Diets fail to support healthy habits

Countless diets exist including paleo, Whole30, keto, and much more.

Creative commons photo courtesy of Sanguinine (Flickr Images)

Countless diets exist including paleo, Whole30, keto, and much more.

Tess Rempel

From keto to paleo to Whole30, a quick Google search of the word “diet” returns millions of results, but long-term weight loss and body positivity takes much more than counting calories. Diet culture is a trend that, despite providing quick weight loss methods, often results in detrimental eating habits and a negative self-image.

The diet movement promotes a thin appearance as the sole indicator of health, along with the idea that prioritizing external validation over personal well-being is necessary in order to achieve optimal health. Such methods exacerbate obsessive ideas about food, body and health, which contribute to the 30 million Americans struggling with eating disorders, according to Mirror-Mirror, an organization that provides help for those with eating disorders.

This is not to say that diets do not help provide quick weight loss methods. “A low carb diet was the right fit for me… I lost about one-third of my body weight,” said Self writer Kevin Klatt.

Whether it be meat, refined grains or fats, restricting what is on your plate may result in weight loss. But typically, the quicker the weight loss, the quicker the weight regain. In fact, the National Institutes of Health Technology Assessment Conference panel reported that controlled weight loss program participants regain up to two-thirds of all weight loss within a year.

The demonization of certain foods only manages to provide short-term satisfaction, unrealistic goals and a damaged relationship between mind and body. Losing weight by dieting is possible, but for many, unsustainable. Every body type is different, so something different works for everyone. Whether it be drinking more water, getting more exercise or eating more vegetables, find what approach is best for your body and mind.