Health and fitness is as popular as it has ever been. Going to the gym is now seen as trendy (even writing that word makes me sound like my dad…) and the recent rise in healthy food establishments has been incredible. It was only a matter of time before restaurants and cafes joined the fitness craze.
Now don’t get me wrong, the shift towards ‘healthy’ food is fantastic. Cafés like ‘-grams-’ that provide a choice of healthy food, which is affordable, whilst being both delicious and nutritious is just what the world needs. The UK now has the highest obesity rates in Europe and obesity related illnesses costs the UK economy over £3 billion per year.
Here is where the problems lie. There are now thousands of confused dieters wondering how they can get their health back on track. In their desperation, people are turning to wannabe health gurus and nutritionists that, because they have thousands of Instagram followers, are seen as reliable. I spend the majority of my time busting myths created by these ‘professionals’ with no nutrition qualifications. They make outrageous claims and recommend some pretty questionable, not to mention dangerous, advice. Did you know that ‘nutritionist’ is not a protected title in the UK? If your CV is looking a little bare, pop it on there. No one can stop you and no one seems to question it either.
“Don’t eat dairy, oh and meat. They’re really bad for you.”
“Carbohydrates make you fat.”
“Gluten is the reason you’re putting on weight. If you cut it out you’ll easily drop body fat.”
I’m surprised I have any hair left with the amount of hair pulling I do scrolling through social media. Some of the advice you see online is completely ridiculous. So what are we supposed to believe?
Sometimes it all comes down to taking a sensible approach. Easier said than done, but you need to focus on what feels right for you. Completely cutting out food groups and living off blended up fruit and vegetables is not sensible. Replacing all real food with meal replacement shakes is not sensible. Depriving yourself completely of the foods that you enjoy, causing you to be utterly miserable, is not sensible.
So what is sensible? Eating real foods that nourish your body and make you feel great. If you can’t see yourself on the same nutrition plan six months from now, chances are, it’s not going to work. As -‘grams’- has shown you, eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring or complicated.
Get active and move more. Then make sure 90% of your diet is coming from wholesome single ingredient foods. This gives you a nice 10% leeway to enjoy the little treats in life. Eat food that makes you feel good and ignore all the conflicting dietary advice.