The societal trend surrounding nutrition and weight loss has a general concept usually along the lines of participating in a particular “diet” that in some context requires you to deprive the body of some type of food or nutrient to produce a result.

These diets look textbook. They portray results of glamour and perfection through altering the body’s natural state of nutritional intake and consumption. The deem certain foods and nutrients “bad” or “harmful” to the body and relay all the so called reasons you need to remove them from what you intake with the daily nutritional habits you pursue.

These trends easily lead to misconceptions of how to properly fuel our bodies and they can inherently often create poor nutritional habits as well as a poor relationship with how we fuel our body and also how we perceive and feel about our bodies. 

This misconception has led us to look at what we put into our bodies with hesitation and question any and all foods that have ever been categorized as “unhealthy.”  These fads and diets can be so ingrained into our thought process of how and what we choose to fuel our bodies with that it can actually tend to create the opposite results of what we’re looking to achieve.

The thing about depriving the body of certain foods and nutritional value is that we then in turn crave those foods, we fill limited to what we are able to consume, which more often than not creates a unideal mindset and approach to our nutritional habits, such as falling of course, lacking consistency, and binging the foods we feel deprived of.  

Believing that you need to deprive the body of real foods or that what you are fueling it with needs to be basic, minimal, and unfulfilling is simply false advertising.

Crazy right and probably insanely difficult to grasp as a concept that could actually work because all the questions of “how is that actually possible” keep arising as this goes against your better judgement.

As a female, and a female who has been surrounded by athletics and wellness for a great deal of time I’ve naturally fallen victim to fad diets and depriving my body of a handful of random different foods and nutrients at any given time. Even more so I’ve fallen victim to the societal concept that females should minimize what they intake into their body to achieve the ideal aesthetic image. Nothing will beat my all-time favorite of not consuming any carbs as a way of weight loss.

Coming back to my weight class athlete status, I at one point received nutritional coaching. Through the course of this I was able to learn how much I had been depriving my body of the fuel it needed to perform and respond to achieve both the aesthetic and performance goals I was demanding from myself.  I was minimizing my caloric intake, limiting my body  to what foods I would fuel it with, and fighting bad mental and emotional habits that came along with doing so.

If I’m being honest the first two weeks of actually properly fueling my body were difficult because it had adapted to minimal calorie consumption and trying to consume the correct amount of calories actually made me feels sick. But the body will adapt and responds accordingly when you shift habits.

Once I began fueling my body with the proper calories and not limiting or depriving it of foods that allowed it to feel fulfilled I noticed shifts in my performance, strength, ability to recover from training, consistency in my mood, and sleep patterns. More dramatically I noticed shifts in my body aesthetically and on the scale. 

See the thing is we are misled so much on a daily basis to believe that less is more. Restriction equals results and struggle is the only way to achieve the things you desire.

The concept is invalid. This moment right here is permission for you to dispose of it and to start fueling and fulfilling the body the way it desires to be. Be willing to drop what you know about what it means to be eating healthy and try on something different.

Written By: Sarah Fredette