What Does Ditching Diet Mentality Mean?

Cropped image of woman feet standing on weigh scale
Photo: Thinkstock/vadimguzhva

It’s a new year and diet culture is running rampant. Instead of giving into the billion-dollar diet industry I challenge you to ditch diets and embrace your intuition! But what does that really mean?

Ditching diet culture or diet mentality means breaking up with restrictive chronic dieting, fad diets, the idea that you need to be on a diet or any other type of societal pressures associated with body weight and size to make room for a healthier relationship with food and body image. This might sound new, scary or difficult to do in a society that benefits from our insecurities, but working with a registered dietitian nutritionist who practices with a non-diet, intuitive eating and Health At Every Size approach can help you ditch diets for good, manage your health and feel your best.

Not sure if you’re caught up in diet culture? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you categorize foods as clean, good or bad?
  • Do you associate food choices with your morality?
  • Do you exercise to compensate for the foods you eat?
  • Do you feel shameful when eating foods you enjoy?
  • Have you ever been on a diet or tracked calories?

If you answered yes to any of these, you’ve likely been exposed to diet culture. The purpose of this post is not to make you feel bad but to open your eyes to the way we are exposed to diet culture and fat phobia through mainstream media. It has become normal to be on a diet or talk about dieting and weight loss. It’s time to reject our weight-obsessed culture and heal our relationship with food and our body image.  We are much more than our weight, body size and image!

How Can You Reduce Diet Culture Exposure?

It may seem overwhelming at first, but the first step to ditching diets for good is to disentangle yourself from weight-loss and body-shaming messages around you. Removing external sources of diet messaging from magazines, television and even the “fitspo” (fitness-inspiration) accounts you follow on social media can help you enter a more weight neutral realm and embrace your body with more kindness. This is just one step in getting closer to rediscovering your body’s natural response to food and ditching diet culture. Work with a non-diet holistic dietitian to dive in deeper and take the next steps in healing your relationship with food.

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Samina Qureshi
Samina Qureshi, RDN, LD, is the owner of Wholesome Start, LLC in Houston. She provides Integrative & Functional Nutrition therapy to help her clients discover the root cause of their health conditions. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new recipes, exploring the best restaurants in town, practicing mindful movement, traveling and spending time with family and friends. Connect with her on Wholesome Start, and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.