Toronto-based food and nutrition expert Abby Langer is helping combat diet culture with a new book. GOOD FOOD, BAD DIET: The Habits You Need to Ditch Diet Culture, Lose Weight, and Fix Your Relationship With Food Forever is a science-based book highlighting the negative effects of diet culture while offering advice on how to enjoy food and lose weight without guilt or shame.
We spoke with Abby to find out about how diet culture permeates in our lives.
What are some of the ways diet culture presents itself to the population?
It’s everywhere. From ads for diet programs on TV, to people on social media selling their multi-level marketed nutrition programs, and just the perception that thin is better, and should be attained at any cost.
What are some hidden ways family and friends can promote diet culture without maybe realizing it?
Comments about someone’s weight, and/or what a person is eating, don’t help. Also, people selling diet products through MLM schemes is horrible, but everyone knows someone who does it.
What negative effects does diet culture have on our psyche and general health?
If we believe that we should be thin at any cost, we end up punishing our bodies for not looking like the ‘ideal.’ This is a completely toxic way of thinking, and can lead to chronic dieting and restriction and even health issues.
What are some diet myths we shouldn’t be spreading?
That just because someone is thin, means they’re healthy…and just because someone is fat, means they’re unhealthy. Those are two of the most pernicious ones.
How can one start a journey moving away from diet culture and loving all food again?
You first have to deal with what’s driving your desire to look a certain way and to punish yourself again and again in order to try to achieve that.
Figuring out your negative core beliefs and internal dialogue is the first step to doing this, which is what I help readers do in the first section of my book, Good Food Bad Diet.
Anything else we should know?
This is all a process. You can’t undo years of diet behaviour and thinking in a week, but no matter how old you are, you can free yourself from the diet lifestyle.
For more info, or to order Good Food, Bad Diet, visit the Simon and Schuster website.