Office diet-talk can be relentless, triggering and difficult to avoid. If 8 hours of carb, keto and cleanse commentary is making you want to ride your wheelie chair down the fire escape, here’s a few ideas for you:
- Excuse yourself and walk away. After a few smoke-bomb moments they’ll start to get the picture you’re not here to validate their dieting or body-issues.
- Offer a few “mm-hmms” before changing the subject. If they ask why you’ve done so, you might say “I’ve seen dieting lead to disordered eating which has harmed people I care about, so I don’t like talking about diets”. (Virgie Tovar)
- If someone asks you how much *whatever nutrient* you think there is in *whatever food*, you might say “Sorry, no clue, I just eat based on my body’s internal cues and what I enjoy”. (Ragen Chastain – Dances With Fat)
- If it’s a juice cleanses or skinny tea: “Ahh, so a diarrhoea diet?”/ “Ooh, yeah I have a liver and kidneys for that”.
- If you are good friends with the person, you might find an opportunity to ask them about their constant diet-talk and what is going on for them. Diet-talk encourages competition, not connection. If we create space for the latter and share our concerns in a non-judgemental way, you may find out that there is more going on for that person than just another crash-diet. These are the REAL conversations of value.
CFIH Dietitian Kate Lane