Diet culture is all around us. Dieting has been normalized. For most of us, it’s like air, we can’t see it and don’t even know it’s there. ‘Tips’ and ‘tricks’ to lose weight are plastered everywhere- from celebrity endorsed products on Instagram to the headlines in magazines. We are constantly being sold the idea that we need to lose weight and that dieting is the answer. Spoiler Alert: they're wrong.
95% of diets don’t work. I know what you're thinking. "Ok, Karin. Then why are we sold fad diet after fad diet as the solution if they don't work? Keto, Macro, and Juice Cleanses can't be wrong." Great question. The weight loss market is a 70 billion dollar industry. Why are there always new fad diets if they work? The diet business thrives on your failure. Let's learn to read between the diet culture lines together.
"Keto, Macro, and Juice Cleanses can't be wrong...the weight loss market is a 70 billion dollar industry. Let's learn together how to read between the lines."
Our culture teaches us not to trust our bodies natural desires and urges. Diet culture perpetuates so many harmful myths that can lead to disordered eating and an unhealthy relationship with your body and food. Fret not, today we’re here to BUST some harmful diet myths and provide much-needed truth bombs!
Diet Myth: If I overeat It's cool, I'll work it off during my next workout.
Truth: Your body needs nutrients, and it will need even more if you are working out. It’s not necessary or healthy to try and compensate for overeating. Overeating is a regular part of healthy eating. Your body is smart and knows how to work that out. Our bodies are programmed to eat more on some days and less on others naturally. No one eats precisely the same number of calories every day. But even if you’re not working out, you still deserve to eat. You don’t have to “pay” for eating by working out.
Diet Myth: Food rules keep me from gaining weight.
Truth: Rigid rules won’t make you successful, and they often will lead to deprivation which leads to a restrict-binge cycle. When food rules are too rigid with we end up feeling really crummy and down. We set ourselves up for failure because we’re working against the bodies most powerful urge. When you end up breaking a rule (which you will), you feel as though you have somehow failed. But there is no failure when you're nourishing your body. You cannot fail. Flexibility with food and eating is a sign of health.
Diet Myth: Ignoring your hunger and cravings will help you lose weight.
Truth: It could be skipping breakfast, or not eating until 2:00pm, or only allowing yourself to eat tiny portions. Diet culture glorifies the deprivation of health needs. Hunger is a natural, normal urge. Your body needs food to function. And thank goodness we’re programmed to find eating and food desirable, or we’d all starve. Think about it this way: If your body signals you that you need to pee, you’re not going to make yourself ‘earn it’ (at least I hope not or that's a whole different issue) or try only to pee 3 times today, or put off peeing until 2:00pm. That’s crazy, right? The same principle applies to hunger. When your body sends you a hunger signal. We should respond to the need not glorify suppressing it.
Diet Myth: ___________ diet worked for my friend/mom/coworker. Maybe I should try it.
Truth: We’ve all had well-meaning friends who have gone on a diet and can't wait to tell us about their experience. Unfortunately, they are often doing more harm than good. Everybody and every body is different.
Just because an eating style made your friend lose weight doesn't mean it will have the same effect on you. Plus, it doesn't mean what they did was healthy. Remember 95% of diets fail but that's a different discussion. Listen and learn what works for your body, your schedule, and your health. Also, tell your friend/mom/coworker you don’t want to hear about their diet and it’s the least interesting thing about them. ;)
Diet Myth: There are "good" and "bad" foods.
Truth: There is no such thing as a good or bad food. That is something we’ve been taught, and it’s dead wrong. Food is not a moral issue. Food is food. A salad isn’t “good” and a doughnut isn’t “bad.” Of course, if you only eat donuts all day every day, your body will feel sluggish because you're not consuming all the proper nutrients your body needs. And the same for the salad. Let's stop bullying our foods and start listening to pur bodies.
Diet Myth: A cleanse is a great way to drop weight and DETOX.
Truth: Cleanses are everywhere with lots of endorsements from celebrities. Weight loss lollipops, anyone? A cleanse is not detoxing your body. Detox is a marketing term found on face maks, teas, juices, supplements, make-up, the list is endless. So many of us have fallen victim to detox and skinny marketing. Your body is freakishly efficient and very skilled at detoxifying all by itself.
There is no scientific research that supports a cleanse as a healthy way to lose weight or even an unhealthy way to lose weight or detox. On the other hand, eating intuitively, if you love a good green juice every once in a while follow your heart my lovely.
If you have to restrict, binge, over-exercise, or neglect yourself to stay at a certain weight or shape, your body is not meant to be there. I bet you have questions and we'd love to hear from you! Please send us a message with any comments or questions. If your'e looking for more information reading the book Intuitive Eating is a great place to start.