‘health’ can be a dangerous disguise for restriction

With a plethora of health advice bombarding the internet from ‘health gurus’ or ‘life coaches’, who don’t appear to provide much evidence in the form of relevant qualifications..it’s easy to get caught up in the perfect healthy lifestyle they appear to advocate through social media, and consequently try to replicate their eating patterns. Having said this, I value the promotion of certain ‘health foods’ such as avocado, chia/flax seeds etc which all have multiple health benefits and should be welcomed and embraced in our diets, but it is the ‘cutting out’ and demonising of certain food groups I have come to have a problem with. I myself have fallen victim to this countless times, latching onto each morsel of new information and adding it to my ever expanding ‘health bible’ with the ‘do’s and don’ts’. I have recently come to think however, that through each elimination diet phase that hits the nation, one seems to have been forgotten. We have had grain free, gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, but what about care-free??

I should have started by underlining that some people HAVE to eliminate certain foods from their diet for health reasons such as coeliac disease or lactose intolerance, however, the line becomes blurred as people claim to require a gluten-free diet for example, cutting out obvious ‘demons’ such as bread and pasta..but when oats, sprouted bread and rye bread come into fashion, the intolerance to gluten they have suffered so terribly from seems to magically dissipate, with a new logical diagnosis of ‘wheat-sensitivity’.

It is also worth mentioning that for those who are lucky enough to not suffer from some kind of auto-immune disease, cutting out these food groups doesn’t seem to benefit us in any way, and only contribute to a restrictive mentality. It is easy to get swept up in the phenomenon, I was convinced dairy and wheat were the works of the devil, and since they cause so much bloating and weight gain in the ‘health gurus’ of social media, it obviously must have the same effect on me, so out the window they went. Now, looking at this decision from a more logical perspective after reintroducing these foods into my diet..why fix what’s not broken? I had to ask myself..

Do I like bread and yoghurt? – yes

Do they both provide essential nutrients such as fibre, vitamins and calcium? – yes

Are they a good source of carbohydrates/fats/proteins that your body needs to function? – yes

And do they make you feel uncomfortable or cause bloating? – no

Looking at these answers, the need to remove them from my diet to improve my health seems as beneficial as adding in a weekly ride on a pink flamingo.

I’m not saying I don’t promote a healthy diet, for example personally I generally eat whole grains over the refined ‘white’ variety to include more fibre and vitamins in my diet, as well as actually preferring them, however the age old health advice still stands that rises above all else..EVERYTHING IN MODERATION.

No food in isolation will cause ill health or excessive weight gain. Weight gain occurs from a calorie surplus..be that from fats, proteins or carbs. The success from low’-carb diets probably stems from fats and proteins keeping people fuller for longer, rather than the blood sugar spikes/crashes simple carbs can induce, but it is the resulting calorie deficit that is actually causing the weight loss. So if your over all diet is a healthy one, with all the necessary nutrients, and adequate energy to reach your goals, be that weight gain, loss or maintenance then you’re onto a winner. There are no ‘magical foods’, its all about energy balance- of course this doesn’t mean you should eat rubbish processed food all day as this will have other detrimental effects on health, hormones, metabolism etc.. but the general message is having some refined carbs/sugar now and then wont send your body into a meltdown or make you gain a stone over night. Just be mindful, happy and above all CARE-FREE.

After countless sleepless nights due to either hunger or anxiety I came up with a new mantra which made me and my mother giggle, but its actually a good question to ask myself at the end of each day to make sure im still on track. “Only ever go to bed with a full stomach and an empty head” 😉

Trust me when I tell you that is the perfect formula for a decent nights sleep!!

Thats enough for today…lots of love

Emma xo

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