Reasons You Should “Ghost” Your Diet
While it may seem to completely go against what diet culture wants you to believe, especially this time of year and entering the holiday season, you totally can and should think about “ghosting” your diet. Dieting is all tricks and no treats and it’s about time to think about “ghosting” diets and diet culture altogether.
Chronic dieting can cause a myriad of negative physical and emotional side effects. Physical symptoms can include blunted metabolism, excessive cravings for carbs, disconnection from hunger and satiety cues, and feeling chronically tired, even when sleeping well. Emotional symptoms can include feeling hopeless, defeated, apathetic and being unable to be present when with others.
Diets cause harm, plain and simple. Dieting is the biggest risk factor for developing an eating disorder (ED). Dieting confuses our bodies; as far as our bodies are concerned they’re being subjected to starvation or a famine and they will do anything to protect us and survive. Due to this, physiological survival adaptations are put into play by the body, such as: slowing down metabolism, breaking down it’s own muscle for energy, conserving more fat tissue, craving more energy dense foods, altering hunger and fullness hormones, as well as causing individuals to be more hungry/ preoccupied with food overall. Diet culture tries to profit off of this by causing individuals to think of this as a matter of “willpower” or “self-control”, and a moral failure when we’re unable to have enough of either. In reality, these are literally our bodies biological methods of trying to keep us safe and protected.
Dieting and intentional weight loss also increase body dissatisfaction and weight stigma. Weight cycling (losing and gaining weight over and over) increases the risk of total mortality, high blood pressure, and heart disease to a greater extent than staying in a stable weight range of any category. No one diet has a proven track record for long-term success, sustainability and safety. Again, diet culture profits off of this by ensuring we’ll likely be back for the next diet when one inherently fails (reminder, diets fail us and not the other way around!). Ultimately, dieting destroys the trust we have in our bodies and requires us to operate on external information vs the internal, innate wisdom our bodies all have.