Cooking a fluffy stack of pancakes after my Saturday morning run, I got to thinking about all of the ill-informed eaters out there. This is something I normally stay away from – what you eat is your choice. I couldn’t care less what you throw down your hatch.
What I do care about is when people push their dogma on others as gospel.
Now some of these folks base their eating choices around new diets. I’m all for trying new things and experimenting, especially with anything pertaining to your personal body.
What better way to figure out what works for you than self-experiments?
Between meditating and reading, I spend a lot of time thinking about peoples perceptions and points of view. What do I stand for? How does this differ from what you or someone may believe?
Personal diet philosophy is the perfect way to compare individual perception, beliefs, personality, and temperament. You’re passionate about what you eat whether it’s Big Macs or Kale.
Worldview’s are stable beliefs you and I maintain and our wiring is such that we hold strong worldviews on certain things.
For people interested in diet and exercise, these two things are at the heart of their strongest worldviews.
The fun thing about worldviews is that when yours are challenged, you batten down the hatches and they get strengthened. You tend to shut out alternatives more than usual.
Let’s call it stubbornness.This is a shame, but reality.
I don’t believe in magic
I want you to approach the things you eat with a more open mind… Let me explain with an example – let’s pick on gluten.
The current gluten free fiasco is causing a mass exodus from products containing wheat, and a host of other tasty grains.
Gluten free eating is great! It serves a noble purpose for those who have legitimate gluten allergies or medical conditions like Celiac Disease.
If you fall into this category, please avoid gluten at all costs!
The crowd I’m talking to are the ‘thinkers.’ You know, the ones who either think they have a gluten intolerance, or think gluten free diets are healthier than the alternative.
This crowd swaps their rice for quinoa and counts the days to waste shrinkage… Still waiting?
Beware of the eating experts – confirmation seekers
For whatever reason, thinkers love sharing their latest spiel. You know who I’m talking about, the confirmation seekers.
These folks are also the self-appointed food expert among your friends. The funny thing I’m noticing is that there are more and more of these people coming out of the woodwork.
“So I read this blog… it must be true!”
The other issue with fad / new diets are the extroverts who talk your ear off about it. Yes paleo, raw, vegan, and gluten free folk, I’m pointing the finger at a few of you… the talkers.
Everyone tries diets because they’re not happy with the way they look. Some may sugar coat it to make themselves feel better, but I’m not buying it.
Don’t tell me you are suddenly swapping Lucky Charms for a spinach smoothie when April rolls around because you’re suddenly concerned about preventing heart disease.
Are your diet efforts sustainable?
Here’s an example why. Take a two minute scan through Twitter or Instagram. You’ll be inundated with someone’s latest gluten free, soy, vegan monstrosity of a meal.
I’m cherry picking examples, and this is purely anecdotal, but the funny trend I see with these people is that they’re not making sustainable progress.
They’ll talk until they’re green in the face about how a magical new diet has changed their life.
What I don’t see is any of these people sustaining these efforts. Do you?
It’s about your mindset and approach to what you may think is healthy eating more than anything else.
The thing with food intolerances (gluten included) is that your typical elimination diet doesn’t work unless you’re 99% compliant for an extended period.
What I see from the majority of these folks is being *insert food here* free when it’s convenient for them.
All of a sudden, Saturday night rolls around and you are downing gluten infused ales and slices of pizza like it’s your job.
While it’s great hearing about how well the diet is going and how much better your gut feels, bigger things are at work here. Mainly our evolutionary ingrained cognitive biases and dare I say: the placebo effect.
Simply put: your expectations of something happening re-wires circuits in your brain unconsciously. Perceptions are altered, and your beliefs are fulfilled.
I want you to be sceptical of everything you read in health, fitness, wellness, and diet (including this post).
If you think I’m full of shit, call me out and leave a comment.
Health(ier).. what is it?
Healthier is a loaded term, and diet is something I hate to hear people talking about because stereotypical diets don’t work. They are not sustainable.
What is sustainable is changing your lifestyle. Next time you think of cutting carbs, commit to one small food choice change instead.
Here’s an easy one: pick one vegetable you like, and eat it with your lunch everyday until you are sick of it. Then switch to another vegetable.
Start small, nothing worth having happens overnight.