Kate Ringwood, LPC
How to Fight Diet Culture
Updated: Nov 6, 2022
So much of the world is consumed in diet culture, which is a societal norm that thinness is equivalent to health. It normalizes dieting and the concept of earning your food. Those consumed in diet culture tend to have low self-esteem, negative body image, and struggle with the belief that being thin makes them a better person than one who is not.
The concept of all foods fit is a direct way to fight diet culture by eliminating labels on food such as, good or bad and healthy or unhealthy. When someone attaches a label to food, an emotion often comes with it. If someone then eats the “bad” or “unhealthy” food they become “bad” or “unhealthy”. This leads to immense feelings of shame and lets diet culture food hold power over ones food choices.
If certain foods become off limits, our body craves these foods even more, leading to a preoccupation with the off limit foods. When we do not allow our body to have the food it craves, we lose trust in our body, causing a disconnect, between our mind and body. This disconnect makes it difficult to tell when we are hungry or full, and what kind of foods we even enjoy. When we take away the food labels and judgments, we reduce the likelihood of disordered eating or an eating disorder.
Choosing what we look at on social media plays a factor in the way we think. Social media is surrounded by diet culture. By choosing to follow bodies of all shapes and sizes, we are normalizing that all bodies are good bodies and working to fight diet culture. Follow us @Serendipity.Counseling for diet culture free content!
This is the practice of accepting your body for what it can do for you. This does not mean that you love your body every day, or at all. It simply means that you respect it. Just like any other personal relationship, you can show respect and care for your body, even if you do not love it.
Have you ever gone to the doctor and left feeling shame about your shape or size? Much of the medical world works under a weight-centric framework. This may come in the form of diets claiming to lower your blood pressure or a doctor telling you to lose weight in order to help your knee injury.
By now, we know that diets don’t work. Not only are they a leading contributor to eating disorders, but they also have been shown to lead to other concerning health issues. Check out HAES fact sheets for more info on this.
HAES looks at health through means of physical and mental well-being, while promoting equal health care to those of all sizes and shapes. The principles of HAES take into consider the whole being and include weight inclusivity, respectful care, health enhancement, life-enhancing movement, and eating for well-being. To learn more about the HAES principles, check out The Association For Size Diversity and Health.
Diet culture is everywhere. It is on your TV, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, grocery stores, and at the doctor’s office. If you are struggling to fight diet culture, you are not alone. It is okay to reach out for help. You deserve it. Contact us at Serendipity Counseling Services for support. for support.