Facts on Health and Weight and Why They Aren't Always Related
We live in a society that is obsessed with shape and weight. Everywhere you look there are advertisements about weight loss, new diet trends, and wellness practices (which I would argue 90% of the time, are just some kind of diet). It’s hard to not let yourself get wrapped up in this rhetoric, but it’s important to know some facts when deciding what of this unavoidable, ever abundant information will actually change your feelings about your body, your diet (aka what you eat, not the newest fad), and your behavior.
Here are some not-so-frequently-discussed principles that may help you have a more healthy relationship with food and your body.
1. Diets don’t work.
Sure, if you eat only lettuce, grilled chicken, and watermelon for a week you will lose some weight, but in the long term, this isn’t sustainable. This is, of course, an extreme that I hope no one subjects themselves to, but you can apply the idea to most of the diets out there. Cutting out a whole food group for example (unless there are specific allergies or medical reasons to do so) makes our bodies crave that group on a physiological and biological level. Our bodies NEED fat, sugar, carbs, protein, and all other food groups to survive and function properly; cravings are oftentimes our body's way of making sure we get it.
There’s a common cycle discussed in eating disorder treatment that restriction (aka dieting) can lead to overeating, or binge eating in some cases, which can lead to the urge to restrict again, to “undo” the overeating. This is a lot to put our bodies through and can mess with hunger and fullness cues, further disordering eating patterns, not to mention the emotional toll such a cycle can take.