Body Image and Nutrition

Hey again, Happy Wednesday!


My challenge to myself is to write a fortnightly blog... lets see how I go!! (apologies in advance if I miss one but I’ll try my best not to)


I hope you're all having a great week so far. I'm sitting here thinking about how lucky I feel to have this opportunity to write these blog posts at Saltfleet Clinic. I really do enjoy writing and I hope that the content I create is useful to you.

This week, I'd like to talk about body image, in particular negative body image and how it affects us.


As I've progressed through my twenties and now at the start of my thirties, I've learnt to accept and love my body for what it is. I nourish my body with the food it needs everyday. No diets, no restriction just listening to what my body needs and fueling it with healthy, nutritious, sustainable food 90% of the time and yummy treats 10% of the time.

For anyone not at this point yet, you're not alone!

Negative body image is something which impacts both men and women of all ages.

Do you think you are fat, not pretty enough, believe your value as a person is determined by your looks or are fixated on trying to change your body shape?


Thinking these things can lead to body dysmorphic disorder, anorexia nervosa, binge eating, fad dieting and a yoyo dieting cycle.

So why is this not ideal?


Dieting affects your health and mental state. Research shows that it is not a long term solution and is associated with weight regain.


The weight loss/weight gain cycle, also known as yoyo dieting may put you at risk of developing heart disease and other health problems.


Steps to move away from negative body image and the dieting cycle:

1. Learn to love your body - did you know women need a layer of protective fat to help with fertility, breastfeeding, prevention of osteoporosis and healthy skin, eyes, hair and teeth. It is normal for us women to have fat on our hips and thighs.

Here is a great link from our resident psychologist Ashlee Raymond to get you started on learning to love your body:

https://butterfly.org.au/

2. Let go of dieting, restrictive eating, binge eating and find a balance in your eating that you can maintain- here is a link to some information to start with about the HAES (Health At Every Size) approach.

https://haesaustraliainc.wildapricot.org/What-is-HAES


3. Focus on healthy habits, not your weight.


Are you:


  • moving your body in some way, everyday

  • getting your 2 fruit and 5 serves of vegetables each day

  • minimising your alcohol intake

  • quitting smoking

  • limiting high fat/high sugar snacks and treats to 1-2 times per week


These are some simple changes you can start with to improve your overall health 😊


If you feel you need further professional help with your body image and eating, reach out to our psychologist Ashlee or myself for more personalised advice.

Until next time :-)

Many thanks, Mattea Palombo Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) Accredited Nutritionist (AN) Adelaide Nutrition