Ditch Diet Culture with these 20 Non-Diet Goal Ideas
Navigating the Push and Pull
We want to honor the very real push and pull that can exist for you as you may want to BOTH quit dieting FOREVER in pursuit of a sustainable and peaceful relationship with food, movement and your body……. AND……..part of you still perhaps desires to lose X amount of weight (yes, even “just a little”).
Reflecting on the Dieting Odyssey
How many months and years and countless hours and effort might you have spent on various goals focused on trying to make your body a different size and shape than it is (or prevent it from changing size and shape)?
It can feel very foreign to try and figure out what else you might work towards if not what you’ve been told to, believed you should be, and perhaps have done for so long.
Unpacking Some Things……
You might be sitting there and wondering, “well if don’t focus on weight loss……then what? I’m not quite sure” or perhaps “…..but if I don’t focus on weight loss than what about my health?!”.
We love unpacking the relationship between weight and health with our clients and the many things that factor into health (spoiler alert-it’s not about your self control or willpower). We also believe it’s helpful to consider what can contribute to some of the feelings and thoughts that often come up for our clients as they begin to navigate away from diet culture’s path and try and locate new goals that are of value to them.
20 Non-Diet Goal Ideas to Consider:
Goals can be supportive, inspiring and valuable but non-diet goals will inherently be different than weight loss goals because the “why” behind them is.
So what would having goals to work towards sound like/look like/be like if they aren’t focused on weight loss or trying to make or keep your body a size other than how it wants to/needs to be? If you weren’t keeping a close eye on the scale or needing to check a certain item of clothing still fits………
- Improve my energy levels
- Create a healthier relationship with movement
- Learn how to nourish myself to prevent the afternoon slump
- Improve my X lab markers or blood pressure
- Decrease my stress around food and eating
- Increase connection and familiarity with my body’s hunger and fullness signals
- Learn to speak to myself more kindly regarding food and movement
- Make peace with foods I am avoiding or feel out of control with
- Reduce my caffeine intake
- Learn more about fiber and increase my fiber intake to support my heart health
- Reduce/manage my digestive symptoms (constipation, diarrhea, bloating, reflux)
- Change the word I use to describe my relationship with food and eating from “X” to something more neutral or positive
- Increase my confidence in eating to manage/support my health condition
- Learn how to navigate a vegetarian diet in a way that meets my nutrition needs
- Reconnect with pleasure in food and eating
- Learn how to engage with planning from a meal support framework vs a diet culture meal plan one
- Understand my binges and how to navigate them differently
- Develop mindful eating skills
- Develop supportive plan in place for food and eating when feeling overwhelmed/shut down or when body signals and cues are not safe to access or not accessible to me
- Learn how to practice Intuitive Eating instead of restrictive eating
Using the Intuitive Eating Assessment tool may also be something you can explore to help inform/shape your non-diet goals. This assessment can also be used as a way to get a sense of positive shifts and changes over time when you re-take it. We also often talk with clients about their core values which can help guide them in creating their non-diet goals and in making choices about what is best for them.
Remember, it takes time to heal your relationship with food, eating and your body. Pursing non-diet goals WILL feel different than pursuing dieting and weight loss goals and some of that may feel uncomfortable or sad or frustrating. It can however also feel exciting, hopeful, liberating, freeing, valuable, aligned etc.
You have a whole lifetime of being in your body and with food. We are working together with you to find what is truly workable and nourishing for you now and for how you want to spend the years ahead with consideration for what is accessible and of value to you.
What you choose to do with your body will always be your choice and we respect that. We acknowledge that there are very real systems of oppression that influence the choices each individual makes. Safety and belonging are deeply important to being human and everyone is deserving of those things.
Not ready to meet? That’s okay, you might like to check out some of our other blog content.
Disclaimer: This information is general advice in nature and should not be used in place of individualised care and medical advice from your Doctor or Dietitian and does not take into consideration any particular health conditions (including mental health conditions), medications or other needs you may currently have. If you feel unsafe or are in need of urgent support please contact your local emergency services. If you are in Australia and in a crisis or feeling unsafe please call 000 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.