Dieting campaigns are everywhere. We see them on the TV, in magazines, on social media and on the way to work stuck on a billboard. With so much hysteria surrounding weight loss and the ‘body ideal’, it’s no surprise that we are seeing a huge increase in Eating Disorders over the past five years.
Something which has come around with this is an increase is calorie counting based diets, which of course is the natural scientific way to lose weight. But these diets are obsessive, restrictive and forgets basic nutrition. As healthy food items such as Avacado, Sweet Potato and Coconut Oil are all heavy in calories- but high in nutrients. With so much emphasis on Calorie Counting and Fasting Diets, particularly on social media- are we really forgetting that it’s an Eating Disorder Trigger and feeding that into every day?
Instagram has become number one for aesthetic photos, diet tracking and life tracking. This is apt for recoverers, dieters and social media junkies. However, with so many encouraging messages from instagram dieters like “you can do it!” is that really just giving us a forced idea that we should be losing weight and being restrictive?
Pictures of progress photos, tiny portions and weight loss quotes flood my social media. With many young boys and girls on instagram and seeing this, I worry for what the future might bring for eating disorder statistics.
We must remember that calories are measurements of energy release and that we need that energy. Food is just fuel, it’s not a weapon to destroy ourselves in the need for perfection. Every body type is welcome, every body type exists for a reason.
We must also remember that there are different types of Eating Disorders out there- it’s not all about starvation and restricting. For many, there’s an awful struggle with overeating, comfort eating and binge eating.
Obesity and overweight people are forever slaughtered for their body types. They are always told to ‘hit the gym’ or to ‘stop being lazy’ but for many, there’s an extreme darkness behind this behaviour that causes them to be the size they are. Binge Eating or Emotional Eating is just as common as Anerexia, however, in the society we are in, it is less believed and treated as ‘Lazyness’ rather than an illness. Many don’t recognise the intensity of the behaviour and don’t seek recovery, which leads to health issues such as Type 2 Diabetes.
It is extremely hard for many to admit there is a problem, especially when it may not be recognised. And my fear is that restrictive eating, calorie counting and extreme dieting will become normalised by Social Media and Advertising Campaigns.
I wrote a list of some healthier options to change your lifestyle, which is a lot safer than those listed above:
- Slimming Groups- Like Weight Watchers or Slimming World- where eating is encouraged.
- Get a Portion Plate Online- it’s like a baby plate and has a section that should be filled with how much food should be in each part. There’s emphasis on vegetables as all the goodness.
- Eat Your Five A Day
- Cut Down (Not Out) on Junk