As the Government unveils a new strategy to “urge the country to lose weight” it’s hard not to wonder how this will affect people mentally, physically and financially.
However, diet culture can be toxic and for years has been known to cause eating disorders, mental health problems and affect people’s relationship with food and their bodies.
But, is this all about to change?
Over the last couple of years dieticians have been developing a new way of eating that removes the restrictive boundaries of the standard diet and instead focuses more on listening to your body.
If you follow a lot of food or diet accounts on Instagram, you may have already started to see this type of content sneak onto your discover page.
Mindful eating or intuitive eating, is the act of being more conscious around food and paying attention to hunger cues, cravings and satiety signals.
This relies on eating when you’re hungry, listening to your cravings, paying attention to how food makes you feel and stopping when you’re full.
Sounds simple right? Except it throws everything you think you know about dieting out the window.
This is because years and years of social conditioning has taught us that enjoying food is bad and that when we eat “bad” food we should feel “bad” about it.
Unfortunately this message is reinforced everyday, especially on social media. Often women are the target audience and are told that to be beautiful they need to be skinny, and celebrities are constantly pushing weight loss products onto their followers in the form of tablets, shakes or waist trainers.
The problem with this is that it’s just not sustainable because strict dieting is doomed to fail and most dieters regain the weight they’ve lost within two years.
This is why mindful eating could be gaining so much traction among the health community. While the program doesn’t focus on weight loss, it does work towards healing peoples relationship with food and promote healthier attitudes going forward.
But, weight loss can be achieved through mindful eating. Having a healthier relationship with food and having a less restrictive approach to eating can prevent binging and overeating.
This means ditching the diet and learning how to trust your body.
If you want to learn more about mindful eating Caroline Dooner releases her book “The F*ck It Diet: Eating Should Be Easy” in 2019.
The book explains why as people we are addicted to food and backs this up with scientific research, and fascinating case study’s as well as debunking the BMI scale.
Also addressing the physical, mental, and emotional issues triggered by diet culture, and how initiative eating can help you move past those problems and have healthier attitudes.
Caroline is very easy to identify with and has a very uplifting attitude. Most women know what it’s like to be in a diet, and so there are a lot of moments within the book that will reflect your own experiences, and make you feel less alone in your struggles. Her positive attitude towards food is infectious and empowering and the more you learn about diet culture and how toxic it is, the more motivated you become to escape the boundaries of a restricted diet.
It really is a great introduction into mindful eating and breaking down the walls of diet culture.