It’s a Topic Worth the Debate
A controversial topic that’s well worth the debate as we love to eat but feel the pressures to diet. The health and fitness industry is constantly influencing and shifting our culture, mindset and perceptions on what is and isn’t “healthy”. Without us even realising we are always being influenced, particularly via social media, on what being healthy is supposed to look like, supposed to behave like and supposed to eat like. This ideal way of eating to achieve a healthy body can be more appropriately described as dieting.
The health and fitness industry has quickly become one of Australia’s fastest growing industries, with many personalities who claim to have a wealth of knowledge on exactly what you need to eat to look a certain way, usually in the form of a protein powder supplement. It has become increasingly hard to distinguish between the next food trend and actual evidence-based recommendations.
So Do You Eat or Diet?
A diet used to be a plan specifically constructed by a qualified nutritionist or dietitian, that was prescribed to a patient to assist with supporting a poor health condition. Around this time, being normal meant eating normally. If you were hungry, you ate. No diet, meal plan or supplements, just real food. Eating was healthy, it was un-measured, and it probably wasn’t analysed or logged.
Today there are many who claim to be experts and apps like My Fitness Pal are very popular for tracking our food and calorie intake. We spend more money on supplementary foods than on foods themselves. We count calories and macros and determine what we believe our body’s need, and follow diets published by an un-qualified professional who provides a “one size fits all” dietary approach. This approach at the end of the day dictates one of two outcomes – pass or fail.
So do you eat or do you diet? Answer the following questions to get your answer:
- Do you fight a mental battle when it comes to meal time over what you should and shouldn’t be eating?
- Do you watch the clock tick over, waiting for your scheduled meal time with the fear that any minute later will affect your metabolic rate?
- Do you say no to dinners with friends or social outings because you believe it will affect your goals?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you are in a dieting mentality. If you didn’t answer yes, you are eating.
Social media is a strong contributing factory as to why we place these unrealistic dieting and body image expectations we place on ourselves.
We can identify this with experiences of ourselves or our friends who avoid social situations like eating out due to the lack of control they may feel over their food and the impact that it may have over their body. This can result in having unhealthy habits such as obsessing over the scales, our body fat percentage and the fat burner supplements that we feel we should consume to improve our body image.
This obsession with ourselves is unhealthy and the hurdles that we set ourselves to achieve the “perfect” body is unrealistic. This obsession creates frustration, isolates us from our friends and family and creates a journey with no end. A journey of dissatisfaction and self-criticism based upon a shadowed opinion, uninformed by reality.
Get Back to Eating
However, there is a solution. An answer for all of those dieters to break free from this mentality, build confidence and achieve your goals sustainably. This starts with throwing out the scales, stop obsessing over calories and focusing on eating healthy, nutritious whole foods such as lean proteins, fruits and vegetables to fuel your body to your best.
The Body Factory’s holistic team that includes Nutritionists and Personal Trainers are here for your step away from dieting and into eating. Contact us below for more information.
Written by Madeline Parsons, BNSc & Luke Edmonds
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are entirely an opinion by The Body Factory or representative thereof and do not take into account your individual health, circumstances or needs. For personal guidance, you should contact us or other qualified fitness or health professional.