So, I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time and I hope that I can finally get it into words without it offending anyone or myself. I find that any “lifestyle” or “way of eating” is restrictive. There’s always a catch; always a “but.” Let me give you some examples and why I think this way. Mind you, I am not a nutritionist and these opinions are my own.
1. Diets. They are usually a “you can eat this, not that.” That’s restrictive. There’s guilt and shame. No, I can’t have bread and butter with dinner because I’m “dieting,” but “yes I will have a salad with nothing on it because I’m dieting.” This is one of the most restrictive ways of eating and I feel that society has really tried to get out of this mentality, but I think our new “eating lifestyles” are basically the same just with some additions/subtractions.
2. No, you aren’t on a diet, it is a lifestyle to eat healthy. It’s also a lifestyle to eat cake and ice cream, which isn’t healthy and I will probably gain weight amongst other major health issues. What if my lifestyle calls for birthday parties, picnics, and tail gates? Still, seems to me, that it is just like a diet.
3. Clean eating. Yes, I get it, foods that are clean tend to be healthier, vegetables, but fruits are somewhat cut out, only eating lean meats and egg whites and minimal carbs. Our bodies need carbs to function, maybe not in whole loaves of bread, but we do need them. And have you tried eating this way? By day 5, I want to save all the chickens and eggs because I am so tired of eating them. PETA here I come.
4. IIFYM/Flexible Dieting. This one is all the rage these days. If it fits into your allotment for your macros then you’re golden; if not, better luck next time. Sounds to me like it is a glorified and restricted way of counting calories. Oh hey, pal, don’t mind me, just weighing my tuna and blueberries. Seriously? I get that it doesn’t take that much time, but neither does counting calories, but that is so 2003. You plan around what you want to eat and if you’re lucky enough maybe you get dessert. Yes, it is “flexible” and you can not feel as much guilt for eating some foods, BUT, if you’re hungry and you’re over your macros, you’re stuck. What if I really, really just want a freaking scoop of ice cream but I have no carbs left? Too bad, so sad. That’s restriction, not flexibility.
5. Moderation. What’s moderation? For me it might be 4 scoops of ice cream, for my boyfriend it may be one, and for you it may be 10. That doesn’t make much sense.
I get it. Our society relies on quick, unhealthy food, with minimal nutrients. But we also constantly talk about and think about food and being fit and healthy and skinny. I’m kind of over it, because none of it works for me anymore. I could elaborate so much more and I’m sure some would find this offensive. If any of these plans work for you, awesome, but I just find that all our ways are too restricting. And if these ideas work for you and you don’t feel restricted, that’s great and I hope it stays that way. However, if they don’t or you do feel confused and restricted know that you aren’t alone.