Wait, Weight, What?

There has been a lot of talk in the news lately about weight loss medications in addition to the ever-present diet talk that never seems to go away. You might have also heard some terms used by people in an attempt to fight against diet talk. We’re here to breakdown what some of these terms mean since they can get confusing at times! Keep in mind some of these terms can and will change over time.

  • Diet culture: a general term used for diet talk including fad diets, influencers, and other social media trends that talk about supplements, teas, what they eat in a day, or other methods of weight loss. Usually, diet culture is putting an emphasis on the “thin ideal” and there is often a suggestion to restrict what you eat in some way to achieve thinness
  • Thin ideal: the idea that thin equals better – better health, better life.
  • Weight management: an attempt to change weight, often through behavior or lifestyle changes.
  • Weight-inclusive: the idea that weight should not be the main factor in health care or counseling. All people regardless of weight should be offered, and receive the same opportunities.
  • Health at every size: a movement that suggests metabolic health can be achieved regardless of a person’s weight, and that behaviors, rather than weight, should be targeted for change in order to improve health.
  • Weight stigma or bias: treating someone differently based on their weight.
  • Anti-diet: an approach to healthcare based on the belief that diets are harmful.
  • Intuitive eating: an approach to eating that is based on a person’s hunger and fullness, honoring what the body wants and needs.
  • Mindful eating: slowing down and enjoying or savoring food in a way that involves the senses (touch, taste, smell, see, hear). Focusing on food in such a way that avoids using phone/computer/TV screens or other distractions.
  • Joyful movement: a way to move your body (also sometimes called exercise) that is done purely for enjoyment and without a focus on burning off calories.

Have you ever thought about weight or eating using any of the above terms? What would you think if someone suggested that we take weight “off the table” when discussing health? It is a hard concept for some to grasp. Try to remember a few things though when thinking about diets: if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Also, ask yourself who might be making money from the popularity of a diet or product. Chances are, the best approach to eating for your health doesn’t have a “name” or “followers” but is actually just eating a balanced plate of food based on your body’s hunger and fullness cues, and based off foods that you enjoy. If that sounds easier said than done, ask your healthcare provider about meeting with a registered dietitian.


-Dietitian Katrina