Today is "No Diet Day" and we invited a food freedom coach and an inspirational woman Jessica Kumah to tell us more about diet culture, how it affects our minds and how to achieve a healthier mindset regarding food.
Unfortunately, diet culture has had a significant impact on society. We are constantly being bombarded with the beliefs that diet culture hold. With social media being at its peak, diet culture has also become much more present. Individuals are constantly comparing themselves to others online while putting themselves down. There are so many “quick fixes” to lose x pounds in such a short period of time that involve a large amount of restriction and food rules that truly make you feel deprived.
I understand how intriguing it may seem when someone who has society’s “ideal” body type is promoting a certain tea, waist trainer, fat burner, or diet plan that will “fix” everything. Sadly, those who aren’t feeling great about themselves are the ones that usually fall into this trap. There is a reason why the diet industry made $71 billion dollars in 2020. Although this is a significantly large amount, it is a 9% decline from 2019.
Recently, I have seen many people speak about their experience within diet culture compared to how they currently view food and their body. Sharing about your experience is a great way to inform others of the effects that diet culture can cause physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Jessica's Tips on how to achieve a healthier mindset regarding food
1. Viewing food as something that is meant to nourish you and make you feel good It’s important to view food just as it is, food. As humans, we are meant to eat food to nourish us and make us feel great. Food is available to give us the energy to focus and go throughout the day completing tasks that need to be done. When you view food as something that “makes you fat” or that you’re “not allowed” to have, you take away from the positive eating experience that you’re meant to have. Even if you’re having a slice of cake and it may not be nourishing nutrient-wise, it’s still nourishing your soul and making you feel good. Start focusing on the positive aspects of food and you’ll start to have a greater appreciation for it. 2. Removing the labels “good” and “bad” from food Labeling food as “good” and “bad” leads to feeling guilty after having “bad” food. You’re not supposed to feel like you did something wrong after having a certain food. This stems from diet culture as diet culture has put food into categories of what you “should” and “shouldn’t” have. When you remove the labels from food, you begin to truly enjoy food without having to feel bad about it afterward. Making this change creates a healthy mindset towards food. 3. Start listening to your body instead of rules and restrictions Listen to your body! Your body will always give you cues to tell you how hungry you are, how satiated you are, and if a certain food truly brings joy into your life. When you’re following all these rules and restrictions that tell you how to eat, you end up moving away from your intuition. Listening to your body and giving it what it truly wants rather than externally seeking permission to have certain food is crucial. Once you build that trust with yourself, you’re able to intuitively eat while knowing that you are making the best decision for yourself and your body.
Source for the amount made within the diet industry in 2020 - here.