Skinny apple flavoured fibre super power bar plus!…..just eat an apple?
There is a lot of emphasis today, as there as always been, on the way we look and what we eat. But with Instagram and other social media outlets used so often, what we eat is now an enormous interest for many (and that’s if you get to eat it the right temperature once you have taken 73 shots of it!)!
With this, there is a huge pressure on people to feel like they have to look good and what they eat has to look good and evoke envy or acceptance from their followers. Whether that is how much weight they have lost on their ‘weight loss journey’ or how beautifully colour co-ordinated their healthy salad bowl is! There is a real pressure for people to eat certain things and look a certain way. Whether that is the thigh gap or the squat booty!
There is an enormous focus on losing weight and being thinner[i] rather than our overall health, which is often neglected as a result. Obsessing over a number on a scale rather than considering your health can affect many things from your emotional well being to actually doing harm to your body in the worst case[ii]. With so much focus on numbers, it can be disheartening to get on the scales and to not have lost any weight. This may then lead you to try a more extreme diet to get results faster or override your common sense and invest in hundreds of pounds of supplements. Various diets then lead to different food choices that may not necessarily be better for you.
So called ‘diet’ or ‘skinny’ foods that have been developed specifically to be a low calorie option for dieters. However, these are often high in harmful artificial sweeteners[iii] and processed trans fats. Although the food may be lower in calories, trans fats have been shown to be very harmful to the human body. Linked with cardiovascular diseases[iv] , inflammation[v] and damaging the inner lining of blood vessels[vi]. Studies even suggest trans fats can cause abdominal fat[vii], ironically what many people are trying to get rid of! So these foods are being marketed as ‘healthy’ alternatives, when the best thing you can do it actually to just eat natural wholesome food[viii]. Our bodies are incredibly evolved and can handle a lot of what you throw and them, so why not eat real nourishing food instead of substitutes? Like an apple flavoured bar with vitamin c, fibre and equates to one of your 5 a day!…..just eat an apple?
It is a known issue that after being on a restrictive diet, you can put the weight back on again afterwards. Rather than yoyo diets on and going off the latest advice, making a lifestyle change to eat healthier and be more active is the best option! With various health ‘experts’ recommending we cut things out one month and then we apparently need twice of much of the same thing the next, its easy to get mixed messages on what is best for us! So why not just cut out the recommendations and focus on eating whole foods. Your common sense will tell you they are good for you, rather than being told that the pink waffles with sprinkles meet your RDA of all nutrients![ix] As much as they are beautiful like a unicorn, your body may not appreciate the E-number riddled birthday sprinkles!
[ii] Eating Disorders and Obesity: A Comprehensive Handbook – edited by Christopher G. Fairburn, Kelly D. Brownell
[viii] Dieting Must Die, Preventive Medicine Column, October 31, 2014.
[ix] Do We Know What’s ‘Good’ to Eat? Preventive Medicine Column, March 27, 2015