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The year is coming to an end, which means we’ll soon be bombarded by fitness gurus and health coaches telling us how to lose weight or get a fit bod.
My suggestion is pretty simple: turn off those voices that are telling you that you need to be smaller in order to be happy or healthy. Instead, think about how you want to feel over the next 12 months. Whether it’s about how you feel with regards to your health — or your work, relationships, finances, hobbies or anything else. Focus on creating a sustainable, realistic plan that will support you throughout the year — and beyond!
Here are five reasons NOT TO start the new year off with a diet:
What should you do to improve your health instead of restricting your calories, eliminating food groups, or over-exercising? Focus on the things that we know actually improve health outcomes. Get good, restful sleep. Move your body every day in ways you enjoy. Stay hydrated. Eat a variety of foods with balanced nutrition without labeling foods as “good”, “bad”, or connecting any sort of emotion to your food choices. These changes are more sustainable and will help you create routines to support life-long health. They’ll also help your body stay at it’s natural size — whatever that is!
If you’re interested in learning more about why diet culture is harmful, how to move away from the diet-culture mentality, and how to actively support your health without focusing on weight loss, I have a few resources to recommend:
Anti-Diet: Reclaim your Time, Money, Well-being and Happiness by Christy Harrison – This book does a great job of explaining the basics of diet-culture and how to stop the harmful practices it has taught you. This is especially good for anyone who has helped uphold diet culture (by being a weight loss coach, diet advocate, etc) and will help you sort through those emotions.
The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor – One of the pioneering works of the body liberation movement, this book will help you unravel diet-culture, while also focusing on radical self-love and how the acceptance of our own bodies is vital to all liberation work.
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