Does dieting support illusions related to weight loss?
It’s that time of year again - after the indulgences of the Christmas period when we’re all feeling a little more sluggish and heavier than we did at the beginning of December, we inevitably feel the desire to focus on our health.
Gym memberships are bought, the fridge is stocked with greens, and detox juice cleanses are embarked upon. But this diet culture actually does us no favours.
By going on a quick-blitz diet you may lose a few pounds, but it’s not sustainable. And it’s also contributing to an unhealthy binge and purge relationship with food, which isn’t good for us.
“What faddy diet peddlers don’t share is that the true measure of a diet isn’t how you feel hours, days or even weeks later; it’s how you feel after months and years,” says Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert. “There are a lot of non-evidence-based ‘diets’ or fads out there that try (and often succeed) to convince you that you will lose weight healthily when, in fact, the opposite is true.”
Lambert believes that rather than going on a “diet”, we should try and change our approach to food and think of eating as a chance to nourish our bodies.
“Every year, people as diverse as obese and lean, teenagers and adults, the sedentary and elite athletes all attempt to lose weight on some form of diet,” she told The Independent.
“We’re tempted by all of a hope-filled media that say it can be different this time. Sadly, it’s likely that it won’t be different this time, and this isn’t your fault.
“Diets fail because they do not work sustainably over time. They give rise to perfectionism and promote unrealistic expectations with generally the rule being one-third to two-thirds of the weight lost being regained within one year and almost all is regained within five years.
“Dieting supports an illusion that weight loss leads to happiness and health. Honestly, for most people, weight loss just tends to lead to more worry about weight re-gain. We have lost sight of weight loss for health.”
So instead of starting the New Year by undertaking some grueling juice cleanse or diet that sees you eating only broccoli and grilled chicken, simply incorporate more healthy but delicious meals into your lifestyle.
That way you’ll help develop a healthy relationship with food, nourish your body and likely drop a few of those Christmas pounds along the way.
An article from the Independent by Rachel Hosie