I'm fed up.
Fed up listening to people (and the internet) vilify foods, spread false information and mislead others into believing that they must give up certain foods to lose weight and to feel good about themselves.
It's all lies. Damaging lies at that.
Want to know the truth? Then read on...
WHY DO WE DIET?
SEVENTY percent of all women have dieted at least once in their life, and forty percent of all women are on a diet at any one time.
Dieting is largely driven by body dissatisfaction – a negative perception of the weight and shape of your body in comparison to an ideal body.
The ideal body doesn’t exist by the way. There is no such thing as the perfect body because nobody is perfect, which is perfectly ok.
It has almost become normal to be on a diet. People search for the perfect diet so they can look better, believing that they will feel better about themselves if they meet this ideal standard of how they think they should look.
Most popular and trending diets restrict and eliminate foods. Elimination diets only further reinforces that we must “take away” to reduce in size in order to feel good about ourselves.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way.
Elimination diets negatively associate our food choices with body shape and size as we are misled to believe that me must eliminate and restrict to strip away body fat.
It’s a sad reality, but there is an alternative solution other than subjecting yourself to deprivation, restriction, and elimination that are inherent to faddish type diets.
Common foods that are vilified when it comes to dieting are carbohydrates (bread!), dairy (cheese!), and not forgetting the biggest demon of them all sugar (chocolate!).
While it’s true that gluten containing carbohydrate foods and lactose containing dairy, are the most common for food intolerances and sensitivities, that does not mean that they need to be cut from the diet in order to lose weight.
The main driving factor for weight loss is a calorie deficit. It really does not get more fancy than that.
Advocating an elimination diet to the masses in order to promote weight loss is a somewhat lazy, not to mention irresponsible, approach taken by dieting gurus in an attempt to drastically cut calories from your diet.
But at what expense? Our sanity? Our happiness?
Elimination diets fail to take into account that we all live lives. While the short term weight loss affects may be drastic, real life eventually gets in the way, making a restricted diet impossible to sustain.
BODY POSITIVE NUTRITION
Our bodies affect our minds and our minds affect our bodies.
Instead of focusing on the negatives, how about we focus on the positive health effects of including the common foods that are often eliminated from our diets in order to lose weight?
Chose to follow a diet that first and foremost makes us feel better about ourselves, then the looking better part will soon follow.
Including dairy in our diet helps us to feel better by providing us with energy and important nutrients such as calcium, protein, and other micronutrients. They are also a vegetarian source of a complete protein.
Aside from their nutritional profile, some yogurts also have beneficial probiotic effects, which is good for maintaining a healthy gut. Dairy products have also been associated with a reduced risk of weight gain and obesity.
And let’s not forget the fact that without cheese there would be no pizza!
Including starchy carbohydrates (grains, potatoes, and legumes) in our diet helps us to feel better by providing us with the essential energy required to get out of bed in the morning, go to work, go to the gym, and to socialise at the weekends.
They are also a source of fibre. Getting enough fibre in our diets in the form of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, is essential for achieving optimal health and preventing diseases. Not to mention, keeping the plumbing in good working order.
And can you imagine Ireland without sammiches? Unfeasible.
Including sugar in our diet helps us to feel better because we get to eat decadent sweet treats that are thoroughly enjoyable. Food is and should be a pleasurable experience and we should all enjoy some fun foods from time to time, regardless of its nutrient-less status.
This includes sugar and all varieties of it, from candy floss to vanilla ice-cream to Refresher bars.
BE YOUR OWN BOSS
Stop taking dietary advice from internet diet gurus and instead start paying attention to what your body wants and needs. If you feel good after eating grains, then eat grains. If you feel good after eating cheese, then eat cheese.
Make your food choices based on how it can nourish both your body and mind, not solely on reducing the size and shape of your body.
Choose to eat in a manner that is both enjoyable and sustainable for long-lasting dietary success.
Practice personal preference when it comes to your diet. Practice moderation. Practice body positive nutrition.
Thanks for reading,
If you enjoyed this article and you are ready to ditch the dreaded dieting rules then you will love my online nutrition coaching group, Ignition. I'll teach you exactly what good nutrition is for long-lasting success, minus the bullshit and false promises. The group opens its doors at the beginning of every month and we would love to have you on board! For more information on the group just click HERE.