In the health industry one of people’s main concern is losing weight and looking “good”. Though Ayurveda falls under the health industry category, we want to show you a different way on how to get in touch with your body and use food to help your mental and emotional states. First, we must discuss why normal dieting is bad for you and how you can step out of the cycle.
The weight loss industry is a $66 billion industry that profits off of people not feeling comfortable and happy in their bodies. 95% of diets fail and the industry benefits more off of when they do. The reason why diets fail is that they are built on the idea of restriction and “weight loss foods”. When people restrict, eat small meals, don’t feel satiated after meals, eat weight loss shakes or bars, it usually leads to a binge. The scale of binging can be extreme to maybe just eating too many protein bars in one sitting. Diet culture has contributed to many eating disorders or disordered eating. It is estimated that 8 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder. That is around 7 million women and 1 million men. From anorexia, bulimia, to binge eating disorders, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. 95% of those who have eating disorders are between ages 12 to 25. This is a serious crisis that needs to change from the root of the issue.
A deep issue is that we are told not to trust our hunger, not to eat till we are satisfied, and to dislike what we look like. The other problem is that the priority is on calories, macros, or having your carbs under a certain level and not on how you feel and what external and internal things you’re experiencing. Diets tend to not work because they aren’t a permanent lifestyle change. Three-day juice cleanses or a month without carbs isn’t going to cleanse your body or get rid of fat permanently. When diets are built on restriction and quick fixes they tend to either lead to eating more after the diet or gaining the weight back.
Dieting foods are often under the guise of “healthy” like protein bars, but are usually highly processed, sugary (or with alcohol sugars), and don’t satisfy like a meal would. These foods place food into categories of “good” and “bad” that make it hard for a person to know what is good for them or not. We have seen this in the fat-free epidemic that has lead to worse health issues and the misinformation that fats are bad for your body. We also often hear about this with fruit in that they have “too much sugar”. Fruits do have sugar in them, but fruit has other properties that make it a great addition to most diets. Fruit is better than a zero sugar “diet” soda as your body knows how to digest and assimilate the nutrients in it.
This yo-yo dieting doesn’t seem to get us anywhere. People end up spending years not feeling confident, not loving themselves, not losing weight, and not trusting their bodies. For some they have spent years to even decades investing their time and money into “diet foods”, pills, and 8 week plans. This cycle of restriction and binge is like a pendulum that becomes an endless cycle, unless you decide to change it or ask for guidance.
Tune in for our next article on how we can heal our relationship with food.