…STOP believing everyone else’s diet advice!
(Disclaimer: This is about to be a rant.)
Last night I was scrolling on FB, ya know because once you’re in college it’s cool again, and I saw an old acquaintance posted one of those articles that fill up 80% of my newsfeed. 44 Ways to Look Better and Get in Shape Now. I kid you not. This was written by a young girl who was a passionate vegan and health fanatic. Great. I’m genuinely happy you have an interest in health, fitness, well-being, whatever! But this article had SO may false things in it I cringed reading it. Rolled my eyes and felt two things; 1) Thank God I’m not gullible enough to believe everything I read anymore. 2) I am so angry/upset for the girls (and guys!) reading who felt they were getting genuinely good advice, such as my old acquaintance. I love that health is “In” right now and more valuable than a pair of Louboutin’s but why, why, and WHY does everyone feel the need to throw their two cents in!? If you are not a registered dietician, personal trainer, microbiologist, anatomy major (? that’s totally not a thing is it), have scientific research and studies to back up what you’re saying, THEN DON’T SAY IT!
Here is what I DO know as a dietetic major (I’m not including anything about exercise because that’s not my specialty and I am not including certain specifics that I have not studied yet in my RD coursework. Why? Because I’m not qualified and only know what works for me!)
1. Sleep. Seriously. Robyn over at The Real Life RD will tell you, if you do not have adequate sleep so many hormones are thrown off, even if it’s one night. So why oh why would you try to eat less or exercise and stress out your body and endocrine system even more if you haven’t gotten such a basic necessity? Let’s face it, if you’re tired, you probably won’t have a great workout anyways. Also, I eat MORE when I’m tired or sick because you’re body is fighting to keep things balanced and needs approximately 7% more energy (CALORIES) to fight off anything attacking the immune system and trying to maintain homeostasis.
2. Do Not Deprive Yourself. This almost always leads to binge-like behaviors and if it doesn’t immediately, it will. I don’t care if you’re good at restricting yourself right now and for the passed four months you haven’t touched chocolate or fries or whatever you think it really “derailing your progress.” I know better than anyone (AND studies have PROVEN) that the longer you deprive yourself the harder and stronger the binge-tendencies come. It is a vicious cycle.
3. Eat Enough. It’s funny; Years ago when I was in recovery for my ED and I finally started eating ore and more I lost weight first. I finally turned on my metabolism and even eating over 3,500-5,000 calories a day (gradual build-up! talk to an RD for how to do this safely and properly) I wasn’t gaining weight and that is WITHOUT exercise! No I easily eat 2-3 times as much as my friends, have more energy, and am not overweight. When you give your body energy constantly it realizes it can use and expend the energy. If you are under-eating even a little bit constantly your metabolism will start holding on to everything and slow down to preserve homeostasis and keep your organs running.
4. Don’t Cut Out A Macro Group! Why people think this is a good idea is always beyond me. Carbs give us energy, protein replenishes muscles, fat slows down the sugar being released into the blood stream and 80% of your organs are made of fat. Your brain literally can’t function properly without it. Lipids compose 40% of the organic matter in your body! Plus it keeps your heart healthy, nails strong, and hair shiny!
5. There is no one way. I know people who are satisfied eating one dessert a week, I need at least a little bit of chocolate every day to stay sane. After 5 years of veganism I had to give it up because it just wasn’t healthy for me. Statistically very few people can maintain a strictly vegan diet long-term healthfully (which I hate as I turned for ethical reasons, so I get it, it’s hard! But you have to listen to your body, it knows best!) I could never give up grains, but if being paleo feels good to you, go for it. I personally don’t like labels, they feel restrictive and make it a part of who you are. You are NOT your diet. Stop believing what everyone else says and do what your body tells you to do, it’s really smart, I promise.
6. Focus foods. This is another one Robyn hits perfectly. I don’t tell myself I can’t have a certain food. Two days ago I ate the most insane cupcake, that’s an out of focus food. Most of the time my body craves “clean” foods like veggies and beans but when I want a cupcake, I’m getting the damn cupcake!
So? Thoughts? What do you think about the sudden influx in nutrition experts taking over the internet?