Let's talk about food and nutrition. There is an insane amount of misinformation and exploitation that surrounds the subject. Part of the reason for this is that there is so much information out there. Even unbiased- ly funded, empirical sources of data contradict each other. There exists research to support a WIDE range of eating styles... so how are we to know the best way to fuel ourselves? Who do we look to for accurate information? And for the love of peanut butter, WHY is it acceptable to capitalize on peoples' desire for health and wellness?
Fun fact: medical school includes exactly ONE class on nutrition. Thus, M.D. training does not make one an expert in eating. Registered Dieticians, Clinical Nutritionists, people with PhD's and Master's in subjects like Nutritional Biology... THESE are the experts. These are the people whose names we should look for in the author's notes of peer- reviewed papers. I do not hold any of these degrees, but I have loved ones who do. I have never once heard them endorse fad diets, quick fixes, or miracle pills. Actually, I have never once heard them endorse ANYTHING that involves forking money over to the so- called "Fitness Industry".
Eating and living healthfully should not cost you the monetary equivalent of your left kidney. Think about this: would the "Fitness Industry" still exist if the solutions it offered made you healthy AND kept you that way? No! If it did, it would render itself useless. Hence, the wild ride of yo- yo dieting that keeps people customers indefinitely. This practice disgusts me. Health means longevity, vitality, and holistic happiness. The products of the "Fitness Industry" can actually deter our progress towards these things- how fucked up is that?
Taking care of your body should actually save you $$ in the long run, as healthy choices are preventative medicine. Movement, micronutrients, fiber, variety... these are universally- agreed upon good things. They serve to regulate digestion, lower blood pressure, and increase insulin sensitivity. They steer us away from all sorts of lifestyle- related diseases. Conscious choices keep our physiology happy so that our souls can dance with reckless abandon.
Part of the reason that so much contradictory information exists is that everyone's nutritional needs and ideals differ. We have different genetics, epigenetics, taste buds, gut microflora... ect. Understand that nutrition is not a dogma; the diversity of tastes between us is a beautiful thing. Figuring out the perfect diet for YOU is a fun process. It involves learning, experimenting, and determining a glorious intersection of yummy and healthy. It involves trial AND error- this is inevitable.
I'd like to make a final point. Health looks different on everyone. There is no "ideal" physicality, or a body that screams "this person got it right!". Your body speaks volumes. Your energy levels, skin quality, hunger/satiety cues, mental clarity... Tune in to all of these things. They offer accurate insight into our physical health. Our subjective interpretation of physical attractiveness? Much less so. You are beautiful at any body composition that gives you mental and physical health.
I'll share some nutrition- related resources below. Please feel free to mention any in the comments! I'm always looking to learn.
- Real Fooddhism (https://realfooddhism.com/) <-- This website is owned by a friend of mine from college, an RD and future PhD. Her information is evidence- based, realistic, and inspiring.
- http://physiqonomics.com/calories-child-friendly-version/ <-- This article delves into the calorie, and why food quality AND quantity matter.
- Sigma Nutrition Radio <-- Great interviews with people from the fields of nutrition, athletic performance, wellness, ect.
- https://search.proquest.com/openview/fa14d90fdc92118d45417ea00c6b7564/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=40569 <-- Connection between our gut microflora and obesity
- http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa012512#t=article <-- An example of our ability to influence disease progression with lifestyle changes