Don't Tell Your Friends to Diet

 Many people like to talk about weight loss as if it's a super simple set of directions.

Promoters of the "fewer calories in than out = weight loss" approach don't account for things like plateauing or just, you know, diets not working. They just walk around shaming people for not doing something that seems simple enough. 

We know from set point theory that it's not so easy. 95% of diets don't work over the long term. It's not just a matter of choosing salads over french fries on Wednesdays. 

The worst part is that some of these people are struggling with weight, too. Even when dieting fails us, we still prescribe it for others.

Here's the really really really big problem with this: it lacks empathy

 It dismisses all the pain and discrimination that comes with living in a larger body. Despite body-positive activism, people still believe that larger bodies are somehow inferior.

Instead of taking a moment to acknowledge someone else's struggle, we jump into the solution. This is the definition of lacking empathy. To truly empathize with another human being, we have to be brave enough to imagine ourselves in their situation.

What is it ACTUALLY like to be in a different body? What is it like to try dieting and for it to not work? What if you do all the things people suggest and it doesn't change your body? What if you do work out and eat right? 

If you're thinking about giving diet advice, please remember: 

1) Diets don't work

2) Because diets don't work, your friend may be having a really hard time. 

3) Try to be there for your friend. 

If you're on the receiving end of this: that sucks, dude. You can passive-aggressively post this on social media and hope that they get it next time.

Seriously, though: share it. 

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