Disclaimer: As with money topics, we would never assume that there is one universal health solution for everyone. Diet and weight loss are very sensitive topics – you should only continue to read if you are healthy to read.
Here at TFD, we recognize that money intersects with all aspects of our lives. Where and how we live, what we do for work, what we do for fun – and, of course, what and how we eat it. And for many of us, especially women, what and how we eat has a lot of social influences beyond our control. We are always overwhelmed by messages (often conflicting) that we need to eat “right” foods. The diet industry is worth $ 66 billion, a large part of which is likely due to our inherent weaknesses and socially nurtured. When so many people do not feel good enough, it is relatively easy to persuade consumers to spend money on what they see as a solution to a problem.
A chronic diet is extremely common, and can often do more harm than good. We recently spoke to Caroline Dooner, author The F * ck It Diet: Eating Easy. After her own experience with a chronic diet, Caroline decided to investigate often negative effects of limiting food consumption and “health of microcontrol”. Eventually she thought of “the diet f * ck,” a more intuitive way of eating. This was what she had to say!
1. Tell us a bit about your background – what is your relationship to a diet culture? Why did you start / write The F * ck It Diet?
I was a chronic diet and for 10 years. I would diet and drink and drink and drink, and I really believed I was addicted to food because I was all thinking about food, and putting my face in when my decision was weakens. The more I die, the more control I have of food. But of course, rather than understanding the circle I was in, and how much we have pushed us to be repaired on food when we die… I just blamed my own will.
I started writing about our relationship with food when I realized that something was wrong. I started researching what happens to us when we diet, and what it takes to improve and step out of that cycle really. I started learning things about food, weight, health, and food limitations that blown my mind, and all felt very important to writing and sharing. I bought the website, thefuckitdiet.com, because that's how I felt… “F * ck It.” I was learning that all the micromanagement I was doing to try to become healthier was really bad for me. And after years of diet (what I see now is eating chaotic) and fear of ingredients and weight, F * ck Here's how I felt.
2. For those who are not aware, can you briefly explain what is “the diet that we eat”?
The F * ck It Diet most specifically for chronic dieters. I am writing for the people who are in the situation I was in: feeling really out of control with food, but still trying to be healthy and well and responsible. But the more we try, the more control we have on food we come.
The hardest thing about this circle is that it is mad. Dieters continue to double their dietary efforts, without realizing that diet and limitation flame the flames of food obsession and appetite in the first place.
We live in a diet culture, where everything is terrified with the belief that thinner is better and that less food is better – the two things that can do a lot of damage and are not true true. So in that way, I hope my writing can be re-fed food, weight and health to anyone. But my target audience, and the people I write like “how to step out of the diet cycle” includes chronic dieters.
3. Who can benefit from learning intuitively? Why / how?
Anyone can benefit from learning intuitively. There is growing evidence that focusing on weight loss and constraint is damaging our health in the long term. Instead, if we were to focus on feeding ourselves, listening to our bodies, getting out of the yo-yo eating cycle, people have health improvements (even when weight is not lost!).
On the other hand, having an uneven relationship with food, and cycling and weight cycling, is one of the worst things we can do for our health, and that's exactly what we are doing. happen to people who eat. 95-97% of diets gain all their weight back, and often more weight than lost, and then force themselves to another diet. And so many of us stay in this circle for decades. That's the definition of weight cycling, and it's bad for us.
4. Some people think that “eating intuitively” sounds a good idea, they feel like it will mean they won't eat only junk food and foods are fried because that's what their body is “shaking.” Is this assumption wrong? And if so, what do these people misunderstand about eating intuitively?
This is the fascinating thing about our relationship with food. The more rules we have, and the more we are in their diet, the more depressed we are and the most endless on food we come. It's hormonal, and actually our primitive survival response. So people who believe that they are addicted to food outside control, because that's what the body is forcing you to come when you spend it. life goes from diet to diet. It is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. So, at the beginning of stepping away from a diet, people actually crave each of the thick “prohibited” foods they've denied themselves, and it's absolutely normal and okay. And the irony is, it's actually a curative step to attract a huge amount of thick banned foods. What would your body want to do after years of being semi-hungry? I suppose I would eat as many cakes as I could for a while.
5. As you say in the book, a diet forms a multi-billion dollar industry. How can people (and women in particular) help themselves to avoid being tempted to spend on things like programs / dieting supplements?
Once you see a diet culture in the marketing, it's hard to see, because it's everywhere. All other adverts mention “embarrassment” or “weight loss” or “bikini bodies” or, even more shocking, framed as one that feels your best, healthier and most responsible.
The important thing to remember is that your fears are exploited, and diet companies are lighting us, selling a cure that doesn't work in the long term. When it blows up in your face, you'll blame your own and your will, but diets have never been working in the long term. Diet works only in the short term.
6. Many people say they feel “guilty of spending” when they buy things that are not “to be”. In what ways is this similar to (or different from) feeling guilty about eating some foods?
Being guilty of eating certain foods can keep us in the diet cycle. It can lead to a cascade of emotional reactions that make us feel like we should be a diet, and so this could be our last chance to eat this unpleasant food anyway, and then we can turn it around; n madness and binge drinking and lack of control, without understanding how guilt left us into the circle again.
7. Do you have any suggestions for people who want to learn to accept their bodies and eat intuitively, but still struggle with images of what “healthy bodies” look like by media / mainstream society?
I think the most important step is to learn about the science behind weight and food and health, and basically how we were misled about profit. If you can see how you have been told continuously that you are not good enough to make a profit, anger and frustration can help you move forward. My book goes through the basics, and then to people who want to go even further, the book Body Respect Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor go extensively to the science. You can also read this online magazine. The other important thing to do is to start following more diverse organizations on social media. Studies have shown that only very thin models and actresses in our media have trained our brains to believe that that is the only beautiful and acceptable body to have, and this can cause feelings of shame, which It also affects our relationship with food. And so what we have to do now is to retrain our brains.
8. Is there anything else you would like people to read?
We have been taught to lack trust in our bodies, and have put our trust in gurus (everyone contradicts anyway!). Your body is really truly clever and wired to survive. You can trust your appetite and your hunger, and there is a way out of the diet cycle – even if you have been stuck in it for decades.
Image through Unsplash
Like this story? Follow the Financial Diet on Facebook, Instagram, a Twitter for daily tips and inspiration, and sign up for our email newsletter here.