You were born an original work of art. Stay original.
Do you wanna know what I eat in a day? I’m not telling! Sorry! I know there are plenty of people who will share what they eat in a day, but it’s not actually helpful to people. Quite the opposite actually. These people can be on social media, in your friendship groups, a random person selling meal plans on the internet…… anyone who basically tells you what they eat in a day. For the purpose of this post let’s just call them influencers.
For people who are struggling with their eating habits or their body image it can be very triggering. It can bring up all kinds of feelings about their own eating habits because they compare their days. Common thoughts include:
‘I’m not eating well enough’
‘I’m not eating enough’
‘I’m eating too much’
‘I’m not eating the right type of food’
‘My macro balance is all wrong’
‘I’m eating too many carbs’
‘I’m eating too much fat’
‘I’ll end up looking like them if I eat like them’ (which of course can be a negative or a positive thought)
…… oh so many possible thoughts that may run riot in their head.
The reality is that the way that the influencer’s food reacts with their body is different to how it might react with yours or mine. Each person’s needs are individual because there are so many affecting factors. We all have different caloric needs. We may have different intolerances and allergies to take into account. We all move differently and have varying activity levels, and that is before we take into consideration personal food preferences. What about our ability to use that food?
Our financial situations are all different so the influencer may have chosen more costly brand names, organic foods, rarer foods, or local specialities. What if your budget doesn’t allow for those foods, or they’re not available to you?
What about your ability to actually do something with that food once you have it? Are you a skilled home cook or can you just about cobble together some beans on toast? (Which are very nutritious by the way!). There’s no shame in not being able to cook fancy foods, or even not wanting to try. We all have our own ways in the kitchen.
My point is, you may not get the best out of the ingredients even if you could have them, so there are many different factors which will impact on whether or not that influencer’s meals for the day are right for you.
Plus, what fuels and satisfies one person well will not be right for another. What if you cannot stomach another chicken, rice and broccoli? What if the thought of another dry crispbread makes you feel ill? What if you just don’t like cottage cheese? What if you have the salad and you’re still hungry? Here’s the answer – eat the stuff you like, don’t eat the stuff you don’t like, and if you’re hungry then eat!
There is no point in trying to copy what someone else’s meal plan. Remember, these ‘what I eat in a day’ posts are often just part of a highlights reel. I suspect the people who do their ‘what I eat in a day’ were feeling particularly inspired and ‘healthy’ that day and that’s why they chose to send it out for everyone to see.
What they’re not sharing are the foods they supposedly never eat (which of course they cave to and eat every now and then), the snacks they forgot to write down, the bag of crisps they ate while cooking a meal, and the leftovers they had off their children’s plates when clearing up after dinner. The day before won’t have looked so ‘perfect’, and tomorrow probably won’t either.
You will only see what they want you to see, not their total diet.
So, I will share meals and recipes with you for sure. I’ll give you some tasty options which you might like to try. A new way to get some added fibre in to your diet perhaps, or a gorgeous pudding that everyone needs in their life. That’s inspiration, not a meal plan. Take the bits you like and ignore the bits you don’t fancy. Enjoy putting food together yourself, not just copying someone else’s. Your body is individual, your needs are individual, and your food should be individual too.
Please note: This post is intended to be general information that applies to people who don’t have diagnosed medical conditions and are not pregnant, and any figures correct at the time of writing. As always, please see a registered professional before making changes to your diet.