Why the internet is ruining your diet

The internet is a wonderful thing; an amazing tool and for the first time in history us mere mortals have ever increasing access to any and all information out there. We can pick an unknown topic and within minutes, have a basic grasp of almost any subject we can think of; no more one-sided arguments fed to us by well meaning professionals, (doctors, teachers, parents, the church etc.) or those with their own agenda, (insert your own thoughts here - this isn't that kind of post…).

However... the internet with it's vast resources and myriad articles, views and 'ready for you' research can be a double edged sword, and that brings me to the point of today's post. And I'm going to cover just two topics here; diet and exercise, but just let me just start with my own interpretation of the words diet and exercise.
  • Our diet is what we eat, how we eat and where we eat, on a day to day basis. It is NOT a word to describe the pointless starving of our bodies in order to reach some possible, (or not) figure on a scale. Since when did we allow a digital readout of a number on a machine determine the way we should feel about ourselves on a particular day? (If you really want to see a number on a scale, write that number on a piece of paper and tape over the readout - bingo, every time you stand on it you'll be at your perfect weight!) You might just pick up on my opinion of 'dieting' here.
  • By exercise I mean any kind of physical movement; from stretching before getting out of bed and walking the dog, to running marathons, strength training and joining boot camp style gym classes. In other words, everything that encourages us to use our bodies in the way they were very cleverly designed to be used. 
So, back to the internet and particularly social media. Depending on the day of the week and which of our friends' posts we see in our news feeds, we should either be pushing ourselves until failure, until we collapse in a 'crying like a baby' heap - never stop until we have what society has deemed to be the perfect body. Or we should completely ignore that advice and take it easy; be gentle with ourselves, stop if it gets uncomfortable, just move in any way we can or want to.

The same advice regarding our diet is thrust upon us; it is often quite literally, (if virtually) rammed down our throats; eat meat, go vegan, avoid wheat, eat whole grains, eat real whole food, take supplements etc. We've been told for years that if we want to lose fat we should eat less of it - but fats are not only good for us, they're vital to our healthy survival! The same with carbs; one minute we're 'carbo loading' before an athletic event, the next we're being told to eat less of them, even quit wheat forever!

Quite simply, the correct answer is there is no correct answer! Each and every one of us are different and we all have different needs to best serve our bodies. We never question the fact that we all pursue different careers or fall for different types of people. Well, we are or at least should be encouraged to be, just as diverse when it comes to the food we eat and the exercise we take. Both nutrition and exercise are constantly evolving sciences and what we or they, (whoever 'they' are...) thought was right yesterday seems to be wrong today - and vice versa. But like any other species in the animal world; left to our own devices, and notwithstanding the Darwin principle, most of us would survive quite well by figuring out what works and what doesn't.

The only thing I think we all agree on is that everyone needs to eat and everyone needs to move. It's what we do with that knowledge that can get confusing. So my advice to you is this; keep an open mind, do your research, question everything and have fun exploring what works best for you and your unique body. And if all this is too overwhelming for you to figure out on your own - maybe it's time to hire a health coach - helping you figure out your own personal route to health is what we do :-) 

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