So the new year is here, welcome 2020!
Here we go again with loads of people setting their New Year’s resolutions. And of course the diet craze is all around us and people are hopping on the bandwagon. People typically set weight loss goals at this time of year or they want to start a new routine.
The diet industry loves this time of year. These weight loss companies take full advantage of individuals wanting to lose weight by tricking them into the next fad diet that of course “guarantees results.”
We have proven that diets do not work or sustain results, yet we continue to hand over our money to this billion-dollar industry. The diet industry loves to fill up every advertisement space imaginable- every social media outlet, television, billboards, magazines, and circulars in the mail.
Has anyone ever wondered how these large diet driven companies can stay in business? Well, it’s very simple, if they had one method that really worked; they would eventually run out of customers and profit. So instead, these companies continue to create different models to again make false promises and benefit from your lack of self-esteem.
Even elimination diets (meaning diets that omit a single food group or several food groups) do not work. They do not even stay consistent with their message of what is allowed or not allowed, in their diets. For example, paleo is an elimination diet but there are several different forms of being “paleo” and that diet continues to reinvent itself.
Have you ever stopped to wonder how much money you have spent on dieting or workout equipment? I imagine you could probably fly to Europe.
Why do people feel the need to diet talk? Diet talk includes discussions of what you are planning to eat or not eat, justifying why you are eating or not eating a particular food or which food or food groups to exclude from your diet (think elimination diet).
How much diet talk or weight talk do you engage in every day? It is increasingly becoming socially acceptable for people to share their weight loss goals or compliment someone else on their weight loss.
As a Registered Dietitian who specializes in eating disorders, I know first-hand how diet talk can be very harmful and triggering. It is actually a form of self-loathing and very unhealthy. It is VERY harmful for children and young adults to hear. Since one out of ten individuals goes undiagnosed with an eating disorder, I personally challenge everyone to stop diet talk and especially body shaming.
It is perfectly acceptable to use the New Year as a reset button and set goals surrounding your health. However, let’s try and make a change when it comes to setting health goals.
First, try and keep your health goals to yourself. It is fine to share with your medical team, a personal trainer or within your support at home. However, your coworkers, workout partner, the cashier at the grocery store and other people who you believe are your support group do not need to be included in these discussions.
Secondly, don’t go on a DIET. Make sure the goals you make regarding your health are small and attainable. Jumping on a fad diet will not help you achieve a sustainable lifelong health change.
So, in 2020, I challenge you to set healthy lifestyle and diet changes that will guide you to a New You in the New Year.