BY AOIFE MORRISON
DIETS are sexy! Yes, you heard me correctly. Diets are sexy. They have to be – if they were transparent, if they told the world the truth from the start, it would not be a $192.2 billion industry.
Imagine if instead of ‘Shredded abs in 30 days’, the headlines read ‘Eat next to nothing, work out until you vomit, and have no abs to show at the end of it all’. I think we would all be a lot slower to pay for that experience.
You see, the diet industry loves to sell an ‘everyone will get results fast’ solution. And they know how to make it look sexy. Think back to the last weight loss advertisement you read. The people they use always look phenomenal. Perfect physique. Perfect tans. Flat stomachs. Smiling faces. They sell an ideal, reinforcing the misguided belief that if you were to look like they did, you too would smile with confidence.
Now, consider the language used. ‘Lose weight, feel great.’ ‘Lose weight the easy way.’ ‘The easiest diet ever.’
Each word is carefully considered, perfectly structured to give the illusion of ease and speed. Because quick and easy are what people want. Life is so busy that most will try every quick diet and weight-loss supplement, regardless of price, just in case it is the magic answer they have been searching for.
Do you know what is not sexy? The fundamentals of health and nutrition. The processes backed my science and research. In short, the reality is not sexy. But do you know what these basics provide that a diet cannot?
Sustainability. Lasting results. Improved metal health. Improved physical health.
Yes, they sound boring. There is nothing sexy about someone telling you to eat more fibre to feed your gut bacteria and help prevent constipation. And nobody’s heart flutters with excitement at the idea of drinking more water. And yet these are the changes supported by research.
I can assure you that nowhere in my three years at university studying nutrition was there a module on how to lose fat around your thighs. (In case you missed the memo, you have no control over where your body burns fat!). Nor was there so much as a footnote about fruits containing ‘too much sugar’.
While it is tempting to live in a world where the diet industry has our best interests at heart, that is simply not the case. It is money focused. And will tell whatever half-truths and outright lies it takes to help you part with your money.
Its ‘one size fits all’ approach completely disregards the individual. It cares nothing for your genetics, medical history, personal circumstance, or health.
You may believe that everyone who stringently adheres to the rules will achieve the same result. However, if 100 people were to eat and exercise the exact same, each would have a different result.
So, what is the take-away?
Get back to the basics. There is a reason they have never changed. And by constantly ignoring them in search of that magic diet, you are simply making life more difficult for yourself.
Find a professional to work with who listens to your needs. Who structures advice and guidance around what suits you and your lifestyle. No matter how sexy something might sound, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
• Aoife Morrison is a West Cork based qualified nutritionist. Follow @mums.for.nutrition on IG, FB or TikTok, or contact Aoife on 087 4488540/[email protected]