HOW TO SURVIVE IN A DIET-OBSESSED WORLD

Fix your relationship with food.
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Choosing to end dieting is one of the most liberating decisions you will make for yourself, but how do you sustain that mindset when everyone around you is diet-obsessed? Here are a few helpful ways to keep you grounded in your relationship with food.


BY: MARISSA PULEO, RDN, LDN

No rules, no restrictions, and enjoying food again without stress…what a way to live! It’s not that easy, however, when the rest of the world seems to be talking about the latest cleanse, the trendiest diet, and the new and improved diet supplement.

So how exactly do you stop dieting in a diet-obsessed world? It’s hard work because it’s no longer the norm to not be dieting. The following tips will help to keep you away from the strong diet culture we live in today:

Reach out and stay in touch with moral support, even when you’re doing well.

Whether you have a professional counselor or friends with the same mindset, your support group will always be the constant in your life to bring you back to balance and remind you of the harsh truth dieting provides.

It’s not wrong or uncommon to not be tempted, and you can and probably will have these thoughts. But what will keep you on the right track is not engaging in harmful behaviors. Grab a cup of coffee, talk about your struggles, and remember you’re better off without the rigid lifestyle that dieting provides.

Find normal eaters to be around.

Being around people who have healthy relationships with food will naturally encourage you to have the same. Work on cultivating more relationships with people who don’t necessarily count calories and find enjoyment in active, healthy hobbies.

Take a social media detox especially during stressful times.

More often than not, negative self talk and criticism stem from unrealistic body images we are constantly reminded of on social media. If you find yourself comparing yourself to others or feeling down on the way you look, reevaluate who you follow on social media. At the very least, try taking a break from it all when the pressure to be “perfect” hits.

Stay attuned to your body.

Your body is wise, so work to stay connected with it. Meditation gives your body a chance to practice this. It may sound cliché, but remember what is most important in life. Is it really your jean size? Who really cares if you had an extra serving. 

Reality check: happiness in life comes from many more important things than what the scale says.

There are days where it is inevitably difficult to drown out the diet-obsessed noise.  Work on how you navigate these days instead of taking drastic measures and taking it out on your body. If you’re feeling tempted to start a new diet, remember that often means that it is our body’s way of asking for something else. Do a mini assessment and ask yourself:

  1. What was going on right before the temptation?
  2. What were you experiencing, feeling, or hearing around you?
  3. What do you need to give yourself during those difficult times?

Learn to nurture yourself from within, because that’s where happiness lives. You got this!

HEADER IMAGE: HENRIQUE FELIX

Marissa Puleo, RDN, LDN is a private practice Registered Dietitian based in Scranton, PA helping people find the balance between healthy and happy.  As a ‘food peace promoter’, Marissa specializes in helping those with food struggles and disordered eating in learning how to enjoy food while leaving guilt and self criticisms behind. Connect with Marissa at Thrive Nutrition. 

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