I think this is a fantastic summary of what to consider when it comes to Nutrition, thank you to Boss Fitness for a positive perspective.
It seems Facebook has been overrun with people arguing over pointless Diet related things lately, I have read so many comments on various pages I won’t name that really concern me. People really still believe so many nutrition myths to be true, and they are genuinely concerned and outraged to the point of public declaration. Inspired by the above article, I have outlined a few points of discussion that I think you should know.
TOO MANY people tell me about their latest diet and how so and so did this and it worked so i’ll try it too!
There are many other considerations you should make before jumping on a diet bandwagon with the goal of weight loss. You should consider and research your nutrition in the same way you would research a new car or house. Pretty carefully due to the large investment, I’d assume? Your nutrition is an investment in your Health. Start by thinking for yourself, and don’t blindly listen to claims made by other people when it comes to something this important.
- No matter what your diet consists of, or when you eat your meals, at the end of the day your calories and macros need to match up with your individual needs for weight management and energy levels. This cannot be argued, but it is different for everyone.
- Nothing is magic, no matter how good the person telling you about it looks or claims to feel. Sorry. There are probably many other things that person does differently to you in order to look or feel how they do, but they forget to tell you that part. This also includes any supplements sold as a weight loss miracle or necessity. Marketing is the only thing these companies are good at. Don’t waste your money when you can get the same thing from normal food and training well. Alternatively, seek help from someone who is transparent in their methods, and who knows what they are talking about with research to back it up. (hint: anyone who doesn’t consider macros or overall calories for sports performance or aesthetics doesn’t know)
Disclaimer: Do note that I said ‘consider’, you never have to be overly critical or exact in your eating habits. People who are too critical often develop disordered eating which is another thing altogether. Excessive diet habits should be avoided if you have an obsessive personality.
- We have evolved from past civilizations, so just because it worked for our ancestors doesn’t mean it is relevant now. (It also doesn’t mean it is completely irrelevant; I’m encouraging you to think about this.) In saying that, anything that encourages you to cut out whole (and nutritious) food groups for no good reason is not ideal EVER.
- 95% of people regain weight after a diet (if you’re unsure of whether it is a fad diet or not, it probably is). You are likely not the exception. Consider sustainability, will you hate eating this way after a while? Yes? Then stop and find a better solution. Funnily enough, your happiness really does come first. If you hate eating how you do, and your friends dislike you for it too, then try to find a better way (hint: there is one).
- THERE ARE NO GOOD AND BAD FOODS. Sugar, fat and gluten do not make you fat when eaten in moderation, and no matter how many gurus jump on the bandwagon, the facts will not change. Just remember, it is very easy to misinterpret data from scientific studies if you are not taught how to critically analyse them. Yes, any food can negatively impact you if you eat too much, key word being ‘ANY’. Having chocolate every now and then, if you eat according to your calorie needs the rest of the time, won’t change anything.
It is also very easy to say something and make the whole world believe you in a second, as well as becoming personally invested in this particular opinion. There seems to be an uprising of people who have serious, unwavering and closed-minded views on nutrition… Why?
(Sad but relevant historical example here being Jonestown, how easy was Jim Jones able to convince 900 people that the world was against them and dying was the solution? Terribly sad, but take note that he did it pretty easily.)
It seems every second person knows more about how sugar affects their health than actual health professionals these days. Please. The government is FOR your health, not against it. I realised this once I actually researched the topic- before that I also thought certain foods were bad and government guidelines were off. Stop the pointless sugar and Gluten arguments unless you have personally conducted a study, or can show me actual (legitimate) proof that they cause harm to everyone (hint: there is little/none).
I couldn’t believe the response to Michelle Bridges’ recent frozen food line. She is actively trying to help people and their health, one way is by providing meals of convenience that could be a better choice than eating take away or conventional frozen foods. She never said eat her meals every day, she has simply provided a better alternative for people in a rush. She had to take down her ads (which were making fun of the fact people think SHE is perfectly healthy, when she is just a normal person like any of us, and they were actually quite funny) due to the negative response claiming she was making fun of people who eat organic, and people being personally offended by these ads (give me a break). She got abused and put down for creating a frozen food line because it is ‘packaged’, ‘contains oil’, ‘frozen is unhealthy’, ‘not organic’, ‘contains gluten’. WHERE IS THIS COMING FROM?
These days we are SO quick to jump on any new bandwagon (without considering what is real and what is made up) glamorized by celebrities or random Instagram health advocates, that we no longer listen to professionals who dedicate their lives to studying the health of others. You can probably count the number of people, out of the thousands of comments, who actually knew what they were talking about on one hand. I’m sorry that people feel this way, but I commend Michelle for actually still trying to help the world, despite people like this.
Just because someone on social media, or in a documentary or book, says packaged foods, fats/sugar/gluten and frozen foods will make you fat and unhealthy, doesn’t make it true. I’m not saying you should go out and only eat these foods, but including them every now and then WILL DO NOTHING (again, this is outside of individual/rare circumstances). Except maybe make you ‘feel’ worse due to a placebo effect, if that’s what you expect to happen when you eat it. I go back to the idea that any food eaten in excess will negatively impact you. For instance, take the gluten intolerance study that found no one who claimed to have gluten intolerance was actually gluten intolerant (link below). You see, scientists who originally found people to be gluten intolerant have followed up their study with one that controlled the diet to a greater degree (no one considered other variables that could have caused the distress outside gluten originally), they found that any distress could be caused by other variables (such as FODMAPS) and not gluten.
This is just one example, I am by no means saying it is ok for everyone to eat all the gluten they desire every day without other nutrients. I’m just saying please do your own research and also consider your individual needs.
At the end of the day, your main considerations should be regarding macro and micro nutrients and whether you are eating enough of each, as well as fibre.
Do not listen to people trying to scare you into eating a certain way (e.g. organic, GMO, sugar-free), you should not be scared into anything. You are an educated human and anyone trying to help you should stop with the outrageous claims and scare tactics. You should consider the above before jumping into a new diet just to look good for summer or become ‘healthy’. Consider what your nutrition may be doing to your mind and your relationships; what you eat should never consume your life. It should not cause you to get into a never-ending argument with anyone about different nutrition methods. If the diet has a crazy name, then it is probably a crazy diet. If you wouldn’t eat this way for the rest of your life, why are you doing it now?
I often get asked why I feel so strongly about this topic, my answer is that I want you to be able to achieve your goals in the most sustainable and easiest way possible. I also want you to be able to recognize why fad diets will never work and know when someone is giving you false or exaggerated information.
Everyone is unique, and your nutrition should reflect this.
Health is so much more than how you eat – remember that.