involve nutrition, but it also involves your emotional and psychological health as well. Seek nutrition guidance from a registered dietitian, an individual that is board certified and experienced to do so!

 

Most importantly, be kind to yourself and your body. 

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