Diet culture is a system of rigorous standards that prioritises thinness and appearance over physical health and emotional well-being. Diet culture frequently stresses ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ foods, encourages calorie counting, and normalises self-deprecating conversation. Diet culture is poisonous because it can lead to body dysmorphic disorder, unhealthy eating, and other mental health problems. But along with downsides, there are certain benefits also that a person can gain if they follow diet culture properly and under expert supervision. Read on as Dr. Rohini Patil, Nutritionist and published author of The Lifestyle Diet shares detailed information on diet culture.
Dieting has been a part of many women's lives for almost as long as they can remember. Weight loss is an ever-present desire to strive for, whether you have a lot of weight to lose or only want to reduce a few kilograms. People who have been brainwashed to embrace diet culture as a normal way of life may have a negative self-image, engage in negative self-talk on a routine basis, and believe that being slim makes one better than another.
Benefits of Diet Culture
Promotes healthy eating habits
Dieting does not have to be synonymous with deprivation. However, changing your typical eating habits can be beneficial, especially if you're accustomed to eating less-than-healthy foods. In fact, committing to a diet encourages you to adopt healthy choices, which can help you sustain a healthy diet in the long run.
Allows proper nutrition
Another factor why dieting is beneficial to a healthier life is that it makes you more aware of what you put into your body. Understanding the fundamentals of nutrition, such as how much fibre and protein you should consume, and knowing how your body reacts to different foods. It is critical to read labels to ensure that you are not only sticking to your calorie budget but also receiving the protein, fibre, and other nutrients that you require.
Boosts overall well-being
Following a diet plan can significantly boost your self-confidence, both physically and mentally. Maintaining a diet requires willpower, which can improve your physical health and allow you to make better decisions in other areas of your life, such as relationships and finances. Others are more likely to notice and compliment you if you lose weight or have a more toned figure as a result of your diet, which can increase your self-esteem and feeling of achievement even further.
Cons of diet culture
Negative eating patterns
Of course, excessive dieting can cause starving and lead to negative eating patterns or other repercussions. Dieting, according to a recent study, can lead to starving in a variety of ways. For example, dieting might drive your brain cells to devour themselves in order to maintain energy, making you feel hungry.
Whether or not your brain is transmitting hungry signals, too much restriction might be difficult to maintain. If you're continuously depriving yourself of your favourite foods or curbing your appetites, a momentary diet cheat can make you feel frustrated, which can lead to you leaving the diet.
Mental health issues
Diet culture can have a negative impact on your mental health in the following ways:
- Anxious Food Thoughts (for example, obsessed with what you should have to eat, plan your next meals, ruminants on the "mistakes" you've done with food)
- Heightened feelings of guilt and shame
- Influencing your relationships
- Preventing you from taking important risks or engaging in new activities because you don't believe you have the "right appearance" for it
- Using risky methods to compensate for eating, such as drugs, alcohol, laxatives, purging, or over exercising
- Distracting you from your work, school, or other obligations
In a nutshell, whether diet culture is good or bad depends on how you perceive it. Blindly following any diet can do no good to your body. It is important to focus on healthy weight management rather than fast weight loss goals. This would keep your health in place.
Image credits- freepik