Health is about more than the numbers on a scale, says Marathon Health dietician Anna Winter.
Thursday is No Diet Day, a time to understand the underlying reasons as to why people diet.
“It’s about letting go of unhelpful behaviours and focusing more on behaviours that can improve our health while being kind and compassionate to ourselves,” Ms Winter said.
International No Diet Day was first celebrated in 1992. It was created by Mary Evans, a survivor of anorexia.
The day is not only about presenting facts about fad diets and highlighting the inefficiency of commercial diets, it is also about questioning the stereotypes of having one correct body shape.
“We know that strict diets don’t work long term, and this can often make us feel like we’re failing. We want to take the focus away from weight-loss and place it on feeling healthier and improving mood, sleep patterns and overall wellbeing,” Ms Winter said.
Headspace Dubbo community engagement coordinator Amy Mines, based in NSW’s Central West, said being healthy was entirely different to being a certain body size.
She said the social media and influencers were affecting people’s mental health.
“High usage of social media has been linked to higher levels of loneliness, anxiety, depression, decreased social skills and lower self-esteem. Social media can make people feel isolated and feel the need to compare themselves with those on the internet,” Ms Mines said.
She said being healthy was about building a life that made you “feel healthy both physically and mentally, as well as feeling great and confident”.