All 6 facets of wellness must be balanced. Weight loss does not automatically mean good health.

Actual Health Goals

Dieting focuses on two goals only: weight loss and inches lost. Both are related to altering your appearance and have nothing to do with actual health goals (despite what diet culture will tell you.)

I get it. I used to think shrinking my body was the only goal that mattered too. I was able to get rid of the bathroom scale, but I just swapped it for other bodily measurements such as the size of my pants, the circumference of my waist and hips, and the amount of skin I pinched.

The Problem with Weight Loss Goals

The problem with solely focusing on weight loss and inches lost is that it takes mental, emotional and physical health out of the equation. It leaves the method for weight loss open-ended. Which means, diet culture will celebrate someone who lost 50 lbs even if it means they starved themselves, binged and purged, over-exercised, and verbally abused themselves to get there. When we focus on the weight loss, we neglect to consider the negative impact that effort may have had on their digestion, organ function, hormones, bathroom habits, sleep patterns, immune system, mental health, personal relationships, and relationship with food, fitness and body image.

Actual Health Goals to Focus On

So if weight loss goals are a problem, what are some actual health goals to focus on? There are many! In fact, once you discover intuitive eating your only trouble with finding actual health goals will be deciding which one to focus on! Here is a list of actual health goals to consider on your wellness journey:

  • Identifying which foods help you feel your best (and which ones don’t!)
  • Stable hormones
  • Consistent and refreshing sleep
  • Increased energy levels
  • Consistent mood
  • Tools to shift mindset and reduce anxiety
  • Adding more variety of nutrient-dense foods (the “add more nutrients” mindset versus “take foods away”)
  • Intuitively trusting hunger and satisfaction signals
  • Finding joy in movement
  • Increased balance, flexibility, stamina and/or strength
  • …and so much more depending on where you are now, and where you want to go!

All of the items listed above will improve your health because they all make up the “symptoms” of a healthy person. You can achieve these goals at every size and make significant positive change in your life.

If you’re ready to make the shift from weight loss goals to actual health goals then I’m here to help. Schedule your free 15-minute phone call with me today to brainstorm some ideas to get started.

Meridith Oram is an anti-diet nutritionist at Love Yourself Towards Healthy where she helps chronic dieters heal their relationship with food, fitness and body image by ditching diet culture and finding freedom in their God-given intuition. Focusing on behavioral change and Intuitive Eating, Meridith helps her clients unlearn diet culture, stop negative self-talk and set wellness goals---not appearance goals. Follow Meridith at @loveyourself2healthy on all social channels.

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