Everybody thinks they can give you advice on how to feed yourself, because of something they read on Goop or the back of a box of Quaker Oats. It’s our cultural obsession: nutrition. Whether it’s about weight loss, general health, or figuring out one of the many modern ailments we’ve acquired, you can get an opinion on it. That means there’s a lot of misinformation around.
To try and sort the fact from fiction, Buzzfeed asked self-identified nutritionists to share some advice that dispels the myths about what it’s bad to eat. Or good to eat. Any terrible ideas about eating. A bunch of people stepped up to answer the call. most of what they shared is just common sense, but common sense is often hard to come by.
9. Have No Fear
I am about to gain my RD credential and I came to the comments to beat to death what the other commenters have stated. An RD and a Nutritionist are different. Registered Dietitians (RD, RDN) are health professionals and nutrition experts. If you are having challenges with your diet they are the ones to talk to. There are also a lot of great blogs and food related articles written by trusty RD’s that you can check out on your own. Anyone who gives you fear around food is not helping. Try to be balanced, enjoy food and exercise, try to manage your time to allow for you to take care of yourself as an entire person because you are worth it and no one else can do it for you!
8. Carbs Are Okay
Severely restricting a macronutrient – carbs, protein, or fat – should not be a part of a person’s eating habits (unless they have a specific medical condition where restricting is part of the treatment and they are under the supervision of their doctor/dietitian). Our bodies need all three macronutrients for fuel, maintenance, and so many other important functions that we may not realize. If we are not consuming enough of a certain macronutrient, we run the risk of long-term damage to our bodies. Keep that in mind the next time someone you know wants to go on the keto diet.
7. No Hate
I’m an RDN LDN and I wish people understood that food is only part of their health. It’s okay to literally eat what ever you want anytime you want, but the relationship you have with your food will have a much bigger impact on your mental health and well being in the long run. It’s great if you eat tons of vegetables and run everyday, but if you hate yourself for eating an Oreo or get depressed when you don’t work out you need to get help. With the complex tangle of food, health and problems I highly recommend seeing a non-diet/HAES (health at every size) dietitian to help you on your journey, so that the focus is not on your size, or just cutting out food groups but on health from a non-harm perspective.
6. Less Junk
MS/RD here! Here’s the truth, eating healthy is simple. Eat right and exercise. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, and lean protein. Make sure you’re eating a variety of foods. Eat less processed junk that infiltrates our society. Exercise for 30-60 minutes most days. Take the stairs. Do whatever it takes to get more steps. Let’s not get caught up in this web of confusion and crash dieting (spoiler altert: it won’t work, and you’ll probably gain even more weight when you decide to throw that fad diet to the wasteside). Stay as consistent as possible. Never make any foods off limits, but eat them in limited qualities. Keep yourself and your family accountable. Recalibarate when you think you’re slipping up. Being healthy is a lifestyle requiring lifelong commitment not a 1 month decision. Do yourself a favor and throw in an extra walk and some greens in your lunch. Your body will thank you
5. Don’t Let A Diet Control You
After enduring my own weight loss journey (over 100 pounds gone!) and becoming a group fitness instructor/fitness nutrition specialist, the greatest piece of advice I can give in regard to nutrition is simple: don’t give food any control over your life. YOU control YOU. Food shouldn’t give you stress. Food shouldn’t be a chore. Food shouldn’t dictate your weekend plans. If you want to meal prep, make it super basic with some simple Crock Pot and sheet pan recipes. If your friends want to go out on a Saturday night, balance it out with a workout in the morning and balanced nutrition throughout the day. Once I reclaimed control over food, weight loss and nutrition became incredibly manageable.
4. Exercise Won’t Cover All The Gaps
You cannot outtrain a bad diet. If you’re interested in becoming healthier, our diet *must* reflect that as well as your exercise regimen. With exercise, you can indulge at times without such bad repercussions, but you CANNOT ignore a poor diet while you’re on your fitness journey.
3. No Negativity
There really are no “bad foods”. Labeling foods as “good” and “bad” creates a toxic relationship. A well balanced diet with an occasional treat will not only fuel your body right, but it will allow yourself to enjoy the foods you love.
2. Eliminate Issues
Food intolerances manifest themselves in mysterious ways. It’s not always “Oh I ate ice cream now I’m stuck on the toilet”. Acne, bloating, inability to lose weight, joint pain, random stomach pains, even mental health problems, and so many other seemingly random things could be caused by your body’s inability to process a certain food. If doctors can’t figure out the cause of something, a few months of elimination diet could help you learn more about your body and how it handles certain foods.
1. Talk To A Real Nutritionist
I wish people (including some writers at Buzzfeed) knew the difference between “nutritionists” and “registered dietitians”. I can’t tell you how many articles or blogs I’ve read written by nutritionists who have no credentials whatsoever, but can still legally call themselves “nutritionists” because there is no regulation for use of that word. Dietitians, on the other hand, have to go through an accredited program, complete so many hours of internships, and pass an exam in order to use that credential. They are also required to complete continuing education. These days, most dietitians hold a master’s degree or above. Don’t even get me started on some personal trainers and where they get their nutrition information. I know some nutritionists and personal trainers who are well-versed in the subject of healthy eating and get their information from credible sources, but they seem to be the exception.
Much of the advice above ain’t bad, but if you’re really having an issue, talk to someone certified. It’s turning to the Internet that has gotten us to this place.