When diet culture weighs on our mental health

When diet culture weighs on our mental health

During No Diet Week, ÉquiLibre invites us to get rid of the injunctions promoted by diet culture.

“The culture of diets is heavy!” This is the slogan that the ÉquiLibre organization has chosen for this new edition of Non-Diet Week, which takes place this year from May 1 to 6 and which wishes to highlight the mental burden caused by the culture of diets.&nbsp ;

A Léger survey commissioned by ÉquiLibre and published in 2022 tells us that no less than 42% of Quebecers are anxious or stressed about their weight and 36% go so far as to say that weight control dominates their lives. . Faced with this observation, the organization wishes to raise awareness that in addition to the eating disorders it can promote, the culture of diets has a mental cost for many people. 

“We really want make people aware of how heavy diet culture can be in everyday life. It's insidious, but it affects the way we eat, the way we move, our habits, our interpersonal relationships and our self-esteem,” explains Andrée-Ann Dufour Bouchard, nutritionist and project manager at ÉquiLibre.

Constantly paying attention to what you eat, feeling guilty for eating this or that food, forcing yourself to go to the gym in order to burn calories, not daring to wear clothes or being afraid to eat in public… takes up too much space and it prevents us from flourishing,” she summarizes.

Breaking the Rules

In order to get rid of the mental load that the diet culture places on us, psychologist Marie-Pierre Gagnon-Girouard suggests identifying all these little rules that we impose on ourselves.

“By putting lots of rules around the way we train, how we eat or around our physical appearance, we will be made to feel like a failure every time we have not respected these rules, explains she. When we follow a diet, that's exactly it, we have to follow rules that are often not realistic and if we “fail” it undermines our morale, our self-esteem. It gives us the impression that we are not disciplined enough and we feel guilty.”

As soon as we start to impose a strict framework, to list what we can eat and what you can't eat (protein diet, keto, paleo, sugar-free, fat-free, etc.), “it should ring a little bell”, according to the psychologist who advocates flexibility and indulgence instead. 

Deconstructing the myth

In a society where athletic, lean and muscular bodies are put forward and valued a lot, nutritionist Andrée-Ann Dufour Bouchard would also like to remind you that, even by controlling your diet and doing physical activity, you cannot can't transform their body at will. 

“Taking care of yourself and what you eat is fine, but how we look is largely dictated by our genetics,” he says. -She. Even if we seek to control our lifestyle habits, we cannot eat perfectly all the time and move perfectly all the time.” we want it by making efforts to leave more room for spontaneity and pleasure.

Join the campaign

Inspire those around you by sharing the campaign's visual and awareness tools on social networks and by using the hashtags #sansdiete and #groupeequilibre.

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