We live in a world where what it means to be healthy and attractive has been distorted. A culture has been created in which children start dieting as young as 9 or 10 years old, not because they have weight to lose—but because they already feel the pressure to be thin. The list is long but here are a few of the downsides to the diet culture we live in.
Every generation, family, and microculture defines beauty in a different way. Sometimes curvy is on trend, tight and toned, or thin. Whatever the trend may be, it leads many of us to try to achieve a body type that is unrealistic. We are all born with a natural body type that cannot through healthy means be changed. When a society or microculture values certain body types over another it often leads to body shaming and oppression of those who falls outside the trending definition of beauty. It is also a high contributing factor to low self-esteem.
While there are a weight range and BMI that is suggested for each demographic, determined by age, gender, and health, being within a weight range does not ensure health. An individual whose body type is naturally thin, but who eats a diet high in sugar and processed foods is not healthy—which is a concept beautifully demonstrated in Cameron Diaz’s The Body Book. True health is measured by factors such as nutrition (not diet), level of physical fitness, stress levels, and mental and emotional health.
Diet culture makes food the enemy and normalizes deprivation. It does more than just deprive your body of calories but of essential nutrients which can lead to decreased immunity, increased irritability, decreased focus, and more. Extreme dieters often encourage their friends and family to their latest method of deprivation, unintentionally body shaming those who have no desire or need to lose weight.
When what you can eat next, how much, and when becomes the primary focus of every day; as well as punishing yourself for when you don’t follow your diet—your days become long and your happiness takes a nosedive. Even with successful weight loss, the low energy decreases your quality of life. In fact, many dieters who come off long stretches of deprivation dieting site happiness as the largest benefit of ditching their diet, even if they gain back their weight.
If you are tired of extreme and yo-yo dieting, of letting food rule your life, and feeling hungry and dissatisfied at mealtime it’s time to focus on nutrition instead. We will teach you how to nourish your body, lose weight and improve your health—without deprivation. Reach out to the team at Personalized Nutrition Concepts today to learn more!