I’ve been navigating my way through the confusing, contradictive world of nutrition since I was 10 years old. I’m a “jump all in right away” kinda person, so if I get an idea in my head that Diet X might be the healthiest, best way to lose weight, and I spend a month digesting as much information on the science behind it as possible. I drank the cool-aid and jumped on board the diet train. I let myself feel proud when I went a full day committed to the stringent rules and regulations, and depressed when I ate something that wasn’t part of the plan.
But isn’t it funny (and strange, and sad) how one diet plan can demonize a food while another equally reputable, equally “healthy”, diet plan can put it on a pedestal? Who are these people coming up with this radical diets, and who is to say what is truly the healthiest for MY body?
A great example of this dichotomy at work is fruit and fructose. For 6 months in college I followed a fruitarian diet, claiming that all humans really need to eat is fruit, and maybe a bit of veggies and nuts here and there. Now, this is definitely on the very far end of the extreme of the “eat your fruits!” debate, but its important to acknowledge, as there are thousands, maybe millions, of people who at one point accredited this diet as the “cure-all” diet for all human ailments. I followed this diet adamantly, until one day I realized all of my hair was falling out, my period was completely dysfunctional, I was an emotional wreck, and I still wasn’t thin. This diet was obviously not for me.
Another diet fad that I am no stranger to is the ketogenic, “high-fat-low-carb” trend. There are varying degrees in which one can apply this diet, but people on the more strict end of the scale rarely eat fruit. I’ve read keto books urging diet followers to try to limit fruit to just once or twice a week, and that too much fruit would ruin their ketogen levels and then you wont lose weight or feel great. There are definitely parts of the ketogenic diet that I do love and use in my daily nutrition plan to this day, but the flaw in this diet still lies in its stringency. I went about a month without eating any fruit; nothing but high fat, high protein foods and a bit of leafy greens along side. I felt so dehydrated all the time. I was definitely NOT thriving on this version of the ketogenic diet.
The reason I bring up these examples is to point out the dangerous dichotomy in the diet industry. There will NEVER be a one-size-fits-all diet. You will NEVER be able to read a diet book, proclaim to yourself “this is the perfect diet recipe for me, I will implement it and follow it to a T for the rest of my life!” We need to find a better way to approach out nutrition.
I love giving nutritional advice and strategies to my clients, but it is never my intention to place any pressure or guilt surrounding eating. My goal is to help you:
- develop a healthy relationship with food (or first, help you realize that you have a relationship with food, and to uncover what feelings you currently have with food)
- learn ways to fuel your body that are proven to be beneficial
- leave the decision up to you to decide what actually works for your body, and realize that the world will not come to an end by straying from these guidelines.
Please keep this in mind as you go along with your healthful pursuits. I can also highly recommend the following resources if you want to read more about intuitive eating and health at any size from other sources: