You are responsible for what you eat, when you eat and how you eat.
That’s it. It’s that simple.
That statement isn’t designed to make you feel bad. It is designed to give you a shake and realised that you get to choose what is good for you and perhaps get you experimenting with what that looks like, instead of flipping from diet to diet based on other people’s opinions.
Now, there is a very compelling body of research that has been undertaken in order to understand what is most likely going to keep us healthy long term. However, evidently, there are many patterns of eating that yield health! We know that when most of our food is the unprocessed stuff, we are likely to be in better health long term.
So, if you want to make a change- make it. Stop looking over your shoulder at what someone else has done and half ass a replication job- take care of your own reigns.
Yes it takes time- not two weeks, not four weeks. Nutrition is just like any other skill. You are not going to be fluent in French after 4 weeks of trying, nor can you expect yourself to change the things in your life that are required to be changed in order for healthy eating to be effortless. Think of your training.
You get a training program. You know it has been structured by someone who is well informed and who has calculated that if you do the program, you will end up fitter, faster, stronger. But you don’t ask the trainer to do the session for you. Or watch the trainer do the session, and hope that magically, you will also get the results. Or take a photo of yourself at the gym, and genuinely expect that is enough. The people who are the fittest, fastest and strongest have found an approach they like, perhaps even enjoy, and they do it, on the regular, and achieve corresponding results.
It’s the same with nutrition.
You can ask for a recipe from the person you saw on Instagram, because you think if you eat what they eat, you will look like them. But have you actually stood back and asked yourself how you like to eat?
By all means, many people would benefit from expansion of their nutrition knowledge beyond year 9 P.E. But if you ask for the information and fail to implement it? The answer doesn’t lie in the information you were given being wrong (unless of course you asked a online health coach with a 6 week nutrition course under their belt who once competed in a bikini competition that one time- in that case there may be grounds for appeal), it is because you didn’t go through the pains of changing our lifestyle, habits, behaviour, environment and ultimately what went in your mouth. Resultantly, asking another person whom you also like the look of for their opinion is not going to get you any further.
Information shopping without action is fruitless. And if you don’t know why it works, it is your responsibility to ask why. If the person who gave you the information can’t explain their recommendations, back. away. slowly.
The only way you can actually make any real change is starting by honestly assessing your current diet and knowing where you are. You can’t get a home loan without knowing your financial position. And trying to make changes to your diet, whatever your motivation, is inefficient if you are just rolling on knee-jerk reactions. What does your current diet look like? What are your habits around food? What if your food knowledge like? What do you need, what do you want?
Eighty percent of the time, you don’t need to pay anyone to tell you where you need to tidy up. You can make it seem really difficult, but very frequently the first five paces are really easy.
The 98 nutrition standards are a great start. These are the basics that anyone who wants to get serious about their health are doing on a regular basis. They are not sexy, but just like sitting on an erg for 30 minutes on a Wednesday morning for ESD intervals, they work. Take a read, do an assessment of where you are at, get started on those first five paces, and don’t look back.