Fitness, Anti-Diet

How to Ditch Diet Culture: A 5 Step Guide

  • A lot of people ask me, "if diets don't work, then what should I do?"

    Never fear, Maddy is here!

     

  • I've got a 5 step guide for you on how to engage with health and movement in a different way. These are the steps I've implemented personally for myself over the past year and let me tell you - it takes time, but these steps are the real deal - you WILL see huge changes.

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  1. Decouple movement from weight loss/changing your body

    Change your fitness goals or motivation for working out from primarily weight loss or aesthetics to how working out makes you feel, the health benefits that come from working out, that sense of autonomy and accomplishment, or the mastery that comes from working out consistently. You choose!

  2. Decouple fitness from thinness/aesthetics
    Fitness is not a look or aesthetic - e.g. a lean, muscular body with curves in the “right” places. Fitness is what fits for you - think about what fits for your life, what it looks like for your body and your health. 
  3. Practice healthy behaviours without a focus on weight loss

    Add the following modifiable behaviours and characteristics that consistently and significantly outrank body weight as a predictor of health:

      • - Strong social relationships and support / social integration
      • - Regular exercise 
      • - Reducing current smoking / smoking cessation
      • - Moderating alcohol intake
      • - Eating more fruits and veggies (I make a smoothie every morning!)

    Remember, weight loss may happen as a side effect of healthy habits, but it shouldn’t be the reason to engage in healthy habits. 

  4. Learn about the Social Determinants of Health

    The healthy behaviours mentioned above account for less than a quarter of differences in health outcomes between groups - it’s social differences that account for most of society's stark health differences. The Social Determinants of Health are the many other factors which affect our health beyond lifestyle and genes and includes social circumstances, genetics, medical care and the physical environment.

  5. Distance yourself from any practice that shames, blames, or polices bodies for how they look, move and show up in this world

    Fitness is not only for those who fit an aesthetic “ideal”, or those who want to lose weight. Fitness is for EVERY body - no matter what your goals are, or what you look like, you can participate in fitness if you want to!

I believe we need to shift our focus from fat loss or body aesthetics to engaging in healthy habits without the purpose of weight loss or changing our bodies. This is the fitness that we need - fitness that feels good, fitness that brings empowerment and healing. Here's to moving your body your way in 2020! 

Love, Maddy xx