Ever gone clothes shopping, found something you’ve liked and went to find your size, only to realize that it’s a “one size”. Notice how over the years it's gone from saying “one size fits all’, to “one size fits most”, and now just “one size”? As if to say the same statement, but rid them of any liability if it doesn’t fit you.
Or how about the feeling you had when that said “one size” item didn’t fit right, or didn’t fit at all? Excluded sums it up pretty well; that there is something wrong with you, with your body. That’s how marketing usually works. Playing on your desires to fit in, be accepted, follow a crowd mentality and ultimately ‘have what she’s having’.
As a nutritionist I see people from all walks of life. The lifestyles, circumstances, genetics, life experiences, and access to food are incredibly varied. The combinations of these factors are infinite. Everybody, and every body’s lives are different. So how come we are still buying into the diets bundled up into a “one size” approach?
Labelling your diet
Paleo, primal, gluten free, vegan, flexitarian, pescetarian, low carb, keto: these diets prescribe you to a certain way of living, to a certain public bias, and to a certain group of likeminded people. You may enjoy the challenge of feeling hardship on a ‘restricted’ diet, and feel proud to ‘stick to it’ like it’s a chore someone else gave you. Or enjoy the sense of community or social status it may bring. But you do not need a designer diet to be healthy. Nor do you need to follow anyone else’s ideal diet but your own.
Your own body tells you exactly what you should be eating, you just have to pay attention.
Headaches from caffeine? Cut back.
Heart racing from sugar highs? Cut it down.
Skin conditions flaring up? Bump up your intake of anti-inflammatory foods and eliminate any potential food intolerances (with qualified assistance).
Constant hunger? Drink more water, and eat more veggies, protein, fat and fibre.
Fidgety? Move your body.
Exhausted? Skip the extra food/caffeine and have a rest.
These are not diet formulas, rules, or part of some 12-week plan. This is just finding out what does and doesn’t work for your body, and meeting its needs as best as you can.
But it works for them!
We love to follow the trends of aspirational people and celebrities. That’s great that they’ve figured out what foods work best for their body. Copying them may help you find what works for you too. But simply mimicking another person’s diet doesn’t mean that you are going to be any healthier. The key is not to ‘have what she’s having’ unless you know it works for you too. There is definitely no harm in trying new things, new foods, or new ideas – but “diets” as such, don’t work long term. Period.
My diet is better than yours
Demonising foods, criticizing other people’s food choices and having a superiority complex because you eat a certain way is not healthy.
For those fortunate enough to have fresh produce readily available every day, food is a part of life that is to be enjoyed, create memories with, and be used as fuel to nourish your body so you can live your life to the fullest. Not something to be used against another person.
It’s now a given that if you post food images regularly on your Instagram, your profile essentially needs to state what kind of diet you follow or foods you post. People follow you according to how you eat, and if for example, you’ve “mislead” them by posting something vegan one day, then post a salmon dish the next, you’re criticized, and sometimes cyber bullied. How is that ok? It’s your own space, your own body, and your own needs. Don’t listen to them.
The ultimate diet
You don’t need a fancy gadget, fancy superfood, or fancy short-lived program to be healthy. Just enjoy being you, and look after your body, taking an individualized approach to health. If you need guidance, make sure it comes from a professional who has your best interests at heart. Otherwise, listen to your body and work with it not against it to be a healthier, happier person.
If you would like a nutrition plan which is personalised to you and your needs, get in touch on our contact page.