9 ways you’re being lured into dieting culture

dieting culture

Make no mistake. We live in a dieting obsessed culture. And with so many so-called dieting “experts” out there with so many conflicting advice and philosophies we often place our trust in other people about how to eat, how to move and how to best nourish ourselves. The problem with this is that through all that muck and noise, we lose touch with what we instinctively know about our own bodies and which foods and movement patterns work best for us. This strips away our power and intrinsic wisdom and placing it into other people’s hands. And it takes us away from our path of wellness and health which and into an urgency of weight-loss only defined success. Dieting culture also relies on us not feeling good enough the way we are. At it’s core, it tells us plainly in a not so thinly veiled way that you will not be loved, accepted, worthy or desired unless you eat a certain way, move a certain way, look a certain way or live a certain way. This is simply not true. Time and again, even those who have crawled their way out of dieting and dieting culture, like myself, find themselves lured into the promise of weight loss and the power of dieting culture. After all, it can be an incredibly powerful light that draws us in.

But, here are 9 ways to recognize and realize when you are getting caught up in this pervasive culture that sucks us from our own wisdom and from listening deeply to our own sense of self-worth, as we are right now.


1.You notice a friend’s recent weight loss and feel dread, worry or concern that you’ll need to start dieting again as well.


2.You see some new “low-fat” or “low-carb” item in the grocery store and instinctively grab for it, without knowing any other information about it.


3.You watch a commercial for a new detox, cleanse or diet program on TV and feel compelled to learn more about it.


4.You have a wedding coming up and your first thought is how you’re going to lose enough weight in time for it.


5.Instead of celebrating your 5 days at the gym this week, you chastise yourself for your missed day.


6.You see a celebrity article about how so-and-so lost her baby weight in 1 week and start to feel frustrated and hopeless that it’s taking you so long to get it off.


7. It’s “beach body” or bikini body season, whatever that means, but feel that your beach body is not up to snuff.


8.You begin to mistrust some of the wonderful health changes you’ve made when you hear about a new program someone else is doing that seems to be working.


9.You’re with a group of people who are “being good” or “eating clean” and being judgemental about what other people are eating, thereby having you doubt your own intuition about the right way to nourish yourself.


It is normal and common for us to get sucked back into dieting culture. After all, it’s still the norm of our society and it is what is preached to us in the media and the many diets thrusted in our faces every day. Take time to sit quietly, away from the noise, and notice deeply what feelings this brings up in you and why. Think about the premise of diet culture and how it needs you to stay small (figuratively), stay worried and stay insecure about your own inherent beauty and worth that resides in you and each of us. Then, refocus on your true goals. Of happiness and purpose, and of finding a sustainable, balanced and healthy approach to eating and movement. Take pride that you have been able to unshackle yourself from chronic dieting and dieting culture.

If you need help, reach out and let’s schedule a Eating Psychology coaching session together. It took me years to crawl my way out of this pattern and yet it still rears its ugly head from time to time. It’s ok to need support in this area.