Dieting seems to be a topic of conversation no matter where you go or who you talk with. It comes up with co-workers in the break room, with family members during get-togethers, and even at happy hour with your besties. This post will tell you how to respond to diet talk when you've decided to ditch diet culture and live a live of food freedom.
Why Diet Talk Is So Common
Firstly, let's chat about WHY diet talk is, like, everywhere. To a lot of people talking about diets is a "safe topic". To many who are deep in diet culture, it's as casual as talking about the weather. I mean, think about it, the diet industry is huge (I'm talking a $72 Billion dollar industry!) and so many people, unfortunately, are doing or have done some sort of diet/plan/lifestyle change.
Secondly, talking about diet culture can be not so much a way to talk about dieting as much as it can be a way to bond and form connection.
How To Respond To Diet Talk
So now that we know WHY we might be hearing so much diet talk, what the heck do we DO?! There are a couple thing you can do, which I'll describe below.
Find Other Ways To Connect
Like I mentioned, one of the reasons we even talk about dieting is a way to form connection and to bond with each other. Here are a few topics you can bring up to still get that bonding and connection, but leave the diet talk behind:
- Work/careers: "How is work going for you? Any big projects you're working on?"
- Family/kids/pets: "How are the little ones doing? They must be getting so grown up!"
- Weather: "I'm so ready for some warmer weather. I love to go kayaking! What do you enjoy doing?"
Make A Joke
If you're feeling sassy you could use some humor to lighten the mood. This will also signal that you're not into diet talk and will likely shift the subject. Here are some examples:
- "The only bad food is the food you stole!"
- "My only food rule is I don't eat things that are poisoned!"
- "I'm on the see-food diet. I see food and eat it if my body wants it- I trust my body to tell me what feels good, not a diet"
Educate & Introduce Food Freedom
If you're wanting to spread the word about your anti-diet culture journey, feel free to share and educate others on your new way of thinking about food. You might just inspire others to do the same!
- "I used to think that way, too. I'm so happy I've learned about intuitive eating, I feel so much better! Have you heard of it?" (Checkout my post on how to explain intuitive eating!)
- "Did you know dieting is actually a predictor of weight gain? I've decided to give up dieting and live with no food rules so my body can find it's set point weight!"
- "I'm all about health, but did you know that thinner doesn't mean "healthy"? Have you heard of health at every size and intuitive eating? It's fascinating! I'm so happy I've found it!"
Above all, no matter how you decide to respond to diet talk remember this: You do not need to justify your choice to not diet. You do not need to seek approval from others for your journey towards food freedom. Sometimes, you need to agree to disagree (not everyone is ready to ditch diet culture... you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink!)
How To Overcome Triggering Diet Talk
Responding to diet talk might be the easy part. The harder part might be how to not let those words that someone said trigger you into dieting, restricting food, or feeling guilt or shame for not partaking in diet culture. Here are a few tips I have for you:
- Work on your mindset. Use mantras and affirmations to help you remember why you're doing the work you're doing. Take a look at this post on my top intuitive eating affirmations and this post on how to manifest food freedom for more tips on this!
- Have coping mechanisms at the ready. Decide on a few coping skills to use when you feel overwhelmed with diet talk. I love EFT (aka. "tapping"), breath work, and creating a "happiness" folder of photos in your phone to cheer you up (think super cute puppies and your BFFs)
What To Do If Someone Comments On Your Weight Or You're Having Poor Body Image
Lastly, what do you do if someone directly says something about your body?! Here are a couple tips for that:
- Don't take others comments as facts
- Get in touch with what your value and what you believe in (think about this beforehand so you can easily go to those values)
- Be an example and comment on the qualities of someone else, not their looks. (Example: "Isn't *so-and-so* so kind for having us all over?!")
- Act confident (Fake it till you make it! Do this enough and your brain will learn a new way of thinking- a confident way!)
- Use visualization and visualize the comments like a butterfly, acknowledge them, decide if you want to hold on to them, and if not (those negative comments) visualize them flying away like a butterfly
- Head to your journal. Before an event or gathering (if possible) journal about the gratitude you have towards your body. After, journal about what you may have felt and assess if that is true and a thought you want to hold on to (I firmly believe in the law of attraction- what we choose to hold on to in our minds is what we will get more of!)
- Ask yourself "What would my 99 year old self say to me right now?"
I hope this post was helpful and you now feel confident in how to respond to diet talk the next time you hear it!
Leave a comment with what your go-to response will be. Decide on one (or two!) to keep in your back pocket so you can always have a response ready! Can't wait to hear which one you choose!
If you're looking for more resources on how to continue or start your journey to food freedom take my free quiz which will tell you what is holding you back from finding food freedom and will give you a customized workbook to help you overcome it and FINALLY be free!
Happy food rule breaking!
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