Do you know about the Dunning Kruger effect?
In short, those that know less say more. Or at least, believe that they know more. The mind-bender that is – you don’t know what you don’t know.
No area of human society is exempt from this effect, though Nutrition as a field and industry certainly falls prey to it, and often.
Why does that matter?
Because whilst obesity and chronic disease rates continue to rise, people overwhelmingly ask, ‘what the hell do I eat?’
So here’s 3 things I want you to know about Nutrition.
3 things I want you to know about Nutrition.
1. The bigger picture is what matters
Despite what a trainer, fitness app or the internet tells you, your body is not keeping some giant scorecard.
It doesn’t punish you for eating after 6pm and it cares little about momentary decisions.
Sound nutrition, and overall nutrient levels, are assessed over the long-term of a dietary pattern. Not a 24-hour window of “being good” or “bad.”
Fundamental principles of Nutrition remain virtually unchanged person-to-person.
The body wants to be fed enough at its core level. From everything we currently know in Nutrition science, it likes fruits and vegetables, finds fibre to be helpful in a variety of ways, requires carbohydrates, fats and protein (generally in that order of volume) and does not require expensive ‘detox’ supplements.
Is there nuance and shades of grey within that?
But the internet is not where that nuance is found.
2. Your relationship with food is as important as the nutrients you eat
Eating is a human experience. Selecting foods, preparing foods and eating foods.
And that experience can determine so much.
Consuming the most nutrients won’t make you love your body, enjoy food and never experience health concerns. There is no “should” and instead there’s a question, “what do you like to eat?”
Looking outside of yourself for these answers will never allow you a positive relationship with food, and will instead rob you of the pleasure of eating.
Becoming more knowledgable about food and nutrition is not an antidote to everything you dislike about your body.
When the thought of what to eat, when and how much rules your existence; enjoyment has no chance.
3. Food is food
Food is not medicine.
It doesn’t make you one way or another – foods don’t make you thin, overweight, healthy or unhealthy.
No way of eating is equal to one outcome.
Except dieting which inevitably will lead to rebound weight gain, a negative outlook on food and body dissatisfaction among other outcomes.
Food is fundamentally neutral.
Making it anything but is unhelpful.
Besides, food shouldn’t rule your life. You’ve got better things to do.
I spend a lot of time working 1:1 with clients to understand the above points. They’re key.
And there’s no shame in needing help with that.