Diet Culture Promotes Weight Loss: When Does It Stop?
Diet culture is one hot topic that dominates social media today – but it has a dark side. We’ve got famous Instagram fitness influencers who continuously market their workout programs and diet plans with millions of followers. They appear to share content that’s inspiring and promotes self-love and body positivity. However, the images they post do not always communicate this message. The results are becoming critical.
I’m sure you’ve seen them. The images presented to us are primarily really fit, thin and toned girls or muscular and built guys. While these images are meant to serve as ‘fitspiration,’ they’re having a negative effect on the mental, emotional and physical health of many who follow them.
Even though there is medical reasoning behind the fact that many people need to take their weight seriously, there needs to come a time when weight loss as your focus, ends. If it doesn’t, you’re going to end up hating your life, your food and worst of all – yourself. The amount of pressure and stress that you are burdening yourself with is too much to handle. Particularly if you are in great shape already. We cannot live in a little Instagram, diet culture focused world – we’d all go crazy!
That’s why there something called the ‘Anti-Diet’ movement.
Diet Culture Should Not Control You
Over time, the weight loss trend has grown and now controls the lives of many young and sometimes, older people – much to their own detriment. As a result, some people took initiative and created the anti-diet movement. Unfortunately, it’s gone so far that they’re demonizing eating healthy. This is not exactly good either. The point is that we’re missing a happy balance entirely.
Some people in this movement have even claimed that any attempt to lose weight is a diet. This is true, but if you’re overweight then it would obviously be the healthier option to try and lose weight. You shouldn’t overlook it entirely. Unless you’re super healthy already and have become obsessed with weight loss.
I believe that diet culture has developed a certain level of obsession surrounding food and exercise. But I do not think that we should not consider weight loss at all if it based on a sound lifestyle plan. Especially if you are suffering from knee pain, high or low blood sugar levels, and heart problems.
However, the problem seems to be that we don’t know when to stop focusing our efforts on losing weight. When is it enough? The true route to wellness is not found by focusing on losing weight your entire life. Remember that the number on a scale is only one indicator of wellness and it doesn’t end there. Any kind of exercise program or healthy eating plan in moderation will be good for any human. But, once you’ve lost the weight or you’re at a healthy point in your life – there’s a time to focus on new goals.
And it doesn’t help to focus on comparing yourself to photographs on Instagram either! Who knows? Those people might be living seriously unhealthy and unsustainable lifestyles to appear the way they do.
The Darker Side
There is a dark side to diet culture and perhaps even the anti-diet movement. The biggest issue is we don’t have an in between.
It also depends on who you are as a person. One individual might be okay with controlling their weight and another might be lead to self-destruction. A 2005 study discovered that nearly 20 percent of overweight people are successful at long-term weight loss. However, there are those who do not manage to maintain their weight loss. Diet culture places an unnecessary amount of pressure on us.
Many of these people wind up in a never-ending struggle and live in a world where they are always anxious about food. On top of this, they’re never satisfied with their bodies. I think the constant reminders of these thin girls on Instagram are causing all kinds of self-loathing problems. As a result, many have even developed eating disorders. It really doesn’t help anything when the core focus of society is about being super lean.
No wonder there are people hating diet culture entirely! On the flip side, we shouldn’t overlook the discussion of health entirely. I think it is still vital that we talk about keeping our bodies fueled and moving regularly to maintain a healthy society. But it should never take over your life.
Jessamyn Stanley, author of ‘Every Body Yoga’ says it’s almost like there is a wall where you can’t talk about healthy eating at all in fat-positivity communities. She adds that it’s as if you’re creating an unsafe environment by talking about healthy eating. Jessamyn believes the solution to breaking down those walls is acceptance and self-care.
Better yet, when you love yourself you want to fuel yourself well. You want to take that care for you.
Stop Focusing On Appearance
I think that the only way we can help mend the situation is by adjusting our core focus away from weight or appearance. That way people will all be free to pursue health in our own individual way. That is what true health is about.
When weight loss is out of the picture, then you can implement new healthy practices that have meaning to your life. Things that serve your mind, body, and soul.
Beginning to incorporate healthy behaviors seems like your best shot at true wellness. Experts say that a lot of the health problems we associate with obesity are actually a consequence of not getting enough exercise. That’s why it’s bizarre that the world has honed in on weight loss to such an extent. Whereas, instead, we should rather focus on improving fitness and nutrition, which is easier and more important.
Experts add that it helps to create concrete, positive fitness goals. Perhaps try sitting down and making a list of the things you’d like to be able to do that you can’t do now. Whether it is to walk a few blocks without running out of breath, run a 5K or go for a swim. Focus on your own goals and not trying to live up to the ridiculous standards presented to us on social media.
This Is What You Need To Do
Jessamyn Stanley recommends researching online or asking friends and joining communities who welcome people of all sizes with no judgment. nonjudgmental environment. The problem has resulted from people never being satisfied with themselves. Better yet, be confident within yourself and proud for joining. Think of it as a fun, new experience and not a way to lose weight.
The goal is to concentrate on how something makes you feel. Do you feel energized after a yoga session? Was your breakfast the power you needed to get through your day? These internal feelings are personal and important motivation stimulators. Do not torture yourself by stepping on a scale your whole life.
And don’t quit these positive behavioral changes just because you didn’t lose any weight. Jessamyn says when you define health in terms of weight, that is the risk you take. She explains that you need to make changes that matter to you for reasons that go beyond weight, such as better digestion, more energy, better sleeping patterns and having a better attitude toward food. The key factor is to make choices that fit you best, that make you feel good, and trust that you will be at a weight that is healthy for you. And guess what? You don’t need a scale for that.
Want to know more?
Read on to see which foods you need to consume in each decade of your life so that you can move onto the next one with ease.