Rejecting the Diet Mentality

We all know the latest fad diet everyone seems to be on these days. It changes every year, and every year seems to go to the next extreme.  And the worst part is, there are so many. Whether it be keto, Whole30, Weight-Watchers, clean eating, calorie counting, intermittent fasting, the list goes on - but why are there so many? Well, society has formed these opinions about what a woman's body should look like and weigh. And those opinions they have are relatively unattainable for most women. Those that don’t meet the standards society expects are shamed because they don’t fit into the box created for them. As you can probably tell, this is a huge problem we have in the world today. 

Diet companies feed off the insecurities women have. Diet companies exploit women’s fears of not being good enough and make them feel unworthy if they don’t look a specific way. But the diet industry isn’t trying to help you be “healthy,” all they want is to make money. The diet industry is a $60 billion per year money-making giant. And yes, I meant to use billion with a b. The fact is that these diets they promote as “life-changing” or “healthy” are doing more harm than good. Whenever we do a restrictive diet, our body enters a stage called the famine response. Our bodies will go into starvation mode to try and conserve energy. The famine response is a survival instinct bodies have. And after the diet ends, our bodies are still trying to save energy as they did in starvation mode. Meaning it takes fewer additional calories to regain the weight you lost back. So extreme dieting may help you lose weight for a little while, but you will inevitably gain it all back. 

 

The truth these diet companies don’t tell you is that no one food is “bad” for you. No one food group will make you gain weight. Your body needs all food groups to function. Cutting out carbs, sugar, fats, or whatever your diet has deemed “bad” is the opposite of healthy. If you have an ice cream cone tonight, it won’t make you gain weight. If you have an ice cream cone every night, it won’t make you gain weight. If you have an ice cream cone at every meal, then that might be a different story. But feeling guilty for enjoying the food your body wants and restricting everything in your diet is the real “unhealthy” factor. Balance is key. You can live a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle by eating what you love and want. You don’t need to cut out anything or restrict. It’s not worth it. 

Baked chocolate donuts with sprinkles Photo by sheri silver from Unsplash

In a healthy lifestyle, you have to remember your self-worth. Obsessing about weight is pointless. Weight is just a number. It only means something if you give it the power to mean something. You have to remember to be happy in your life. If you skip a workout today or eat an extra slice of pizza or splurge on a latte, is it really going to matter a year from now? The answer is no. You can enjoy your life and not worry about what the scale says or what society tells you to do. When you jump from diet to diet, your body is programming itself to hold on to every calorie possible, making it more difficult to lose weight; Eventually leading you to try another fad diet that is even worse for you. I encourage everyone to reject the diet mentality and live life to the fullest. That means no counting calories, no intermittent fasting, which is just skipping meals, and absolutely no keto. Carbs are amazing, so eat them and be happy. 

woman in jeans holding ice cream cone Photo by Jason Yoder from Unsplash