Diet culture has slowly become a trend that people can get out of. With the talks about health and fitness, it is still surprising to see some people who have bad reps about dieting.
It can be defined as a system of beliefs, customs, messages, and behaviors that places value and focus on weight, shape, and size over and above health and well-being.
Let’s give you some common “diet culture” examples:
You wrongly define foods as good or bad, then feel better or worse after you eat out of those foods.
You eliminate certain food groups from your diet.
You feel anxious/guilty when eating certain foods.
You believe that you only require supplements to get that toned body.
You place a lot of focus on how you look, including compliments on weight loss or gain.
And this is not even the peak of this pervasive culture. The misconceptions related to dieting have developed it into a toxic culture. It could start with sudden food restrictions, without a medically confirmed food allergy. When you see someone restrict certain foods, it’s possible that it could be stemming from false beliefs that dieting leads to a thinner body.
You are heading the wrong way if you believe that your eating disorders are “just a phase.” They’re called disorders for a reason, people! When these dieting behaviors go unnoticed, they lead to chronic disordered eating patterns or worsening clinical eating disorders. Some diet culture eating disorders include life-threatening anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, and orthorexia. Help may be required in terms of physiological and psychological treatments to help get better.
Diet Culture has created a belief that it’s okay to risk the life of a person to turn them into a thin version. It is ingrained in society that it feels appropriate to suggest risky measures and crash diets, disregarding their physical and mental health.
How can you resist Diet Culture?
Conventional, and actually, a wrong definition of Diet Culture imposes certain food rules and restrictions to manipulate body sizes. Look out for such red flags. Since it gets all around, you might have accumulated such restrictions and beliefs on your journey to stay healthy. Acceptance is the key to moving towards changing these traditional and toxic patterns.
Start by acknowledging that diet culture exists and understand the harm that may be causing you. Actively pushing back against it together is how we can make way for new, better and more mindful values.