Well, it’s January (a.k.a. Diet Month) and as expected, things are heating up in the 60-billion-dollar diet industry! Many are geared up to “slay” 2018 by making the usual dead-end resolution to lose weight and get in “shape”. I heard on the news recently that gym memberships are on the rise. No surprise there. And, I’m pretty sure if I go anywhere near a mall that rents space to a Weight Watchers, the lines to join would be wrapped around the building. No surprise there either. ’Tis that the time of year.
I’ve been hearing lots of people talking about the new and “improved” Weight Watchers program. I’ve also seen lots of TV commercials about it and many other weight loss plans. I will not promote it by linking to it, but I did want to chat about it briefly because a few women in my No-Diet Sisterhood Facebook group messaged me because they wanted to know my thoughts. I figured everyone would benefit from hearing my response, so here goes.
I want to be very clear about something. If you are looking to make 2018 the year where you finally end chronic yo-yo dieting, joining Weight Watchers or any other weight loss program will not help you achieve that goal.
No matter what Weight Watchers does to their program, it’s still a diet for these reasons:
- It reinforces restrictive eating because in order to be “successful”, points must still be counted. A reminder that restrictive eating usually leads to bingeing and other disordered eating behaviors.
- It’s not weight-neutral because in order to remain a member, you’re required to weigh in weekly. This continues to promote body dissatisfaction instead of body neutrality (the belief that all bodies are of value regardless of their weight), especially if there is a weight gain.
- It reinforces diet culture because it puts more value on numbers than on a person’s overall health which includes the emotional, physical, and spiritual components.
- It creates a dysfunctional relationship with movement (a.k.a. exercise) because it allows you to earn “points” for engaging in movement. Movement shouldn’t be used as a pawn to eat more or less!
I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point!
Please, don’t fall victim to this incognito no-diet BS. Commit to diet-free living (by practicing intuitive eating) and never count, worry or obsess about “points” ever again. Doing this will almost certainly improve your overall health and repair your relationship with food. It will also help you start respecting and trusting your body again.
The best part is that once you transition and develop confidence in your intuitive eating practice, you’re all set! You don’t have to rejoin any club or buy another expensive membership next year. That’s because with intuitive eating, you learn to trust your body again and stop relying on things like “points” (or calories or macros, etc.) and start to listen to your body and honor its needs. After all, no one knows your body better than you! So stop giving away that power and money to places like Weight Watchers and start living diet-free by practicing intuitive eating. Make the transition to intuitive eating and watch how your whole world will change for the better.
Michelle Vina-Baltsas is a Weight Neutral Wellness Coach and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She compassionately coaches her clients to overcome challenged relationships with food and their bodies so they can live more fulfilling lives and experience better overall health. Join her in The No-Diet Sisterhood on Facebook or enroll in her self-paced video online course Intuitive Eating 360 to transform your relationship with food and body.