What’s behind the new anti-diet diet

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What’s behind the new anti-diet diet

Intuitive eating is the latest anti-diet craze, claiming to shift the wellness focus from weight loss to building healthy relationships between body, mind, and food. Instead of labeling foods as good or bad and trying to ignore feelings of hunger, her simple philosophy is to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re not. The key is to stay in tune with your body so you know when you’re feeling full and drifting away. Rather than banning certain foods, intuitive eaters accept that a snack or meal is unlikely to harm your health. what matters is sticking to mindful eating habits consistently over time.

The trend follows the growing appetite for health plans that eschew goal weights in favor of overall wellness. But separating Truly Intuitive Meals from other diet platforms that tout the concept while pushing restrictive eating plans can be extremely complicated for the average person looking to be healthier in 2022.

To explore the science behind the new anti-diet diet, Almond Cow used scientific studies and news articles to explore Americans’ changing relationship with diet culture and the many facets of health people may consider instead. .

Nearly half of all American adults reported gaining weight during COVID-19, with the American Psychological Association reporting that 42% of those who gained weight gained an average of 29 pounds between March 2020 and February 2021 Lossy subscription services responded with fine-tuned marketing campaigns designed to appeal to new segments of the population, selling an anti-diet lifestyle rather than a sense of restriction. The coin worked: Mobile weight loss company Noom, for example, on the promise of diet-free weight loss, increased its annual revenue from $237 million to $400 million in 2020 and was on track to surpass $600 million in revenue in 2021.

But when it comes to health and weight, ongoing research demonstrates that dieting does not offer long-term weight loss and may even be harmful to people’s physical and mental well-being. Some of today’s most popular diet programs fuel the concept of intuitive eating where a person theoretically eats when hungry and stops when full. Embracing body positivity and wellness, Found, WW, Noom and others are capitalizing on a cultural thirst for greater inclusivity and representation across all demographics, ages, genders and sizes. Yet up to 95% of people who diet regain weight regardless of the method they follow.

So what gives?

Medical experts consider lifestyle the most important component of healthy and sustained weight loss. The CDC emphasizes long-term changes over crash diets designed to shed the most pounds in the least amount of time. More and more Americans are paying attention to all areas of their health, including how much sleep they get per night, their mental health, their hydration and their stress levels: things that have long been overlooked. Many people also consider truly intuitive eating, which studies have shown to have positive results both mentally and physically.

Keep reading to learn more about the real science behind the anti-diet diet, from BMI flaws to healthy habits that matter as much as food intake.

Content Warning: This article mentions eating disorders and restrictive diets.


BMI and weight are not always good indicators of health

Although proven to be profoundly flawed, body mass index is a measure of health often used to indicate whether someone is overweight.

In fact, the person who invented the BMI, Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, was not even a doctor, he was a Belgian astronomer and mathematician. To offer the government a simple solution for calculating obesity, Quetelet created an overly simplistic method: a person’s weight divided by their height squared. As a result, BMI can lead taller people to believe they are more overweight than they are and shorter people to believe they are shorter. Some scientists believe that a height-to-height ratio is much more accurate in determining obesity.


Traditional diets often produce short-term results

In many cases, diets are simply ineffective when it comes to weight loss. In fact, diets can have the opposite effect by slowing down the metabolism in addition to causing more hunger. On top of that, diets can do more harm than good.

Research shows that diets can negatively impact hormones and memory. Instead, scientists find intuitive eating to be a much healthier and more effective approach.

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Intuitive eating can support a better relationship with food

Unfortunately, restrictive diets have harmed many people’s opinions about food, negatively impacted their health, and even caused eating disorders.

However, studies on intuitive eating show that this method helps people build healthier relationships with food. In one study, subjects showed improvements in blood pressure, glucose regulation, and inflammation. Other studies have shown that intuitive eating also leads to more positive attitudes about eating in women and better blood sugar control in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.


Health and well-being have become more closely linked

When it comes to health discussions these days, the focus isn’t necessarily on regular gym attendance and restrictive diets. The definition of health has expanded to include more than weight.

Instead, things like getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, managing stress, and dealing with mental health issues start to take center stage. This may be because traditional measures and approaches to health prove to be limiting and, in some cases, harmful. In many ways, health and wellness are linked, as it can be difficult for individuals to focus on managing their weight if they have not had enough sleep or if their stress levels are high.

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Habits beyond food play an important role in overall health

A person’s habits can play one of the most important roles in improving health. However, changing habits and creating new ones can be difficult. This may be true, especially for building habits. Some people don’t like physical activity or don’t have the time to work out, while others don’t like healthy foods or don’t have the money to pay for them. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases describes Contemplating, Preparing, Doing, and Maintaining as the four stages of habit formation. It can take a few weeks to a few months to form a habit.

This story originally appeared on Almond Cow
and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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