This is a response to "4 Ways Millennials Are Changing The Food Industry".
I am not a registered dietician or licensed health professional, these thoughts and ideas are all my own opinions. If you want professional health advice, reach out to someone who is a licensed professional .
1. Intermittent Fasting
With many fitness influencers promising weight loss from this type of diet, all I got was a skewed version of an eating disorder and an obsession with food. Intermittent fasting is a way of eating where a person will eat within a certain time slot of the day and the rest of the time they are fasting. I chose the 16:8 method where I fasted for 16 hours and was allowed to eat within an 8 hour window. I would wake up, break my fast at 12pm, and then eventually start fasting again at 8pm. I did this for about a month thinking overtime my body would acclimate to the new diet, but it never really did. In the mornings my stomach would growl like no tomorrow, I felt groggy, and by noon, I was so ravenous I could eat the entire kitchen. Other times, if I hadn't ate much until the evening, I would stuff myself at dinner knowing I could not eat until noon the next day. This took away my intuitive eating skills and I felt powerless over my hunger signals.
What I learned? Intuitive eating is the best way for me to eat because I regained a healthy relationship with food and ate what felt good for my body. I do not go off a time slot telling my body when to eat and found myself reaching for healthier foods in the process.I felt overall happier going off the diet because I was not throwing my hormones off since the stress hormone cortisol is spiked by intermittent fasting. To learn more about the dangers of this diet click here.
2. Running is Taboo in the Weight Training World
Over the past couple of years, weight training has been the biggest trend in the fitness industry. Want to get a snatched waist and big butt? Weight train! Now I am not bashing weight training, there are a myriad of health benefits to weight training and I actively include it in my fitness routine. But, a lot of fitness influencers on TikTok only weight train and neglect running. So what did I do? I stopped running and began only walking as my form of cardio. For me this was hard. I love running and the high I get from it. When I stopped running and began only walking, I felt like my cardiovascular health was declining and I was not getting that rush of happy endorphins like I used to. Even though there are several health benefits to walking over running, for me personally, I felt like I was not exercising to my full potential.
What I learned? Running is important for longevity of the heart. I don't run everyday but once I incorporated it back into my routine I noticed I lost weight, my skin glowed more, my blood sugar balanced out, and I felt overall happier. Plus, I was not as winded climbing up the three flights of stairs to my apartment! I still weight train but I do not listen to the influencers telling me don't bother with running.
3. Protein Coffee, Protein Bars, Protein Doughnuts...Protein everything
If you follow a fitness influencer you have probably seen an ad from them promoting protein snacks like Misfit protein bars, Quest Bars, Premier Protein drinks, Fairway Protein Shakes, protein donuts and cookies. Everything in the fitness world has to be "high protein" or it is not good enough. I got sucked into this trend and was buying different protein goodies left and right. I would have a Quest bar in the morning before a workout, throw a Premier Protein drink in with my coffee, snack on protein chips and the list goes on and on.
What I learned? Just eat whole foods and your gut will thank you. I was starting to get really bad gut issues when I was eating all these processed protein snacks. I would eat a lot of these snacks thinking they would fill me up when all they did was cause me gut issues like bloating. When I started incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my meal, the natural fiber kept me full and helped kick my cravings because I was getting all the necessary micronutrients my body needed. Every now and then I might have a protein bar for an on the go snack but I will choose natural ones like RX Bars.
4. 12-3-30 Workout
I will give it to them, whoever created this workout knew this one would cause us to work up a sweat. The 12-3-30 workout is a workout that stands for 12 percent incline on the treadmill , a pace of 3 mph and for 30 minutes. I saw people all over TikTok getting into this workout because it promised incredible results without the intensity of running. When I started this workout, at first it was not too bad. It was a killer for my legs and I definitely felt the burn.
What I learned? Just because one workout works for one person doesn't mean it will work for someone else. 10 minutes into this workout I was feeling it in my legs but I was also feeling it in my lower back. The high incline of the treadmill messed with my posture and I found my lower back hurting. I quickly realized this was not a workout I could do on the daily. Instead, I made my own modification and chose the 8-2.9-40 workout. An incline of 8, 2.9 mph, and for forty minutes. This for me was the sweet spot where I was still working up a sweat but not breaking my back!
5. Cheat Days
Cheat days have become increasingly popular in the fitness world. When people want a cheat day after slaving all week in the gym and sticking to a rigorous diet, they go crazy. In honor of these crazy cheat days people do, they will attach a certain number of calories to test how many they can eat in a day. The most popular it seems is the 10,000 calorie challenge. Seeing all these people eating whatever they wanted for an entire day seemed like heaven to me. Donuts for breakfast, pizza for lunch and burgers for dinner topping it off with lots of ice cream? Sign me up! When I attempted having a massive cheat day, I thought I could easily hit 10,000 calories. Boy was I wrong. I felt sick and realized the cheat meals were not worth it after feeling groggy and nauseous all day.
What I learned? Instead of having cheat days, I will have cheat meals or snacks as part of my daily diet. I don't want to wait to have a "special day" to go haywire when I can just be mindful of what I choose to eat day to day. Waiting to have a specific cheat day put me in a binging mindset and created an unhealthy relationship with food for me. If I want a burger and fries, I will have it and it won't be on a "cheat day".