DOING AWAY WITH DIET DOGMA
Pick one: Keto, paleo, vegan, calorie/macro counting, intuitive eating.
Now google it.
Hundreds of search results will appear from youtube vloggers, blog posts, influencers, celebrities, and health professionals, all telling you why their particular ideology is the best way to eat, no doubt with studies and statistics on health benefits to back them up.
It’s confusing as fuck and hard to know what to believe, often leaving you with more questions than answers.
So why do people do this?
Because, in the health and wellness industry, it pays to provide comfort among the chaos. It pays to provide solutions.
As the consumer, we set an expectation for professionals to give us answers. We demand the answers to our problems, we want guaranteed results, and we want it in black and white.
What doesn’t pay, is telling people, “this might not work for you”, or “it’s going to take time, and experimenting with different eating styles”.
No. We expect professionals to have ALL the answers. Which is why we are often so ready to believe them when they tell us they do. We don’t really care what the actual solution is, what we really want is to be given a simple formula:
Follow this set of rules to get results.
The problem with that though is that there is an abundance of information on health and nutrition, and we have access to more now that ever before. More research is being published every single day, and you can always find evidence to support your beliefs if you look for it.
People who are dogmatic in their approach are only going to seek and promote the information that confirms their beliefs. They aren’t going to share disconfirming information, or evidence that discredits what they’re saying, why would they? Especially if they’ve built a career based on the approach they’re promoting, especially if their credibility and income is at stake… But that information more than likely exists.
The unfortunate reality is that many of these people are much more concerned with pushing their agenda than they are with actually helping people and providing real solutions, when what we should be doing is finding all of the information, then assessing it objectively.
We need to be less concerned with proving we are right, and more concerned with finding the RIGHT answers, whatever they may be.
SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
1. Look for red flags:
Don’t trust people who promote a singular solution to all problems.
Ask questions and challenge the information they provide. Is their information biased or objective?
Steer clear if the solution they provide is a carbon copy of the one given to the last 5 people they’ve helped.
2. Seek professionals who ask questions, lots and lots of questions, before workshopping a solution with you. The truth is that each unique situation will require a different strategy.
3. Some professionals may appear to give you good, objective information, but there are a series of questions only you can answer when it comes to assessing which eating style is best for you.
These should be your guidelines when experimenting with and assessing different eating styles, to find the one that is going to work the best for you.
ask yourself: Will it get me the result i’m looking for?
This is conditional to:
Does it follow basic, foundational health principles?
Will it realistically fit within my lifestyle?
Am I able to sustain this style of eating long term?
Will this diet have a negative mental impact on me?
How do I actually feel? How is my energy? How is my digestion?
If you can tick all of these boxes, by all means, give it a red hot crack! There is no failing; only learning from experience, and through your experiences you will be able to combine the principles that work well from multiple different styles to create your own customised eating style.
I call it the Choose Your Own Adventure Diet, and it looks different for everyone.