As a dietitian of over 15 years, I’ve been through more diet crazes than I care to recall. Sadly, each time a new one arises I see women going through the exact same vicious cycle of over-restrict, feel deprived, over-consume, feel guilty… nearly each and every time this ends up with a weight gain in the end rather than the desired loss! I’ve seen it all too often and it’s heartbreaking. People, especially us women, being marketed too and preyed upon to buy the latest book or product or supplement because “it’s finally here”…the “one that works”…well, I’m here to tell you, nope, diets don’t work, never have, never will because they absolutely are not sustainable.
I distinctly recall my own diet experience. During my early college days, I actually knew very little about nutrition. The food choices I made were primarily non-nourishing (think pepperoni pizza dipped in garlic butter, beer, and packaged ramen noodles) and my body suffered for it. This behavior coupled with a non-existent exercise habit and, in fact, very little movement, in general, made me sluggish and caused a very rapid weight gain. I desperately wanted to remove the weight that had so easily gathered on my body. I bought into the diet pill craze that was that particular year’s diet industry money maker. Thankfully, I learned early on in my curriculum about the effects of food and exercise on the body and how to cultivate health through healthy actions. Notice, I said “how to cultivate health” without mention of weight loss. You see health and weight are independent factors. What makes one thinner does not necessarily make them healthier and, likewise, what makes one healthier doesn’t always make them thinner.
This is why we must re-focus our efforts and direct attention to self-loving actions that cultivate health over a number on the scale. Here’s an easy template that I like to use as reminder of how to show ourselves love through action and nourish the self as a whole: eat, move, care, and know.
- Eat nourishing foods more often than not and practice mindfulness in eating
- Move often in ways that are enjoyable
- Honor your body’s needs through daily check-ins and self-care
- Know that your value is constant, inherent, and infinite – no one is perfect nor
should we be expected to be
These are the foundation of Love Body and I am on a mission to spread the Love Body message to women young and old. We don’t have to buy into the false reality portrayed through diet culture. Love ourselves, support our bodies, and end the diet cycle. For more holistic information on whole self-nourishment follow me on Instagram @love_body_dietitian.