50 Truths to help you break up with Diet Culture

Need a good reason to break up with diet culture? How about 50 great reasons! Things that make you go Hmmmmmm..........

  1. 95-98%% of diets fail.  
  2. Dieters gain most of their weight back, if not more, within 3 years. 
  3. "Dieting causes the condition it's supposed to cure.  Most people who diet would be happier, healthier, and thinner if they never dieted." Paul Campos - The Obesity Myth
  4. There is no proven method for sustainable intentional weight loss.
  5. The largest predictor of weight gain is a diet.
  6. Dieting is the most common precipitating factor in the development of an eating disorder. https://eatingdisorder.org/eating-disorder-information/underlying-causes/
  7. It’s hypocritical for us to prescribe behavior to fat patients (labeling food good/bad, restricting intake, relying on the number on the scale for feelings of success) which we would diagnose as eating disordered in thin patients. (Deb Burgard - http://www.bodypositive.com/top10.htm)
  8. Dieting is a $61 billion dollar industry based on getting you to not like how you look so you will spend money on it's solutions.  (Even better for them that they offer solutions that don't work so you will keep having to come back. A former financial manager of Weight Watchers even admitted they know they are successful because most of their business is based on repeat customers.)
  9. BMI was never created to accurately give any information about someone's health, it was created by a statistician to describe the weight of a population.  All weights under the BMI bell curve are NORMAL.  Only the middle part is average.  (So why do Dr.'s say everyone should be in the middle?) For more reasonsBMI is bogus (as if you need any more)  - http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106268439
  10. Over weight - over what weight? Who decides what is over?
  11. Name a disease that only fat people get. (Yeah - I didn't think so.)
  12. "Long term human studies show that almost all of the excess risk associated with obesity can be accounted for by the higher incidence of weight cycling in obese people, and that obese people with stable weights have very little excess risk." Paul Campos - TheObesity Myth
  13. Dieting causes a stress response that can affect your weight and your health.
  14. You can't tell someone's health by their weight.
  15. People with type 2 diabetes who lost weight had just as many heart attacks, strokes, and deaths as those who didn’t. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2015/03/diets_do_not_work_the_thin_evidence_that_losing_weight_makes_you_healthier.html
  16. Recommending weight loss should be considered unethical.
  17. People put in the "overweight" category actually live the longest.  So why are you still trying to lose weight for your "health"?
  18. Bob Harper (trainer on the Biggest Loser) had a heart attack - even the people we perceive to be "fit" can have undesirable health outcomes. (I wonder if he had a history or weight cycling? That can weaken your heart.) 
  19. If fat is not unhealthy then the only reason we don't like it is because we have been conditioned to think it's undesirable. By exposing ourselves to more fat bodies we see the beauty in all people and it is not size dependent.  (In other words, toss the Self subscription and add these to your instagram feed: idaho_amy, virgietovar, themilitantbaker, thebodyisnotanapology, crushtheculture, and nolatrees for starters.)
  20. Two people who eat exactly the same can have two very different weights and body types.
  21. A Bull Mastiff cannot be a Chihuahua (check out poodle science https://youtu.be/H89QQfXtc-k ). 
  22. None of this concern over weight would exist if there wasn't fat phobia in the world.
  23. You can't tell anything from someone else's weight except for your own bias. (Want to check your bias? http://www.weightstigma.info)
  24. You don't know what lengths someone is going to in order to maintain a thin body - you can't assume it is easy or natural, just as you can't assume someone in a large body consistently eats more than they are hungry for and doesn't ever move their body.  
  25. If your goal is weight loss for looks, you are playing into the hands of the patriarchy and the media.  Do you really want to give them that power?
  26. Your body is an instrument, a vehicle, a spacesuit not an ornament. (Watch the movie Embrace on Netflix for more about this! https://youtu.be/__2AayArYfs)
  27. You can't accept yourself and be happy with yourself if you are always at war with yourself and mad at yourself for not looking a certain way. 
  28. Body love does not come out of body hate.
  29. My culture and the media taught me to hate my body. I was not born that way.
  30. Being slim does not make you a better person or guarantee you a problem free life.
  31. You don't have to be a "good fattie" (i.e. exercise and eat "healthy" even if fat) to be worthy or treated with dignity and respect. https://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/good-fatty-bad-fatty-bs/
  32. Completing a marathon and watching a Netflix marathon are morally equivalent and both totally valid uses of a Sunday.  (Also by the amazing Ragen Chastain.)
  33. You don't have to be liked. (Desiree Adaway)
  34. Your will power is not the problem, restriction is what leads to bingeing.
  35. You can still be on a diet or exercise program and already start regaining the weight - your body wants to get back to where it was that badly. (Linda Bacon -Food Psych podcast with Christy Harrison episode #42)
  36. Carbs are necessary for your body to function properly. 
  37. Food (including sugar) is not addictive.  (Isabel Foxen Duke - http://isabelfoxenduke.com/is-sugar-physically-addictive-lets-discuss-2/)
  38. Negative thoughts about food and your body can be more harmful than foods that are deemed unhealthy or weight that you think is unhealthy.  It causes stress and tension in the body.
  39. Negative thoughts about the healthy foods you are eating (because you don't really want to be eating them) can cause you to absorb fewer nutrients from the food.  (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/20/opinion/go-with-your-gut.html)
  40. No foods are "bad" or "good".  It's just food.
  41. 18-25% of a populations health comes from food and exercise choices, the rest comes from genetics, environment, access to medical care and enough food to eat, finances, and fair treatment in the world. Meaning, all the "good" and "bad" choices you are making are not having half the impact you think they are. https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/socialdeterminants/faq.html
  42. You can't control your appetite anymore than you can control breathing.
  43. I was born knowing how to feed my body.
  44. My body can be trusted to know what to eat, and how to move. (See http://benourished.org/body-trust-wellness/ for their great work on Body Trust)
  45. Food is meant to be enjoyed not feared. 
  46. A focus on food and weight can be a distraction from other things in your life and is probably not about food and weight.
  47. In a 2014 study, people unhappy with their weight were more likely to go on to develop type 2 diabetes, especially if their dissatisfaction went on for years - whether they were thin, overweight or obese.  (Body of Truth, Harriet Brown)
  48. Most studies that show weight loss helps with health outcomes are funded by people with financial interest in weight loss companies or by pharmaceutical companies working on weight loss drugs.  The study that no one wanted to publish was the one that looked at dieters who lost weight where they found basically no relationship between health outcomesand the amount of weight gained or lost. (Have you heard about that study? Yeah - probably not.)
  49. The population has indeed gotten heavier but so have other species. (Are the animals drinking too much soda too and skipping their workouts too?)
  50. Nothing changes if nothing changes. You can't keep doing the same thing over and over again (dieting) and expect a different result.  If you put weight aside, what is it you really want?

Is there anything else that has helped you break up with diet culture? I'd love to hear about it, feel free to email me at elizabeth@elizabethhallcoaching.com.

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash