The New Year is here, and with it, a million New Year’s Resolutions focused on weight loss. Christy Harrison’s new book, Anti-Diet, is here to show you why you don’t need to go on a diet in 2020.
With January comes a flurry of New Year’s Resolutions, most of them focused on weight loss and body manipulation. Some of the rhetoric surrounding these resolutions can become a bit tricky though as diet culture and the diet industry at large have become wise to the falling popularity of the term “diet.”
Diet culture and the diet industry have done a pretty good job shifting to wellness messaging. WW’s (formerly Weight Watchers) new branding is a prime example of this wellness pivot that diet companies are making in order to stay relevant and to continue attracting the coveted 18-45 year old advertising bracket. As diets go out of style, diet companies have done their best to pretend they are just a lifestyle change, something that will help you improve your health–with the implicit promise that weight loss is guaranteed as well.
Because of this shift within the diet industry, these New Year’s Resolutions and new year diet plans are no longer marketed as such. Companies like Noom and other lifestyle brands have even attempted to co-opt anti-diet rhetoric to stay relevant and to continue raking in profit.
With all of this industry might against us, how can we hope to bolster ourselves against the disordered eating recommendations that these “wellness plans” peddle? One way is through explicit, in-depth investigative reporting that exposes diet culture–and its new identity, The Wellness Diet–for what it really is. Christy Harrison, a leader in the Intuitive Eating and anti-diet spaces online, has made our jobs a lot easier with the release of her new book, Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating.
As stated on Christy Harrison’s website:
68 percent of Americans have dieted at some point in their lives. But upwards of 90% of people who intentionally lose weight gain it back within five years. And as many as 66% of people who embark on weight-loss efforts end up gaining more weight than they lost. If dieting is so clearly ineffective, why are we so obsessed with it?
The culprit is diet culture, a system of beliefs that equates thinness to health and moral virtue, promotes weight loss as a means of attaining higher status, and demonizes certain ways of eating while elevating others. It’s sexist, racist, and classist, yet this way of thinking about food and bodies is so embedded in the fabric of our society that it can be hard to recognize. It masquerades as health, wellness, and fitness, and for some, it is all-consuming.
In Anti-Diet, Christy Harrison takes on diet culture and the multi-billion-dollar industries that profit from it, exposing all the ways it robs people of their time, money, health, and happiness. It will turn what you think you know about health and wellness upside down, as Harrison explores the history of diet culture, how it’s infiltrated the health and wellness world, how to recognize it in all its sneaky forms, and how letting go of efforts to lose weight or eat “perfectly” actually helps to improve people’s health—no matter their size.
Drawing on scientific research, personal experience, and stories from patients and colleagues, Anti-Diet provides a radical alternative to diet culture, and helps readers reclaim their bodies, minds, and lives so they can focus on the things that truly matter.
Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CDN is an anti-diet registered dietitian nutritionist, certified intuitive eating counselor, and author of the book Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating (Little, Brown Spark 2019). She offers online courses and private intuitive eating coaching to help people all over the world make peace with food and their bodies. Since 2013 Christy has hosted Food Psych, a weekly podcast exploring people’s relationships with food and paths to body liberation. It is now one of iTunes’ top 100 health podcasts, reaching tens of thousands of listeners worldwide each week.
Christy began her career in 2003 as a journalist covering food, nutrition, and health, and she’s written for major publications including The New York Times, SELF, BuzzFeed, Refinery29, Gourmet, Slate, The Food Network, and many others. Learn more about Christy and her work at christyharrison.com.
It is books like Harrison’s, and the many other books that it will no doubt inspire, that act as a guiding light in these confusing and complicated times. You do not have to submit to diet culture and engage in perforative health to prove that you are a worthy and lovable human being. You can be more than a new diet this year.
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About the Author
Ashley M. Seruya is a social work student, virtual assistant, and content creator specializing in eating disorder recovery, Health at Every Size, and weight stigma. Learn more about her work at ashleymseruya.com or on her Instagram at @fatpositivetherapy.