When it comes to creating yourself a healthy snack you first need to think about…
Diet culture permeates nearly every part of modern life.
If you haven’t heard the phrase before, ‘diet culture’ is a word thrown around by anti-diet nutritionists and dietitians—along with the champions of the body love movement—that’s used to describe the way fad dieting and our obsession with being ‘thin’ and ‘healthy’ influences our daily lives.
Diet culture means different things to different people, but to me, it’s the underlying thought patterns, conversations, stereotypes, messages and behaviours that many of us do without even thinking.
To me, diet culture is the:
Flippant comments about trying not to eat bread (or carbs or grains or gluten…)
It’s starting a detox diet, only to break it two days later to drink alcohol at an event and then starve yourself the next day to make up for it.
It’s eating all the ‘junk food’ in the house on Sunday night to start ‘being healthy’ on Monday.
It’s looking at someone’s trolley at the supermarket and judging its contents.
It’s commenting on someone’s body size, to their face or behind their back, in a negative way.
It’s spouting the ‘sugar is poison’ line that some lawyer made up a decade ago to anyone who will listen.
It’s the shake diets that line the shelves of our pharmacies and the GPs who tell their patients to ‘just eat 500 calories a day’ (they sadly exist).
It’s the social media feeds of beautiful people promoting powders, pills and chewable products to ‘shred fat’ or ‘cleanse your gut’.
It’s the stress and guilt you feel when you eat a ‘bad’ food, binge or put on weight after a weekend, holiday or stressful period.
After 16 years in the industry, I’m tired of seeing what diet culture is doing to people. We are miserable with ourselves, because we don’t live up to the ‘healthy body’ ideas and as such we are obsessed with trying to make ourselves fit the mould.
Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly believe in setting up a lifestyle where you look after your health. There is no greater asset. However, I don’t believe that what we see in our culture as ‘health’ is what we need to be striving for!
To bring a positive nutrition message into a world of restriction, misinformation and food stress, earlier this year I launched a podcast called, The Daily Dollop.
The Daily Dollop is daily podcast giving you a dollop of advice from me, a qualified registered nutritionist passionate about food being easy and enjoyable for everyone as well as promoting long term health.
The Daily Dollop calls out nutritional ‘woo’, removes food stress and teaches you how to build healthy eating habits instead of dieting.
Here’s what I’m chatting about this week on The Daily Dollop!
Monday 16 November: Snacking and Weight Loss
Can snacking and weight loss go together?
It’s a common question that people ask me because when most of us think about snacking we think about ultra-processed foods, which of course are typically high in energy, low in nutrition and easy to overeat. Not great for weight loss.
However, snacking as a behaviour is not a key driver of weight loss. An energy deficit is. You MUST have one! And snacking can fit within an energy deficit provided that you’ve made a plan to make that happen.
In this episode, I’ll talk through the key principles of weight loss and how you can create low energy snacks, that you can enjoy daily, so that you can reach your goals.
Listen to the podcast here.
Tuesday 17 November: Artificial Sweeteners
We love sweet foods. They taste good. They make us feel good. They’re associated with celebration and reward.
However, we know that eating too many sweets foods is not good for us, especially when we’re eating ultra-processed sweet foods like soft drinks, cakes, biscuits, pastries, chocolate, lollies etc. So, we try to not eat these foods. And for many of us, we struggle.
In response, the food industry plays on the fact that we WANT to eat sweet food, but that we don’t want the poor health consequences! Enter Non-Sugar Sweeteners—a popular replacement for sugars in food and drinks.
In this episode, I’ll chat about non-sugar sweeteners both artificially made and naturally occurring and look at a key piece of research commissioned by the World Health Organisation looking at whether swapping sugar for non-sugar sweeteners is better or worse for your health.
Wednesday 18 November: The Crazy History of Diets
Our current culture is obsessed with dieting and losing weight. It is obsessed with being beautiful and being thin. However, dieting to lose weight is not a new thing. In fact, we’ve been doing it for a few hundred years.
Late last year, HerCanberra commissioned me to write an article for Magazine on diets through time. I enjoyed researching and writing it so much, I thought I’d chat through my findings on The Daily Dollop.
In this episode, I’ll take you on a journey of fad diets through time. Starting back in 1890 we’ll walk through the different fad diets over the years, including the cigarette diet (not even kidding) and how it’s shaped our eating patterns in 2020.
Thursday 19 November: Up the Duff Nutrition
What should you eat when you’re preggers? There is often a lot of talk about what you shouldn’t eat when you’re pregnant but what about the nutrients that you might need more of?
We know we need to be mindful of soft cheeses and foods that can be spoiled or cause food poisoning. We also know that we want to completely avoid alcohol and that reducing our intake of ultra-processed foods is a good idea too.
But what about what we should be eating more of?
In this episode, I’ll chat about the key nutrients you need more of during pregnancy and how you can get more of them into your diet.
Friday 20 November: Feeding Toddlers
Do you have a fussy toddler? Or do you care for one? They can be super frustrating little munchkins.
There is a lot of guilt around feeding your kids. On one hand, you feel guilty because by golly they can chuck a good tantrum when you don’t give them what they want.
And then there’s the guilt that you get when you do give them what they want because it might not be a very healthy choice.
And finally, after deciding to stick to your guns one night and send them to bed without food, as they refused to eat dinner, there’s the guilt that you might be starving them! Gah! You can’t win!
In this episode, I’ll talk through my six top tips for feeding fussy toddlers and point you in the right direction for getting further help and support if you need it.
As you’ll hear through each episode, fad diets and restrictive, rule-based eating is an inferior approach to achieving long term health, particularly if it’s leading to stress, anxiety and poor compliance.
I want to encourage you to feel good about what you’re eating, confident in your food choices and moving on with more important things in your life!
You can subscribe to The Daily Dollop wherever you get your podcast. Please have a listen and if you like it, please leave a review.
This helps boost the podcast in the charts and helps more people hear the message that you don’t have to follow rules to be healthy!