Today’s society overloads us with misinformation on nutrition. Magazines, social media, and television provide endless cycles of ideas that will solve all our food, weight, and body insecurities, or so they say. However, these ideas and magic solutions being shared, often lead to confusion about healthy nutrition and exacerbate distorted body image concerns. These messages can be especially dangerous to those susceptible to poor body image or eating disordered behaviors.
These diets and “lifestyle” fads can significantly and dangerously alter nutrition intake, so how do you know if what you are seeing is actually a healthy way to care for your body or simply a scam?
- Proper nutrition does not mean the elimination of an entire food group: Many fads will promote removing an entire food group, such as fats or carbohydrates. It is important to remember that to obtain essential nutrients, your body needs a variety of foods from each food group. Each nutrient holds functions in our bodies that affect our abilities to put thoughts together, balance our brain chemistry, maintain our organ function at optimal levels, regulate our energy and performance levels, and influence our moods.
- Eating healthy does not include the use of synthetic products: Healthy nutrition does not include items such as detox or cleansing products. If you are eating a well-rounded diet, there are foods that will maintain proper balance so you won’t need additional synthetic products to detox or cleanse. When thinking about taking supplements, consulting with your doctor and/or dietitian is always recommended.
- A healthy body is not instantaneous: Many fads claim unrealistic results on unrealistic time frames. Practicing healthy behaviors and experiencing a difference in your overall health takes time. Your body has gotten accustomed to what you have (or have not) been eating, so it will take some time to re-regulate and navigate the healthy nutrition you are now providing it.
- Thinner does not always equate to healthier. Fads that explain they guarantee weight loss make us nervous here at Magnolia Creek, as not everyone’s body needs to lose weight to be healthy. We all have various body frames and muscle compositions that influence what a healthy weight is for each of us individually. Did you know that only 2% of the world’s population has body frames that can tolerate stereotypical model sizes? The rest of us would die of starvation-related issues before reaching that size if that is something we seek. Our bodies are not built to be healthy at that size. If a fad is guaranteeing that it will help all people lose weight, be very cautious as however it is doing that is likely not healthy.
Feeding your body with the right sources of macronutrients (like protein, fat, and grains), micronutrients (like calcium, vitamins, zinc, and potassium), and energy will enable you to sustain your physical health and contribute to positive mental health and well-being. Depriving your mind and body of proper nutrition can impact your ability to think clearly, your organ function, and your mood. What we nourish our body with has a direct impact on how we feel both physically and emotionally.
When your surroundings are seeming to push you to engage in the latest fads, remember the intricacy of your body and what it needs. It can be confusing, but arming yourself with the right tools can help you navigate toward long-lasting health.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, Magnolia Creek is here to support you. For more information, please complete our contact form or call our admission team at 205-409-4220.