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Pinterest Dietspo: Motivational or Menacing?


I adore Pinterest. At first I resisted joining yet another social media site, but once I gave in I was hooked, and after finding myself pin, pin, pinning away into the wee hours of the morning, I set some healthy limits. Now I log on less often, and limit my pinning time so it doesn’t crush my sleep schedule.

In addition to being a whole lot of fun, when kept in balance (I know, easier said than done!), I think Pinterest can be a great tool for supporting a healthy lifestyle, as I wrote about in a previous post How Pinterest Can Help You Lose Weight. But many of the dietspo or dietsporational boards really bum me out. Rather than viewing nutrition as a means of restriction or deprivation, I look at it as a strategy that allows me to feel well, have energy, nourish my body, manage stress, look better (hair, skin, etc.), sleep well, and be healthy, both physically and emotionally, and I want my clients to feel the same. That’s why pins like ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ make me sad.    

If you’re a Pinterest enthusiast and you need inspiration, look for positive, empowering, humorous quotes, that celebrate nutrition in relation to wellness, not images or words that make you feel trapped in diet prison.

Here are five of my favorites:
I’m not on a diet, I’m eating healthy
Try organic food…or as your grandparents called it “food”
Fruit is fast food
Keep calm and eat healthy
Eat well, move daily, hydrate often, sleep lots, love your body, repeat for life

I especially love that last one! What’s your take on this topic? How does Pinterest impact your relationship with food or your body image? And what are your favorite positive, motivational pins? Please tweet your thoughts and pins to @cynthiasass and @Shape_Magazine

Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master's degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she's a SHAPE contributing editor and nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays. Her latest New York Times best seller is S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches.


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