I recently posted this question on Facebook:
“Diets don’t work. As an ex dieter I have had to unlearn many of the diet industry’s messages and I teach the women in my Women Health Circles to do the same. What would you say is the most harmful affect of the diet industry?”
The responses I got were A-MA-ZING!!!
We women are brilliant! They may fool us once or twice but we wise up and call it when we see it! I am sharing some of the responses here with you and next week I will be writing about some of the truths I learned as a recovering dieter and someone who worked in the diet industry.
Please continue to leave your responses, I will be using some of them in my next book.
Here is what you had to say:
• The falseness they feed about having to look, be a certain weight to be successful.
• I think it’s the word ‘diet’ itself. It sounds restrictive and punitive, enforced from the outside to make changes within.
• Negative talk (loosing weight, rather than attaining a goal), dodgy nutritional information, a ‘one diet fits all’ outlook – not taking into account changes in the body as we age, lack of visibility on what happens to the average body as we age, and the false images of what is a beautiful body. I could go on but soap box is breaking under my adorable weight!
• The deprivation.
• ‘Sins’ ‘naughty foods’ ‘treat foods’ … the labelling is crazy
• Obsession with food and instead of seeing it as a delightful aspect of life, viewing it as a negative force
• In my view the worst thing with the Diet industry is that it is not really designed for people to successfully reach their optimum weight and be able to maintain it longer term. It is designed so that the customers will shred excess weight and then put it back on for the diet industry to financially benefit once more.
• The lie that we all have to prescribe to this one size/look. The absolute junk food that is fed to us as healthy/low fat/low sugar and is probably doing more harm than good. The never ending cycle of losing weight/putting it back on. The fact that all these diets are a business to make as much profit out of us, hence we’re set up to fail so that we have to do it again and again.
• It teaches us to look for external ques of how to eat and what to eat and when to eat, instead of being in tune with our body and really recognising hunger/fullness, what makes us feel energised and what makes us feel icky.
• The most harmful affect of the diet industry: modeling what we SHOULD look and feel like instead of teaching us to follow our pleasure to feel good. Love your body as it is, improve it’s function, not it’s looks, love your life.
• Health wise – it creates a yo-yo effect which is entirely unhealthy … emotionally – sets up a fail loop that is painful and increases feelings of low self worth .. money wise – it is an industry that is out to make as much as it can and so that’s its priority and intellectually it’s all lies …
• It’s denial of cake!
• The unrealistic expectation
• All of the complexities that today’s health and food industries bring to diet aren’t necessarily the right ones! Our individual physical, mental, emotional and spiritual make-up is what deserves our focus, I think. I’ve been conditioned to look outside of myself for the “fix.”
• Good health is a life choice and a life style. The concept of “diet,” as we know the word today, implies a quick fix.
• Diets are not a sensible way of eating for life. We have to learn what is best for our own bodies. As much as I’d like to weigh less, feeling & being healthy is my focus.
• Labeling unhealthy foods as “diet” foods. Using toxic artificial sweeteners and other harmful additives.
• Healthy eating should been known as a way of life, not just a short time period known as a “diet”
• The diet industry perpetuates the idea that a skinny body is more important than a healthy body.
• The message that our bodies are unloveable as they are and that we are not good enough until we lose some specific amount of weight.
• I think the biggest downfall with the ‘diet’ industry is the one-size-fits-all approach. It simply never has and never will work!
• What troubles me the most is after several failed attempts eating disorders set in. This to me is very harmful because it affects you physically and psychologically.
• I think the most harmful effect is that people give their power away to the latest fad trend whatever without taking the time to really tap into their own body wisdom.
• That each of them is the RIGHT one that will FIX your problems vs building a relationship with your own body and listening to it’s wisdom as what will work for you.
Thank you for everyone who responded. Now I want to hear what YOU have to say. Please leave a comment.
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Instead of concentrating on a “diet” I feel it should be a shift in a healthy way of eating, a healthy lifestyle, not just a fad for a specific amount of time.
Absolutely! Caring for our body is a life long journey of self-love.
Beautiful compilation of Monday’s post. Such an important topic that needs to be addressed. Diets are poison.
Thank you Laura, they do poison our minds and how we see ourselves.
I think the most harmful effect of the diet industry is how it feeds not being in love with and grateful for the bodies we have and celebrating their strength, beauty, and miraculous internal workings! Thank you!
YES!!! Our bodies are amazing and we need to celebrate them, not fight them.
I remember reading a lot of these comments including the one where the Food Revolution Summit came up too, Rachel.
How did I miss ‘denial of cake’? That’s a serious one!
I love chocolate cake even though I abstain with the exception of my birthday or a celebration when I allow myself a small slice.
LOL. That comment came from another group… I don’t think cake needs to be forbidden, lately I have been baking with almond flour and natural sweeteners, a healthy cake has it’s place!
One of the tricks to marketing is targeting people’s “pain points”; like, weight, personal possessions, amount of money in the bank and etc. Many marketing gurus coach their students to point out their Ideal Client Aviator’s flaws/weaknesses, go for the juggler and get ’em where it hurts so they have to buy XYZ. I have fought hard not to promote my products and services in this matter. Funny thing is, the products/services I promote that get the higher response rate is by using the “pain point” triggers versus the softer, more gentle approach to attracting clients.
Rachel, this is a very insightful post. I love the responses you received and it’s a true lesson for us all!
Thank Cindy. I think “pain” points can be used in a loving and empowering ways, not as a way to make people feel bad.
It all changed for me when I went vegan and started paying attention to what I ate rather than whether it was fattening or not.
That is a life changing attitude Barb, bravo!
I love what these women had to say about dieting. Diets don’t work because we need to make choices that support our health and well-being long term. Love your body, make conscious choices that support YOU, not the masses. The programming/hypnosis that has been done to people in unconscionable. Our health is of the utmost importance, as is everything you put in your mouth. Be vigilant and love yourself…do not give your power away.
Well said Debra.