Spotting Diet Culture

Diet mentality can surface in subtle forms even when you decide to reject dieting, your mind may still be in the habit of using ‘dieting language’, spotting this is important as it can lead to easily falling into restrictive dieting once more.

What may these thoughts look like? 

  • Viewing foods as either good or bad

  • Viewing exercise as a way to burn off food 

  • Choosing not to eat certain food groups e.g. carbohydrates, for no medical, ethical or religious reason

  • Saving foods up for a cheat day, regardless of hunger or fullness levels

Dieting triggers can also come from external sources, which can be just as impactful on how you’re feeling.

  • Weight focused television shows such as ‘The Biggest Loser’ 

  • Weight loss challenges or restrictions

  • Companies promoting appetite suppressants or detoxes, cleanses etc. 

  • Comments on or discussions around weight/food/restrictions

  • Tracking apps 

  • Food labelling and marketing e.g. ‘guilt free’

Spotting the signs of diet culture can help you find ways to avoid it in the future and recognising and challenge your own diet thoughts can help you become an intuitive eater.


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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