There is a lot of nutritional bullshit out there.
There seems to be a disproportionate amount of it on Instagram too.
It is heartbreaking that so many people in the world (especially the U.S) suffer from diseases tied to improper nutrition. It’s also no wonder why people feel helpless, confused or frustrated when they try to find answers to their nutrition questions.
Especially when there is a great deal of fantastic information and support available out there.
It’s normal to want to feel good and move well in your skin. It’s also normal to want a quick fix and spend a lot of time looking for the fastest path to your goals. But the reality is the fastest path to success is probably what appears, at first, as the slowest one. More on that in a future post.
On Instagram, you can scroll endlessly through a sea of starving bodies, sharing their diet “secrets” or implying that certain products are the keys to success. While scrolling, you may be targeted with products claiming to be “healthy” strategies to meet your weight loss goals. Or some high protein dessert that you can apparently eat as much as you want because there is only 1 gram of added sugar. More on the fallacy of food marketing later too.
The bad news is that there is no quick fix. The good news is that the “slow fix” isn’t as hard as you think.
If you’re looking to make changes in your relationship to food, consider cleaning out your “social pantry”. Stop following accounts that seem too good to be true and tune into people and organizations with real solutions.
Here are four Instagram accounts that share evidenced-based, scientific nutritional knowledge. By introducing them into your feed, you may be surprised to learn that the path to results is easier and less painful than you think.
I’m a huge fan of OptimizeMeNutrition, an Instagram account run by EC Synkowski. Among other credentials, she holds an MS in Nutrition and Functional Medicine. She also created something called the 800 Gram Challenge, whereby you aim to eat… 800 grams of fruits and vegetables every day. That’s it - no restrictions. Just eat those 800 grams every day along with whatever else you want to eat. You’ll basically find yourself eating better in general and (not so shockingly) you’ll see improvements in your weight and / or performance in the gym. Follow her Instagram for daily straight talk on nutrition fundamentals.
Dr. Spencer Nadolsky
For a daily dose of insight and humor, I enjoy Dr. Spencer Nadolsky, who is an obesity specialist physician, weightlifter and self proclaimed “memologist”. Follow his Instagram feed for regular memes debunking various fad diets and other nutritional shortcuts.
The Pursuing Health account is run by wife-husband team, Julie Foucher and Dani Urcuyo. Foucher is a former competitive CrossFit athlete and they are both family medicine doctors. Their newsletter and podcast focus on the intersection of fitness and medicine. What appeals to me most about Pursing Health is their extremely approachable advice and simple actions. As doctors, they share researched-backed knowledge. As busy humans, they share very doable solutions.
Precision Nutrition has trained tens of thousands of nutrition coaches and coached over 100,000 individuals. They don’t believe there is one right diet. Rather the diet that is right for you is the one you can stick with consistently. It’s an empowering and effective perspective.
I’m working through the Precision Nutrition Level 1 coursework right now. One of the most surprising things I learned in the early part of the course is that perfection isn’t required. In fact, in a study of 1,000 people, they found that even those who were less than 50% consistent with their nutrition plans, still made meaningful improvements in weight and inches lost.
If perfection is holding you back, as it often has for me, science says, let it go!
Follow Precision Nutrition on Instagram to reset your nutritional knowledge, master the basics and gain confidence that results are not as complicated or arduous as you may think.
Who else do you follow? Join the conversation over at @huntandweigh.