It's New year – is it a new you? New challenge? Time to focus on your wellness? Get that “expert advice” from a shop assistant or influencer. I beg you not to. This year i’ve seen far too many marketing techniques to persuade people towards engaging in weight loss and disordered eating habits that promise a shiny brand new you! So many new apps and wellness solutions that tell you they are not a diet but then tell you to weigh yourself daily and count numbers. That doesn’t sound like a healthy relationship with food to me.
With so many of these fads being promoted in January how can we navigate our way around this?
Here’s my top tips to help you suss out the expert vs armatures, the experience vs novices. Firstly let’s start with where you’re getting your advice from. Who is that “professional”? What credentials do they have and what experience do they have? Registered Nutritionist and Dietitians are your best bet when it comes to nutrition and experience is key. Many Dietitian’s and nutritionist’s have been registered for a number of years but are they registered in the field you need them to be? Next stop is sales!! Expert health professionals are available via the NHS or in private clinics. What a health professional won’t do is make outrageous claims, expensive pills and magical meal plans. We won’t demonise foods and we won’t push our own experience on you. No clinic appointment is the same and no advice is regurgitated – because your all unique. We are here to see you as an individual, provide evidence-based research and tailor advice to meet your needs so that you have the skills for a life time, not 12 weeks whilst your paying for an app or programme. Lastly, change is hard. A poor relationship with food happens over time and so if an expert tells you that have 5 simple steps that will change your life for good in 6 weeks. Guess what – it won’t work, as much as you might want it to. What we know about the change process is that developing only knowledge doesn’t mean that change happens. However, support and investing time in change as well as allowing yourself to have space to express and develop new ways of thinking can help. An experienced health professional can guide you through change and can support you to explore your relationship, they won’t tell you want to do and what not to do, but help guide you to make a decision or goals that is best for you.
As January unfolds and the next fad diet makes in onto your feed, through your letter box or onto your screens you’ll be able to take a few moments to unpick those messages, identify if it’s a fad and invest your time and energy into something else that will support a healthier relationship with food.
Dietitians - check the register - http://www.hcpc-check.org/check/
Nutritionists – check the register - https://www.associationfornutrition.org/register/search-the-register