I was recently asked to answer some questions for #thedailystar newspaper for an online article about high protein diets. My answers weren't published, I lost out to someone with a PHD and a 'super nutritionist' - whatever that is - but it was a great opportunity to write and refresh my knowledge. However, when the article was released, I noticed a pattern; the constant mention of a high protein diet being damaging to our kidneys and liver. Something that I hadn't included in my answers because despite these claims by many individuals, these beliefs have no evidence-based support.
So why spread that message?
I imagine that headline hooks more readers than my balanced and some would say more holistic approach to nutrition (thanks @eiqnutrition love you) but why when there is so much confusing around what we should and shouldn't be eating would we add to the noise.
No wonder so many people struggle, fearing food groups, thinking there is a secret they are missing, that they have to buy to finally look like that girl on the cover of Women's Health magazine.
In my experience, the majority of people I have worked with do not consume enough protein and greatly benefit from having some education about it and including more of it in their diet. Imagine if someone thinking of working with me, or any other incredible coaches of which there are many, where trying to improve their diet and saw that article. Straight away a lot of people (my 20-year-old self included) would see the title PHD and the word 'super' thrown in front of nutritionist and trust them. Thinking 'it must be true; they clearly know what they are talking about and it's been published'.
'Balance' might not be sexy and it obviously didn't get me a mention in the Daily Star but it's a winner.
Trust me, there is nothing more attractive than a life free of food fear and fad diets.
A life where you have space in your mind for fun, laughter, friends, family, working on projects, going out for drinks, dinners and doughnuts without the nagging 'How many calories is in this? Can I eat that?' voice in the back of your mind.
Aim for a protein source each meal and a couple of snacks
Include a variety of fruits and vegetables
Drink your water
Get outside and walk
Eat at a table with no distractions
Find a form of exercise you enjoy and be consistent
If you need extra support reach out and invest in a coach.
Balance isn't boring.
Balance is having a life and that, I think, it the most important thing to aim for.