Woman at the beach enjoying food freedom now that she's recovered from disordered eating

What Does Recovering from Chronic Dieting Look Like?

While the path and journey of recovering from chronic dieting look different for everyone, it ultimately comes down to loving yourself towards healthy instead of hating yourself towards skinny. And what that really means is not depriving yourself of food or using fitness as punishment for what you ate (or what you’re about to eat.)

Diets Over the Years

Dieting has evolved so much over the years. It used to be a restriction of calories (Weight Watchers) or meal replacements (Slim Fast). But then it evolved into balancing macros (carbs, fat and protein), restricting entire food groups—like dairy, meat, grains, sugar, etc. Followed by “strategies for fat loss” like carb cycling, intermittent fasting, exercise cycling,…and so many more disordered eating approaches to eating. All forms of restriction. In the name of weight loss, fat loss and/or inches lost.

To sell these programs, diet culture crafted messaging to make us feel bad about ourselves. By planting the seed that we’re not good enough, we can’t be trusted on our own, that we don’t know how to eat or when to eat, and that we’re fat and lazy if we’re not “on plan,” we believed the lies (as one does when you’re told the same thing over and over again.)

And that’s how the diet industry is on track for 80 BILLION dollars in the next couple years. Purely profiting off our self-esteem (or lack thereof.)

So How Do Chronic Dieters Heal?

The very first step in recovering from chronic dieting is awareness.

Awareness for the damage that diet culture has done to our mental and emotional health, as well as our expanding and contracting waistlines. If diets worked, why do we have to keep “getting back on plan?” Once you decide that enough is enough, you can begin to ditch diet culture and start working through the 10 principles of intuitive eating.

Life After Being Chronic Dieting

I have ditched diet culture and have been practicing Intuitive Eating as I’m healing my relationship with food, fitness and body image. I can now look in the mirror and see someone who:

  • Honors her hunger.
  • Trusts herself around food.
  • Accepts her body.
  • Immediately recognizes negative inner dialogue and shifts it to the positive.
  • Finds joy in movement.
  • Chooses clothes that fit (instead of trying to fit into clothes.)
  • Has grace for herself.

Once you remove the shackles of diet culture, there is so much freedom. I won’t downplay the work that needs to be done to get there, but with the right approach and support, you absolutely can get there too.

Anti-Diet Nutritionist Meridith Oram from Love Yourself Towards Healthy looking at reflection in mirror while in recovery from chronic dieting.

I am here to help you walk through it at a pace that meets you where you are now and where you would like to go. Sign up for your free 15-minute Zoom call and we can brainstorm some ideas for you 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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