In life, there are a few things that I just don’t think I will ever understand. Lets rule out all the silly stuff, like complex maths (or actually, just any maths), astrophysics and how to do my tax returns (every bloody year, you’d think I’d learn). I’m talking about dieting. It is something that, as a person, a woman at that – I suppose you could throw the gender card into here too – and someone that doesn’t live quite completely under a rock, I’m exposed to it very often and definitely more than I’d like.
When I say dieting I don’t mean changing one’s diet in general, to, say, be generally more healthy, or to incorporate more iron into your daily life. I mean this constant, and to me entirely pointless, barrage of diets and testing ‘food plans’ (come on Pinterest, you’re not fooling anybody here). It comes back to a fundamentally unstable and unhealthy mindset towards food, and honestly, I’d say that 95% of people I have encountered have it, it’s scary. I work around a luxury ‘treat’ product, all day, the amount of mindlessness I hear from people is genuinely worrying. It’s never “I can’t have any chocolate I’ve eaten too much sweet stuff recently” which to me, is a completely valid response, it is always about this counting of ‘points’, counting of calories, or if you eat over 13g of sugar a day you’ll break out in hives, or whatever random new dieting tip is being broadcast that week. I’m not necessarily saying that some diets don’t work, I know that some of the food plans do help you lose weight, but I just don’t think all of them offer a healthy attitude towards food. This constant monitoring, it’s so very tiresome! People just worry, about so many things, there isn’t enough time in the day for all the worry, so why not ease the worry wherever you can? There is no need!
The best piece of advice I have ever been given to do with this subject (with most subjects actually), is that, food is huge money. It will bode well for you if you always remember this fact! It is huge bucks, and some dieting companies make money from the fact that you will not be able to stick to their regimes, relapse, re-enroll for another year/month/plan – of course they will, how will they keep making money from you otherwise? Or how will people keep on top of ‘super-food’ trends? Shifting the most obscure fruits and vegetables that you can think of and labelling it as super, anti-aging or that it can cure cancer. All that is ever needed to maintain a strong and healthy body is attention to detail (listen to what your body actually wants – and it will tell you if you sweep aside superficial cravings) and everything in moderation. Exercise, in moderation (unless you want to do a little more to aid weight loss), all the food groups, in moderation.
Yes, there may be certain foods that don’t agree with you personally, but it’s about paying close attention to yourself. Do you feel good after eating a meal, full of steady energy? If there’s something that’s making you feel bloated, or sick, isolate it by process of elimination and either eat less of it or cut it out completely. It’s honestly not that hard. For the most part, there isn’t any need to deny yourself the pleasures of a slice of cake, or cheese, or buttered croissants, or salty cured meat. As long as you’re not eating it for every meal, genuinely what is the harm?
I don’t expect people to read this and slap their foreheads in astonishment and have ‘eureka!‘ moments, but maybe it will offer the slightly different perspective of:
It’s not about changing diets, it’s about changing your mindset.
In the long term, you will end up a happier person, you’ll be able to enjoy a lot more incredible food, with less worry. And you won’t get bogged down with all this tracking, and time-wasting. By all means take advice from the thousands of fitness blogs online, some of them have awesome information, just don’t let your life be dictated, absorbed by it. It is really very simple, and it will cost you nothing. It costs you nothing to read this, it costs you nothing to read most of the information on these fitness blogs, and it shouldn’t. Listen to your body, take your time over your food, try not to mindlessly eat and actually taste a diet made up of a good portion of vegetables that haven’t been boiled or nuked to death and some good grains every now and then. If you want to label that as ‘super food’ then I suppose you could, whatever helps you through the day.