Advertising for the diet industry has long been filled with messages that try to convince viewers to be unhappy with their bodies in order to sell their products. Well, that’s all changing these days. Body Positivity is a recent movement to help people focus on overall health rather than a number on the scale. Even though weight loss can be a common goal of people trying to live in a healthier way, research has shown that the diet and weight loss industry contributes more often to negative health results. It’s time to change it up! We can use body positivity to improve our health in beneficial ways.
Body Positivity Basics
The basics of Body Positivity sound simple, but can be difficult, mentally. The idea is to accept our flaws and imperfections that aren’t considered “beautiful” by society at large, in order to be at peace with ourself. It is knowing that your worth as a person is separate from your outer appearance, which can change over time.
You can approach any health, fitness, or diet goal with body positivity in mind. Instead of focusing solely on losing weight to fit society’s mold of what is attractive, those who promote body positivity say that your goal should be on improving your overall health for your own benefit. Without the added pressure of fitting into what society says is attractive, you can focus on feeling your best!
Dangers of Diet & Weight Loss Stress
Even though Body Positivity doesn’t focus on weight loss like traditional diet culture frequently does, it can actually be better for your health! The diet and weight loss industry encourages fad diets as new products, diet aids, fitness trends and equipment come on the market. It can all be confusing and unsustainable for your lifestyle to use new products and try new diet plans every few months. This can often lead to what is known as “yo-yo diets,” which is a common name for a cycle of weight loss and weight gain. Doctors know that yo-yo dieting can actually lead to more weight gain in the long run as your body adjusts to periods of starvation and overeating! Fluctuating weight puts stress on the body, too, especially the heart. It’s much more healthy to lose weight gradually, which is easier to do when you have a healthy, balanced approach that has a foundation in Body Positivity.
Mental Health Benefits
One of the biggest benefits to approaching your fitness and health goals through Body Positivity is a big boost in your mental health! Poor self-esteem can lead to anxiety and depression, which can both cause physical problems such as high blood pressure. Taking a positive view of your body can help you understand that you are a valuable person, regardless of what size dress you fit in. This kind of mindset will help boost your self-esteem and lead you to make healthy choices in the rest of your life!