Blog | How to Eat Happy

Diet Culture Has a Hold On You

Bad news – but it’s likely that the dieting industry have their sticky claws around you.


Would you rather be overweight and healthy?


Slim and feel like crap?


You had to think about it didn’t you? Health is wealth, but not when we want to fit into a society created by the dieting industry.

Other signs you are still stuck in the diet trap:


          You have diet books on your shelves

          Monday’s feel like a fresh start to eat ‘right’

          You don’t like seeing number labels on clothes

          You still weigh yourself regularly

          You plan meals before going out

          You talk about weight with friends

          You buy magazines or follow social media feeds that are to do with slimming

          You track calories, and calories are your main focus on making food decisions (Otherwise, points or syns are your focus)

          You have events that you keep in mind that you need to lose weight for




The dieting industry and the culture it has created has surrounded us since we were babies. We have been swimming in their messages for so long; it’s hard to see them right in front of our faces.

Diet culture can be found in:

          Before  and Afters

          Labeling on food packaging (Go for it / Healthy  / Low fat / Low Cal)

          Slimming Groups (obviously)

          Magazines, especially the adverts (Slim = Success / Thin = Happy)

          Retailers changing their sizes to reflect the idea that small is better. (I’ve noticed Marks and Spencer seem to have changed size 12 to a 10. I’ve also tried shoes on in Clarks and my usual size 7.5 is too big, and I had to try on a 6. I am not a 6. I am a 7.5)

          Weddings and memes associated with shedding for the wedding.

You get my point.

You’ll also see the culture in how we think, talk, act: – Do you do these?

          Commenting on weight loss as a positive thing

          Commenting on people’s appearances as a part of a normal greeting: “Hey! You look well, have you lost weight?”

          Using the word fat to mean more than what it is. Negative, lazy, tired, low, depressed, unmotivated, sluggish. Whereas it literally means fat under the skin; everything else associated with it is cultural

          Thinking that thin must mean healthy and fat must mean unhealthy. (This really isn’t true. You can be thin and very unwell. You can be fat and run marathons)

          Eye-rolling at fat people and thinking it’s their personal ‘fault’ that they have become fat, whereas it is culture, society, class, wealth and education that can play into how a person eats. Unless you have experienced the life of someone who hasn’t got much freedom of choice with food due to socio-economic factors, then it’s easy to judge unfairly and see it has a personal failing. And then there is fat as a choice. A happy state of being and owning fatness with pride.

And finally – you’ll see diet culture in how you talk to yourself.

“I’m lazy, I’m weak willed, I have no willpower” – when you are talking about food that is manufactured down to every single detail (Blisspoint, shelf placement, advertising surrounding you every single day, packaging design etc.). You’ll blame yourself instead of diet culture.

“I better eat right tomorrow” – This is classic diet speak. Thinking of getting back on the wagon, back on track, back on the plan is only from dieting. Because there IS NO path, track, wagon or plan. At all. There’s just food.

Justifying your eating. “I’ll be good tomorrow, I’ll start again on Monday, I’ll go to the gym later, I did a fast yesterday, I’m tired, I’m bored.” – Justifying your eating is Diet Speak. It comes from the belief that there is a right way and a wrong way to eat which was created by the dieting industry to make you nervous about food choices.

Dieting is a fictitious design, created to keep us consuming diet products.

We become unhappy with how we look due to the dieting industry pouring billions of pounds to remind us that Thin is Best.

We then become confused as to what to eat due to Dieting and Food companies lobbying with serious effort to make sure that certain foods are not demonized, or come off as healthy: I.e. Pizza and chip as part of a healthy diet, and chocolate spread as a good breakfast due to 1/3rd of a hazelnut.

We are confused and unhappy – so we join clubs to help us sort out the mess we are in. But the Slimming Clubs are not there to serve you, to make you happy, or to help you find health. They are there to make money. They do this by creating very difficult and confusing food rules that you have to pay a membership to understand. and they change these rules regularly. They make no sense, they keep you confused and you’ll be in the diet trap with the lid locked down tight without even realising it.

So – are you in the diet trap? Do you see yourself in any of these examples?

If you want to get out of the diet trap – awareness is the first step. Hopefully this post has helped you there.

The next step is to vow to never diet again, and use a range of tools to help you find a natural balance with your eating that feels so bloody good, freeing and leaves you way more confident in your ability to eat.

I spend every day creating resources for you to help you stay out of the diet trap. I’d highly recommend reading The Three Day Plan which, for the price of a large coffee, you get easy steps to follow to make sure you can eat with balance and never diet again.

So remember – the next time you catch yourself doing any of the above, or see someone talk about weight loss and slimming – STEP AWAY. Move away from this, as it’s a sticky trap designed to keep you unhappy. Unhappy people make great consumers. Do something radical today – like yourself!

Lots of love – Rebecca x


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