How to Avoid Diet Talk

It is common in our society to be conditioned by diet culture. You may notice people are perpetually discussing new diets or how they should be on one. Don’t let this deter you, however, you may find yourself feeling uncomfortable when this happens, especially to begin with, so we have some useful pointers below. 

Thoughts to internalise

  • When the topic of dieting, weight gets brought up avoid getting drawn into it, instead take a deep breath and assure yourself you are committed to a new way of thinking about food and eating, and how you feel towards this has changed. Dieting is no longer part of your process. 

  • Protect your food boundaries, refuse to allow other to discuss what, when or how much you eat. 

  • Protect your body boundaries, refuse to allow others to comment on your weight and body.

Ways to avoid or steer the conversation

If a topic comes up you feel uncomfortable discussing it, have a conversation piece to move things along. This can be as simple as changing the point of view to weekend plans or upcoming birthdays etc. 

You can also kindly and gently let them know, asking them to change the topic. You can respond with comments such as; 

  • ‘I am working on my physical/mental health right now; can we discuss something else?’

  • ‘Comments on my weight/body/eating make me feel uncomfortable, can we discuss something else?’

If you feel you need too, you can simply ignore them and walk away.


Neff,K., 2003. Self-Compassion: An Alternative Conceptualization of a Healthy Attitude Toward Oneself. Self and Identity, 2, 85-101. 

Neff, K., 2016. The Self-Compassion Scale Is a Valid and Theoretically Coherent Measure of Self-Compassion. Mindfulness, 7 (1), 264-274.

Neff, K., and Costigan,A., 2014. Self-Compassion, Well-being, and Happiness. Psychologie in Osterreich, 2/3, 114-119. 

Tribole, E., and Resch,E., 2017. The Intuitive Eating Workbook. Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food. United States: Raincoast Books. 

Tribole, E., and Resch, E., 2020. Intuitive Eating. A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach. 4th edition. United States: St Martins Essentials. 

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