Many people follow specific types of nutrition like keto, low-carb, IIFYM, and many more. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that1 it is hard to fit your very individual standpoint into one of these dogmas, to eat right for yourself. Most of the time one’s identity evolves around the set idea.
Many of these rigid dogmas feel like I would imagine being forced to go to a monastery, must’ve been like:
For some time it might be liberating and even an enjoyable experience.
You learn much buy living minimalistic and can even flourish under strict rules.
But some time in, the only thing you can think of is freedom. Being an individual again. And not get beaten by fanatic nuns to pudding.2
Nutritional dogmas work the same. You can learn much by following them, and even more compelling – they’re easy to follow. But this comes for a price. You sacrifice part of your freedom and not everything they come with, fit you.
Most see diets as something short-term to do to achieve an ulterior goal – like losing weight. I think this way of approaching it is wrong: Nutrition should be long-term, nothing short-term like a diet. It should be something that sticks with you for a lifetime – not rigidly but evolving like you are.
Curiosity is great – blindly following not
Like previously said, there is much to learn by following every nutritional religion. Likewise every sport is a teacher:
You can learn much from dance how to move gracefully and rhythmically
You can learn by Calisthenics how to control your body in very demanding positions
You can learn by Stretching to push boundaries, even when it means pain
Nonetheless, I would see each dogma as an experiment, you curiously embrace, for a set time period. Each experiment should enhance your own way of approaching nutrition and add up to your knowledge – how to eat right, solely for your body*.
Take the best of everything
Trying out different stuff is awesome. Stick to many for a period of time and keep what intuitively works for you. Even the things that don’t work are worth knowing.
Self-knowledge – observe yourself, learn what your body responds to well and what not and build a healthy relationship towards food in general.4
The thing is, you can’t break the rules and make precious experiences when you don’t know what the rules are. That’s why you should first learn them, before diving heads on into stuff like keto and such.
Alright, after you got the basic stuff down it is time to break with it and throw many learned rules overboard – at least temporarily.
Moreover, this is the really fun part now. I bet there are a lot of nutritional ideas that resonate with you and you are curious to experiment with – things like paleo, vegan, or even carnivore.5 I am not a big fan of many dogmas out there – because some are just stupid in my way of thinking – but I also think that you should at least have tried them out before judging them wildly.6
Not all will stick with you, but there is a lot to take home from any.:
For example, I for my part am no keto-lover at all, but I’ve learned that eating more fat is what feels right for my body.
Dismissing carbs entirely out of my world would go against my way of seeing nutrition
But eating more fats than our western nutrition police recommends, is a cornerstone of my meals day in and out.
What is it that you learned until now from your various experiments?
Dogmas are easy to follow
…the hard thing is to build your own nutrition from the ground.
Dogmas are very attractive, sticky, and even more addictive they come with a community of like-minded nutjobs. To go full-fruitarian you have to be at least a few percent nuts – dude, no meat? How can life be meaningful anymore?
But all these creative nutritional churches make one mistake:
They make you identify with them, sometimes very deeply.
Ideally, it should be the other way round. Your nutrition should identify with you, individually.
And that’s the take-home message of this post. Don’t be the hardest of all ketos, don’t be the 36.100.517’s vegan walking on earth, don’t be the braincase trying to solely eat apples, be the first *insert name here* making his own way.
OK, these kinda-religious words seem to be an awesome ending to wrap up today’s post! If you’re by chance a fruitarian reading this post – don’t take it personally – but I will think you’ll hate me anyways. If you’re not – I hope this post has been helpful and you could gain one or two ideas.
Thanks for reading until down here and stay curious,
Sources and further reading:
I found many sources around nutrition the internet are strongly emotional and try to convince. Most of the article came from my own observations and what I found useful.
If you want to read further about nutrition and want to eat right in your own way – learn the basics: Knowledge of nutrition through tracking, knowledge of your body and what it needs, as well as the psychological component to that whole topic. I think this self-motivated research will get you much further and keep you away from that very emotional bullshit the modern inquisitors of nutrition proclaim.
It can even be a great starting point for people beginning to ‘learn’ nutrition. When starting out, strict rules can be quite well teachers. But breaking them, later on, is what sets you on your own path, towards your own nutrition.
Expect you are that rare monk type. Some seem to enjoy living that reduced and without pudding.
Without this healthy relationship there is no sense in trying out stuff. It can work out well, but in my experience what happens is that you more or less torture yourself through these sometimes very extreme nutritional ideas.