Getting Through Diet Season
As the weather gets warmer, the diet industry gets louder. For many people, this unfortunately leads to increased anxiety around food and their bodies. Here are some helpful reminders to help you get through this year’s diet season.
1. There’s no such thing as a bikini body.
The idea of a “bikini body” as something to aspire to has been around for a long time. This perpetuates the idea that only certain body sizes or shapes should wear a bikini, or be more exposed at the beach. In recent years, clothing companies have attempted to diversify the range of bodies we see modelling clothing, including bikinis. Unfortunately, the standard that applies to plus-size models is similarly limiting, and is not reflective of what most people actually look like. In reality, any body is a bikini body, and you deserve to wear whatever you prefer at the beach and pool without judgement. You also deserve to wear clothes that you like and that fit comfortably. Dressing for comfort and to express your style can be so much more rewarding than dressing to hide certain parts of your body.
2. Diets don’t work.
Although each diet season promises “new” diets that supposedly really work, in reality most of these are recycled old fad diets. They might be dressed up as a wellness program, lifestyle change or fitness protocol, but any change to our food intake that promises weight loss is a diet. According to the best evidence we have available, no diet has been found to result in sustainable, long-term weight loss for any majority of individuals. So although some short-term weight loss for summer might be possible, this is near impossible to maintain. Far from harmless, pursuing dieting puts people at risk of weight cycling, changes to their metabolism and development of disordered eating behaviours. Instead, holding firm in your intuitive eating skills can help you to enjoy the holiday season and prioritise your wellbeing over your weight.
3. Body image concerns don’t have to hold you back from doing the things you enjoy.
There’s a common idea of “I shouldn’t”, or “I can’t do this until I lose weight”. This could be wearing the summer clothes you like, going to the beach, going on holiday or getting a new hairstyle. The idea of doing these things as you are right now might bring up a lot of anxiety, but it is possible. Social media can be a useful tool in this case, where we can see more and more people in larger bodies are living their best lives. If these goals are important to you and reflect your values, you could take small steps to achieve them, or you could decide to go all-in. Working with a team of non-diet professionals can help guide and support you through this process.
If you find diet season raising concerns around food and your body, reach out to one of our dietitians. Our team specialises in guiding people to establish a more positive relationship with food and their bodies.