In 2023, you can ditch those diets. What you can do in its place

This article contains information about eating disorders, disordered diets, and restrictive eating habits.

Maddi Parsons, a dietitian from the University of California Davis, explains why ditching diets in 2022 may be the best decision you ever make for your relationship with your food and body. She also offers some advice on what to do instead.

Since generations, our diet culture has been urging us to lose weight or go on a strict diet. The average person is estimated to have tried 126 diets in their lifetime with little or no success.

Diet culture tells you that thinness is the pinnacle for beauty and worthiness. It also perpetuates the idea that you’re a bad person if your appearance doesn’t match this ideal. This belief puts appearance over physical, mental, and overall well-being.

Maddi says that deciding your self-worth and health based on your size, weight or shape is more harmful than helpful.

This is because diets were not designed to be long-term effective. How else could the diet industry be valued at $254 billion if they were? According to research, two thirds of dieters gain more weight in the first five years than they lost.

Weight cycling is a common term for repeated attempts to diet (or yo-yo eating).

Dieting can lead to eating disorders.

If you want to build a healthy relationship with food and your own body this year, you can start by doing these three things.

1. Get rid of the black-and white view on food

Food restrictions, rules, and labels can lead to intense hunger and cravings. They may also cause guilt and shame.

To ensure that your relationship with food is healthy, you should work to eliminate the rules surrounding food and see all food as being morally equal.

2. Develop healthy habits without regard to weight or body shape

Scales are a waste of time, plain and simply. Try to improve other aspects of your health instead of focusing solely on your weight, size, or shape.

You could improve your mental health by journaling or meditating, or engaging in physical activity that you enjoy. These habits will not only improve your well-being, but also change the way you view health.

3. Practice body neutrality

Body neutrality is the acceptance and appreciation of all your body can do for you, regardless of its appearance. This is based on the idea that it’s not always possible to love each and every part of your body.

Start by using body-neutral statements such as “my happiness and self worth are not dependent on my looks”.

Maddi Parsons, a Certified Practicing Dietitian & Nutritionist, works with clients to help them achieve a healthy relationship between food and their body. Find out more about Maddi Parsons online.