Diet Culture Is Dangerous And Unhealthy
Health and Wellness

Our Diet Culture Has Gotten Out Of Hand — It's Not Healthy Or Sustainable

In a world full of "quick fixes" and magazine headlines that promise you to lose 15 pounds in two weeks, it is easy to be drawn in. I have been there, and you probably have too.

128

It seems like everyone I talk to is doing some sort of diet. One is doing a juice cleanse, another is doing no-to-low carb, and someone else is doing some sort of shake-only diet.

The problem with all of these diets is that they are cutting out key nutrients that your body needs to thrive.

A diet that has you eating little to no carbs, no fat, and hardly any protein is one that you should stay away from. That's the problem with diet culture: it brainwashes those who want to start to live a healthier lifestyle into these shake-only, low carb, no sugar diets.

Last year, when I started getting serious about losing weight, I thought the only way to do it was low carb and no sugar. Absolutely miserable, I continued on with it for almost two months. One day, my body had had enough. I had never felt so weak in my life and I knew something had to change. After doing further research, I learned that for my height and weight I should be eating at least 160 grams of carbs a day to lose the amount of weight I wanted! Hesitant, but wanting nothing more than to lose weight and getting back to feeling good, I upped my carb intake and BOOM! I instantly started losing weight, alongside working out 5-6 days a week. The problem with being on such a low carb was that I had no energy, which then meant my workouts were never what they should be (not to mention, I was always starving).

More recently, I am in a maintaining phase. If I do happen to lose or gain a few pounds, I am fine with that. While I am happy with where I am at, it's hard to feel happy and confident with where you are at with yourself with seeing so many "perfect" Instagram models posting about their most recent trip to Maui in their bikinis only they would look good in.

So what did I do? Try a "21 day reset."

Even though I was already happy with myself and didn't need to do a reset, I did it anyway, because I saw other girls that were "better looking" than me try it, so I thought "why not?" The reset is actually following food combining, which is basically the times you eat certain foods (example being you can only eat fruit on an empty stomach) and that way you combine food (example being if you do choose to still eat animal products during the reset, you can't combine say a burger with fries).

To me, I looked at this as a lifestyle change, not a diet.

Halfway through the 21 days, I felt horrible. Little to no energy, I was living off of pasta and vegetables, and I actually gained a few pounds. I also found myself constantly bingeing at night time all the foods I wasn't "allowed" to eat such as peanut butter and ice cream. Around day nine, I stopped and asked myself not only, "Am I happy?" but, "Is my body happy?"

I realized I never cared to ask my body if it was happy, it was always about me. It was at that moment I learned how important it is to listen to your body. During this reset, it was not just a coincidence that I was dealing with major self-confidence issues and felt down all the time. It was due to cutting out many foods I loved and felt like they were "bad" since they were not reset approved. I am not knocking this way of eating, but for me, it felt too restrictive and it was important to not ignore the signs my body was telling me.

In a world full of "quick fixes" and magazine headlines that promise you to lose 15 pounds in two weeks, it is easy to be drawn in.

I have been there, and you probably have, too. But, if there is anything I want you to take away from this, it's to resist being drawn in. Be the change. Don't diet (yeah, you heard me), just live the healthiest lifestyle the way you can. After trying what seems like every diet out there, I can attest that there is NO quick fix. There is NO way to lose 15 pounds in two weeks (in a healthy way).

The way to become healthier and happier is to eat real, whole, nutritious foods. Stay close to foods that have minimal ingredients, but keep that box of cookies closer. Anyone who tells you that you can't treat yourself to the foods you love while living a healthy lifestyle is someone you shouldn't listen to! I have a cup of lemon tea and some chocolate EVERY NIGHT before bed, plus if I want another sweet treat I WILL. Restriction will just make you go crazy. There is no way to cheat the system, and even if there was, why would you want to? You only get one body and you NEED to take care of it. Exercise daily (even if it is a quick walk), nourish your body, drink water, take time to destress, get enough sleep and most importantly, eat the damn cookie if you want it!

Report this Content

Podcasts are such an integral part of some of our everyday lives that it can be hard to recall a time at which they didn't exist. Podcasts exist on about every single topic, from dating to celebrity gossip and Harry Potter.

Now more than ever, it's likely you're reeling from the news, and (hopefully) wanting to do something about it in order to educate yourself. Podcasts are one of the best ways to get the most up-to-date information in a conversational, personal way from some of today's top educators, scholars, and theorists.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

Stop Pitying Me Because I'm Single, I'm Very Happy With My Relationship With Myself

I don't need your opinions on why I'm single and you're not. We are two different people.

I'm so happy for my friends when they get into relationships, but that doesn't mean they get to have control over my love life, and that is what bothers me. For the record, I've been in four relationships, one lasting for three years, so I do understand relationships.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

13 Books About Race Absolutely Every American Should Read, Especially Now

Books about black lives, from classics to new must-reads.

It's likely you are seeing the current state of the world and wanting to do something about it. Whether you're only beginning to or wanting to deepen your understanding of the black experience, these books are precisely where to start.

Some, like Maya Angelou's "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, are classics you've probably heard of, but may not have picked up yet. Others, like Reni Eddo-Lodge's "Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race," are newer hits.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

What's Coming To And Leaving Netflix In June For Your Summer Viewing Pleasure

Just in time for another your summer binge-watch list.

Paramount Pictures

The first of the month is now here, which means we will be losing some of our Netflix favorites but gaining some new ones.

Here is a list of TV shows and movies we will be losing and gaining on Netflix during June.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

I Was At The Atlanta George Floyd Protests, Here's What It Was Like Before The Violence Started

What started out as a peaceful protest quickly resulted in destruction, with mixed opinions leading narratives on both sides.

When I heard about the protests happening in my city in honor of George Floyd, a black man who was brutally and fatally detained by police in broad daylight, I was conflicted about the best way for me to support a cause that I was passionate about. The senseless killings of people of color in America had been weighing on me, and I was eager for a way to help, to do my part. I wanted to be out on the ground with my community, having our voices heard. However, there was the issue of the coronavirus, a very real and troublesome threat that is still controlling our daily lives.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

If You Can Eat Crap And Stay Thin You Aren't Healthy, You're Lucky

A high metabolism isn't a get-out-of-jail-free card!

Photo by Tarutoa on Unsplash

Everyone has that one friend — the one who eats to their heart's content but never gains an ounce. Meanwhile, you feel like you gain five pounds just stealing a glance at a hamburger! My childhood best friend was like that, much to my chagrin. Anyone who hadn't witnessed her eat might be tempted to say that she was thin because of her diet, but she would sometimes eat a bag of Sour Patch Kids as a "meal." One time, I watched in awe as she chowed down on a "salad" made up of one part romaine lettuce, two parts shredded cheddar cheese, and two parts French dressing — it was nothing more than a red lake of dressing with bits of green and orange debris floating in it. Clearly our definitions of "salad" were quite different, as were our perceptions of a balanced meal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

I Started Dating A Guy Before Quarantine, But Now We Rarely Speak Unless I Double-Text

"He's really nice and cute and I like being around him when we see each other, but he's awful at communication."

Each week Swoonie B will give her advice on anonymous topics submitted by readers. Want to Ask Swoonie B something related to dating and relationships? Fill out this form here — it's anonymous.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments