Which narrative are you using to make sense of the world around you? Do you find that the social media narratives you follow enforce negative mindsets around your relationships to food and exercise, or positive ones? How can you change them to improve your overall happiness and well-being? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about the inner workings of diet culture and how to tell facts from falsehoods with Libby Supan.


Libby Supan is a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified intuitive eating coach. Libby recovered from an eating disorder she had for 20 years and the reason why she’s extremely passionate about the work that she does.

Libby has a therapy practice and a separate coaching practice. She works with people who struggle with food and their body. She mostly works with people who suffer from the binge/restrict cycle. She’s on a mission to help as many people as possible relearn how to eat intuitively and live a life of food freedom. Visit Libby Supan's website and connect on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. FREEBIE: Download the Food Freedom Workbook


  • Debunking trending “weight loss” medicines
  • Regaining a connection with your body
  • How to tell the experts apart from the influencers
  • Weight-bias in the medical field
  • Libby’s advice to listeners

Debunking trending “weight loss” medicines

Ozempic and Wegovy are two medications that provide injectable semaglutide which are used to treat type 2 diabetes. They have the same active ingredient but are often marketed to offer different uses.
It’s a superficial substance that you’re putting in your body to manipulate your internal body cues, your hunger/ fullness cues, just like anything else … like a stimulant medication. (Libby Supan)
These medications, especially Ozempic, are important for people who need them for actual medical reasons. When people use these medications because they believe in the latest “weight loss” trend, the people who need these medications are the ones who suffer. Additionally, the everyday folks that were conned by the diet industry end up putting back on the weight that they lost because it’s essentially another false “quick fix”.
It’s a superficial way to manipulate your body. You’re not supposed to stay on these substances, these medications, long term. (Libby Supan)

Regaining a connection with your body

One of the first steps to overcoming and recovering from an eating disorder is to reconnect and understand your body’s hunger and fullness cues.
If you’re already struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating, and your goal is to get on the other side of that, your goal is recovery, and you’re going to use this medication - you are making it harder for yourself. It’s like you’re taking 10 steps back. (Libby Supan)
You cannot be an intuitive eater and stay connected with your body to recover from an eating disorder if you keep following each “quick fix” and the false promises that come from the diet industry. These changes are not long-term, so that is not sustainable. If you want to recover, then you will need to focus on regaining a connection with your body and its cues, because that is the only way that you’re going to learn how to understand your body and work with it instead of against it.

How to tell the experts apart from the influencers

If you are speaking with someone who is trying to give you advice, ask them:
  • What makes you a specialist?
  • What are your certifications?
Tip: this is not disrespectful to ask! If they had them, then they would share them without a fight or without making you feel bad for asking. It is normal and ethical to make sure that what someone is saying can be backed up. With any specialist that you speak to, you want to make sure that they are morally aligned. Check if they offer:
  • Health at every size
  • Body neutrality
  • Intuitive eating
  • Food freedom
  • Anti-diet culture
All of [these] phrases are all of the things you want to look for in an eating disorder specialist, and that's their framework, their perspective, where they come from [in giving treatment]. (Libby Supan)

Weight bias in the medical field

There is a large amount of weight bias in the medical field. Even though there has recently been a lot of research and studies done on how body size does not always correlate to health, this belief is still present - and encouraged - in the medical field.
Most of western medicine is fatphobic and they have weight-bias because that’s how they’re trained … I’m not saying all doctors, or all Western medicine, but most of it. (Libby Supan)
Things like the BMI (body mass index) are still used, even though it has been proven to be out of date and inaccurate. A person in a larger body can be healthier than a person in a small body, and vice versa, but there is no direct or clear evidence that a certain body type fully equates to total health, that just isn’t true. Anyone who is trying to make you believe it is probably promoting diet industry narratives to try to sell you something.

Libby’s advice to listeners

Reclaim your social media space! Follow accounts and people who teach you proper skills, tools, and facts about life, and unfollow the things that make you feel bad about yourself. You can shift your algorithm by making different choices with what you interact with online, so make that shift to your advantage.



  I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "Hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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