We all know that food is life: without it, we slowly wither and die like a plant not getting the sunshine it requires. Today, in turn, we are surrounded by a vast selection of quick, easy, and available options, some of them healthy and nutritious, others, not so much – but sometimes, even the unhealthiest dishes can be delicious, comfort food for some, delicious forbidden fruit for others. We all know eating the wrong kind of food contributes to losing shape and gaining fat. We all know it’s unhealthy. We still eat it, though, to the horror of healthy eating evangelists, nutrition experts, and fitness gurus.
Sticking to a healthy diet is vital in this day and age when the over-processed food that’s filled with artificial flavours, salt, and sugar is easy to come by. Still, there is one thing that even the most dedicated and well-versed nutrition experts seem to forget: eating is supposed to be a pleasure.
Now that beach-body training has gone online, you’ll stumble upon a vast variety of diets – often with the books describe them and the supplements to compensate for the food groups you’re eliminating. Restrictive diets have, in turn, been proven to be inefficient in the long run. Many of these are based on a severe calorie deficit that will melt body fat but will return once you return to your “normal” lifestyle. What makes these diets worse is their emotional component.
Giving up all the delicious food you used to eat will leave you with a craving nothing but a slice of pizza or a delicious cheeseburger will appease. If you reach out to them, though, eat a bag of chips, grab a cookie or have a beer, you feel guilty about yourself. In the end, no matter if you stick to your diet or not, you’ll feel miserable. And this will turn your dieting into an inefficient effort.
To make things worse, there are many “healthy” alternatives to traditional foods out there that are simply bogus. If you browse through the Facebook feed of nutritionist and fitness instructor Graeme Tomlinson aka The Fitness Chef, you’ll see that he doesn’t only debunk them but points and laughs at some of them. One of his latest such updates puts a wellness blogger’s breakfast (75 grams of nut granola, 150 grams of greek yogurt, 20 grams of Goji berries, 10 grams of dried coconut, one banana, 20 grams of linseed, 10 grams of Chia seeds, and 250ml of assorted fruit juice) next to the usual MacDonalds breakfast (a Bacon & Egg Mc Muffin and a Hash Brown), pointing out that while the former does have more micronutrients and fibre, the latter has half as many calories. And he also points out that the first option won’t make you thin (due to its high calorie count), the latter won’t make you fat either. Eating many micronutrients alone is not enough for weight loss – there are many other things to keep in mind – like basic energy balance and the fact that every human is different.
The One Big Food Mistake
The one major food-related mistake you should stop making in 2020 is eating mindlessly. Don’t go munching on kale and greens all day and feel miserable – instead, choose a regimen that’s both healthy and satisfactory. Don’t feel guilty about having a cheeseburger or a slice of pizza from time to time – instead, compensate its elevated calorie count with a lighter meal in the coming days. And most importantly, don’t believe blindly what the social media influencers say – quite often, they have no idea what they are talking about.