Let’s face it; no one actually wants to substitute celery for a cupcake. The thought of having to restrain from the urge to indulge in delicious, unhealthy foods makes dieting not only miserable but tough to stick to in the long run. There are countless dieting books with hundreds of different methods for a reason: because dieting is not a sustainable option to get healthy and stay healthy.
Previously awarded Miss Kemah Teen USA, Bryn Carden makes promoting health, wellness, and body positivity one of her missions in life. She agrees that the concept of dieting and its initial restricting mindset is step one in the wrong direction. That is why Carden says that the best diet is an anti-diet or an approach to health and dieting that revolves around choosing more nutrient-dense foods. Here are five reasons why the best diet ironically is an anti-diet.
Reason #1. An anti-diet is the opposite of anti-health
Though the term anti-diet seems to equate to anti-health, it is far from such a comparison. An anti-diet promotes pursuing well-being without revolving around the idea of weight loss. It helps those who want to get healthy to do so in the direction opposing the dangers and harms of dieting. Dieting restrictions lead people to experience more discomfort, which spirals into more eating, ultimately falling into a destructive cycle of going on a diet and failing. The ideals backing up an anti-diet are evidence-based, diet-culture-free interventions such as the paradigm called Health At Every Size.
Reason #2. An anti-diet leaves out diet-culture
According to Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CDN, author of Anti-Diet, there is something called “diet-culture” that promotes unhealthy Western ideals that essentially put thinness on a pedestal and regards such a figure as identical to the best shape of health. She points out that no person ever starts on a diet thinking that they are beautiful and perfect. In fact, the mindset surrounding beginning a diet is entirely negative and does not promote body positivity outlooks, which is another factor in the many reasons dieting is not sustainable.
Reason #3. Other diets promote money-making businesses
As most marketing involves manipulation, it is no different with diet trends and fads. Companies looking to make money from people suffering under diet-culture stigmatization promote dieting products as simple ways to finally reach the desired Western-loved thin look to achieve a healthy state. At the end of trying one diet, when people fail at that program or meal plan they just invested into, they look to the next solution another company might offer, spending money once again just to end up in the same place.
Reason #4. An anti-diet does not glorify or normalize eating disorders
Why does dieting increase hunger and cravings so drastically? Dieting is a type of starvation, which means people go through a calorie deficit. The human body responds to calorie deprivation by decreasing the satiety hormone leptin and increasing the hormone that sparks hunger called ghrelin. The body reacts in this way because it is programmed to survive, and when a body senses it is not getting the proper amount of fuel through food, metabolic rates will decrease, making weight loss harder.
Reason #5. An anti-diet boosts mental health
Diets, in general, are not beneficial for mental health. The repercussions the mind goes through when restricting what foods to choose that fit with a diet's demands can cause anxiety in social settings and or depression behind closed doors.
About Bryn Carden
Bryn Carden is a versatile young entrepreneur with a deep sense of compassion and the desire to help make the world a better place. Carden leads other women by example with a kind, compassionate and authentic approach, promoting health and wellness, strong ambition, and generosity. She is a proud Miss Kemah Teen USA, inspiring others with her beauty, positive attitude, and love for people. When she has free time, Bryn can be found modeling, traveling, skiing, paddle boarding, exercising, and spending time with her friends and family.