Whether it’s through peer pressure, social media or fad diets, we’re constantly being faced with things ruining our relationship with food. It’s totally fine to want to be healthy and eat right, but we shouldn’t be ashamed of eating a cupcake, either. Watch out for these trends so you can avoid damaging the relationship you have with food.
Being Ashamed or Guilty
Justifying our food choices and just about everything else has become the new normal. The waiter comes to take orders and we feel guilty for not ordering a salad like our friends. We’re constantly comparing what we’re eating to what someone else is, or we’re asking ourselves if we really should be eating that candy bar.
There’s no reason why we should be ashamed of anything we’re eating. However, it’s become a trend to brag about our healthy food choices. Eating healthy is great, but doesn’t mean you have to give up junk entirely. You want to enjoy what you eat, as well as eating for sustenance.
If you see your friends or favorite celebrities trying trendy diets, you’ll want to do them, too. However, a lot of these diets are downright dangerous and the fact that they’re seen as normal is scary. Crash diets like the Master Cleanse cut out eating food entirely. They don’t even work that well, either.
People advertising this diet as a normal thing makes people think they’re OK. Younger teens could want to try it because their favorite celebrities are doing it and they want to look like them. This isn’t a sustainable way to lose weight and it shouldn’t be seen as one.
Social media is awful for people’s self-esteem. We constantly see people posting pictures of themselves in bikinis, skinny and tan. People feel powerful behind a screen as well, so they’ll say things to others that they wouldn’t in person. If you post a picture of that magical dessert you ate, you could face comments about what a fatty you are for eating it.
People are getting social media at younger and younger ages, and are therefore seeing things about diets, cleanses and perfect bodies earlier. Their minds are more impressionable, leading them to believe things about themselves that aren’t true, which could lead to body-image issues. Teens and tweens shouldn’t be worried about going on diets.
How to Change It
You shouldn’t feel guilty about eating dessert or try risky diets because you want to look like a model you saw on Instagram. Do your best to focus on the positive. You’re not always going to eat perfectly healthy, so focus on how good it tasted or the enjoyment you got out of it. Some foods have health benefits but may not be considered healthy, like certain smoothies. It’s still good for you!
Avoid comparing yourself to other people. All bodies are made differently. Some are bigger than others, and that’s just natural. Some people have builds where it’s physically impossible for them to be stick thin – and that’s totally fine. Focus on what’s good for you personally. What works for someone else might not work for you.
Most importantly, love yourself. Eating healthy is great, but wouldn’t you rather be a wonderful person? Don’t focus on food trends or obsess over your weight or what you’re eating. That could lead to an eating disorder or other dangerous consequences. Be the best person you can be and people will love you for it. They aren’t going to care whether you eat a steak instead of salad at dinner.