Two Reasons to Ditch Your Diet Tribe
Tribes can be great. We all want to belong and we all need the support of others. But, there’s a time and a place for everything…
Everyone on the internet today is debating about which diet is best, but I’m here to tell you why following and identifying with a diet tribe is probably hurting your health.
Are you a vegan? Do you eat paleo? Are you following macros or IIFYM?
Well, identifying with a diet and integrating that diet into your personality is a big issue in the diet and health and fitness industries. Here’s why:
- Less Education. The biggest problem with saying, “I’m Vegan”, or “I’m Paleo”, or “I follow Ketogenic diet”, or “I follow a high-carbohydrate diet”, is that when you start to attach your identity to a diet, you stop learning about the value of other dietary approaches.
- Less Individualization. Problem number two is that if you’re part of a diet tribe, you rarely tailor your diet to yourself as an individual even though individualization is critically important.
So, by belonging to a diet tribe you’re preventing yourself from being better educated about the value of what other diets can offer, and you’re less likely to individualize a diet for yourself; and these are two things you should be doing when you approach your diet.
For optimal health, you shouldn’t follow any one specific diet or nutrition theory completely.
If you’re open to all the dietary information out there, you can take away some fantastic values from each and create the best diet for you as an individual.
So, what’s great about Veganism? Well, number one, if you’re a vegan you’re more likely to have a higher intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. Some people would argue that many vegans are “grainitarians” meaning all they eat is grains, but if you look at the majority of vegans, you’ll see people who eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, which is a very, very good thing.
What about Paleo eaters? People following a Paleo-based diet try to eat as close to nature as possible, meaning they stay away from refined foods. While it’s true that there are some refined agricultural-based foods that can be healthy for many people, that doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with eating as close to nature as possible and trying to keep any agricultural or refined foods to a minimum.
What about something like the Ketogenic diet? The Ketogenic diet is extremely controversial—some people swear by it while others think it’s an absolute detriment to the health of anyone who partakes in it. However, if you look for some middle ground you’ll learn that people who are promoting a Ketogenic diet are advocating a low sugar intake through a low carbohydrate intake. Most of us could benefit from less sugar in our diet, so that’s a good thing.
What about a high carb diet? Oftentimes, fruititarians or endurance-based athletes promote a high carbohydrate diet. This is because a high carb diet increases energy for athletes and increases fuel for your brain. Your brain does require a certain amount of glucose to operate on a day-to-day basis, so you can have more mental clarity with an increased carbohydrate intake, and that’s a good thing.
Now, if you were to forget the labels and simply take away the good pieces from each of the theories above, you’d have a diet that increases your fruit and vegetable intake and your energy while decreasing the amount of refined foods and sugar you consume. Obviously, this is a very simplified example, but the point is that when we label our diet and we say, “I am this”, or “I am that”, we get stuck in these little tribes and we forget the value of everything else that’s out there.
We also forget that the creators of each diet had to add labels and theories and criteria to their diet to separate it from the other diets out there. Right? That’s how they’re able to sell something, or promote something, or spread and idea.
So, when people follow one of these diets to a tee, or argue on the internet that their diet is best, they’re missing the big picture, which is: you’re an individual and you shouldn’t attach yourself to a specific category of group of eaters. You shouldn’t identify with your diet. What you eat shouldn’t be a part of who you are (your diet is not your identity)! You need to understand there’s value in the theories that other groups of people produce and that you require the diet that allows you to operate at an optimal level for your body and your lifestyle. There truly is something to be taken away from every single diet that has value.
When it comes to your diet, try to be a little bit more open, to avoid your attachment to a diet identity or diet tribe, and just look at things from an individualistic perspective. Aim to learn about other diets and see if there’s something you can take away them. If you can do this, you’ll end up with a better diet that’s going to be sustainable in the long term and therefore be healthier for you as an individual. So, no more Diet Tribes! Let’s get away from the labels, get away from the tribes, get away from the incessant arguing on the internet about what diet is best, and just learn that whatever is best for you as an individual is the best diet for you and that diet does not exist in any pre-determined tribe.
Do you agree? Tell us in the comments below. Also, be sure to like and share this information so it can help others.