Adult obesity rates began to increase dramatically in Western society in the 1980s, due to an increase in the popularity and consumption of high-energy convenience foods. Alongside this, a new trend in dieting occurred, with many people trying new and often unsuccessful ways to restrict their food intake and lose weight.
Unfortunately, depriving ourselves of the foods we enjoy and exercising as a form of punishment is not a sustainable, long-term solution to weight loss. It can often lead to rapid cycling between weight gain and loss, beliefs that our bodies are bigger or heavier than they actually are, and body image dissatisfaction, which can result in mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
It can also put us at high risk of disordered eating patterns such as fasting, binge eating, intentional vomiting, laxative use and cutting out whole food groups.
Non-dieting eating styles
Given dieting regimes are so often unsuccessful, the non-dieting movement evolved from the fact dieting and food restriction can actually contribute to weight gain, fat storage and altered body shape and size.
Non-dieting eating styles such as “intuitive eating” and “mindful eating” suggest everyone possesses the natural mechanism to ensure good nutrition and a healthy weight.
Non-dieting eating styles promote:
• listening to your body
• eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full
• eating mindfully without distractions such as television and smart phones
• moving daily for enjoyment rather than punishment
• accepting the body’s natural size and shape