Although we’re not shy to state that our diet is no one else’s business, people still meddle. I cannot tell you how many times people have questioned my diet. While I don’t eat red meat or pork, I still indulge in the occasional chicken breast or fish. I guess people have an issue with not being able to label my diet choices? We call this “diet shame,” and we want to know if you’ve experienced it.
What’s Diet Shame?
When we talk about diet shaming, we’re referring to those people shamed for their weight-loss commitment, weight management choices, or even for their healthy eating choices. It comes from different intentions. Some diet shamers act out of jealousy for your commitment. Others might not notice they’re hurting you.
Diet shaming comments include:
- “I’d rather die than give up X food.”
- “Another diet? They never work, what makes you think this will?”
- “You’ll never lose weight with that diet.”
- “That diet is not healthy; do you know that?”
Diet Shamming by the Numbers
It might not seem harmful, but there are many dieters facing shame for their choices. Recent research in the UK found that 69% of adults have been on a diet at some point. However, diet shaming and lack of support are some of the top reasons for their healthy eating efforts failing.
Diet shaming has grown to such an extent that researchers found that one-third of dieters told no one because they felt ashamed of their choices, while others were even embarrassed to be dieting in the first place.
When someone judges your food choices, whether healthy or not, it’s your job to fight back. Have a set of responses ready to fight back if you ever feel bullied by your eating choices. For example:
- “I’ve learned I feel my best when I eat X foods without the guilt.”
- “Since I started this diet, my energy levels are up, and I feel much better overall.”
- “I’ve been practicing intuitive eating, and I’m so much more comfortable with myself and around food because of it.”
You also have to know when it is worth it to engage, and when it’s best to ignore offensive comments. Remember that your body is your temple, and you should be the only one making the calls on what’s right and what isn’t. Celebrate yourself, your body, and your diet!