You decided you’re ready to ditch dieting once and for all. Now what? What does ditching dieting actually look like? Here are 10 actionable steps you can take to challenge diet culture and have a more peaceful relationship with food and your body!
Reality check: diet culture is all around us. Unless you live off the grid in a remote area, it’s pretty impossible to escape diet culture altogether. But there are some things you can do to decrease its presence in your life!
Dump diet books
Time to clean house! That means finding all those old (and maybe new) diet books and throwing them away. I’m big on sustainability but this is a unique situation where I do not advise donating. Diet books are harmful and we want to destroy them, not pass them on to others. To the trash they go (or see if there is a book recycling program in your area).
Read anti-diet books
Now that you’ve cleared room on your bookshelf, let’s add some positive content! You might be wondering, if not dieting, then what? Intuitive Eating and the Intuitive Eating Workbook provide an anti-diet framework you can follow. I also recommend reading books about body image and body liberation such as The Body is Not an Apology, More Than a Body, and Befriending Your Body: A Self-Compassionate Approach to Freeing Yourself from Disordered Eating.
Listen to anti-diet podcasts
Enjoy auditory learning? There are loads of wonderful podcasts to choose from, including Body Kindness, Food Psych, Nutrition Matters and Love, Food. These are all hosted by weight-inclusive, anti-diet registered dietitians. Maintenance Phase and Unsolicited: Fatties Talk Back are other podcasts you may be interested in.
Unfollow diet-y social media accounts
Do a social media “detox” and unfollow all those accounts that promote dieting in all its forms. Whether it’s counting macros, fasting, restricting oil or something else – anyone who’s telling you what to eat has got to go. Same goes for “fitspo” accounts and those that are filled with images of thin people flaunting their bodies.
Follow anti-diet social media accounts
Now that your feed is clean of negativity, let’s add in some positivity! I put together a massive list of 150+ size-inclusive Instagram accounts to follow, including dietitians and therapists as well as fashion bloggers and activists.
Donate clothes that don’t fit
Keeping clothes around that no longer fit into can be a trigger for negative body thoughts. Box them up and take them to your local thrift store (if in good condition) or clothing recycler. Keeping those tiny jeans around as “motivation” is not helpful.
Buy clothes that do fit
Now it’s time to fill your closet with clothes that fit. And not just fit, but that you feel comfortable and confident in. Check out local thrift stores or opt for a goody box from ThredUp! I love Poshmark for pre-loved clothing as well. Not finding what you want in the secondhand market? Check out these ethical brands with inclusive sizing.
Toss your scale
You don’t need to weigh yourself. That number does not indicate your health, beauty or worth. In fact, it probably has an incredibly negative impact on your mood. Not worth it! Toss it in the trash, or if you’re feeling it, smash it with a hammer first!
Set boundaries around diet talk
Diet talk among family, friends and co-workers is inevitable. You have the right to opt out of those conversations. You can simply be quiet, or you can walk away. You could even address the issue directly and ask that diet, weight loss and body shaming not be a topic of discussion.
Work with a professional
Ditching dieting can be tough work. Working with a professional, such as an anti-diet therapist or dietitian, can be a huge help as you navigate this process. We’re here to provide guidance and support as you connect with your body and make self-care choices. Learn more about working with us here.
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