“Lose Ten Pounds in Five Days!”
“Burn Stomach Fat Immediately!”
“Stay Away From Carbs!!”
“You Need Carbs!!”
Do your believe everything you see on social media, magazines, or billboards? It’s hard not to because their marketing is intense. I can definitely see how walking into gyms, waiting in the cashier line, and driving the freeway can turn someone into a calorie counting maniac whose on a hamster wheel of beauty perfection. My goal in writing this blogpost is to help change your perspective on what is reality, healthy, and right for your body. Intense fad diets are definitely not the case.
I suggest 5 alternative tips and tricks for those seeking to have a healthy relationship with food.
1. Bio-individuality is the idea that there is no one perfect way of eating that works for everyone. One individuals diet could be poison to another. There is no “one diet fits all” and that is why fad diets or strict eating plans often fail. Each person has unique nutritional needs at all ages and stages of life.
2.When sitting down to eat, be mindful of the colors and variety of your foods. Try and include an array of colorful veggies, tasty fruits, healthy fats, whole grains, and lean proteins, Basically, the more colorful the better.
3. BALANCE. There’s a quote roaming it’s way through Pinterest that reads, “Somedays you eat salads and go to the gym, somedays you eat cupcakes and refuse to put on pants. It’s called balance.” This quote reminds us that we need to set reasonable goals and not be so hard on ourselves. We shouldn’t rid ourselves of enjoying a night out with friends because we’re so caught up on being perfect.
Another reason why “fad” diets are not recommended is because they are so restrictive. Instead of moderation, an individual is limiting themselves to only one type of food or way of life. Just remember, we all have different ideas of what ‘salads’ and ‘cupcakes’ are, but just like calling home on a lonely day, they are needed in our day to day lives.
4. The focus is on small changes. It’s the little tweaks that can make a big difference. Most Americans need to up their intake of fruits, vegetables, probiotics, and whole grains. Implementing these foods at every eating occasion will help people meet daily recommendations without feeling deprived.
5. Weight in grams divided by height squared in meters = BMI
BMI has been a widely used traditional “indicator” of good health for years. Primary care doctors use BMI often as one measure of “good health.” Dietitians use it to determine whether an individual is underweight, a healthy weight, or overweight.
But does BMI really matter? I don’t believe so.
Athletes, or like body shapes, find themselves with a higher BMI, but in good health from all other parameters – waist size, body fat, strength, lab values, etc. BMI is far more unreliable than reliable.
There are so many other factors that determine the quality of our health than BMI and even weight. For example, let’s start taking a look at lab markers, waist circumference, and muscle mass. Not forgetting thyroid function and energy/nutrient intake and sleep patterns and stress levels. Let’s focus on your energy, how strong you feel, and what your lab values say.
Fad diets are fads for a reason. Learn how to say “No, I want something longer lasting.”