You just finished watching the latest, most popular food or diet related documentary on Netflix. Now you are questioning whether you have been killing yourself with the way you have been eating your whole life and need to follow the style of eating or lifestyle shown in the documentary. The short films are a major influence to us now. Are they right? Are the claims they are making as backed up as they seem? How can we interpret these films?
In today’s article, we want to dive in and help you understand how to watch and interpret these popular films. Then you will be able to watch them and take the best principles and practices from each one you watch. Let’s dive in!
Documentary films have to argue the extreme to make an impact.
What you need to know is, in order to captivate an audience, film makers need to take a stance on one side of an argument and do as much as they can to give you the supportive evidence to believe the main point they are making in the film. For example, many popular documentaries recently talk about plant-based eating, which to be completely plant-based, you phase out all animal products including meat, dairy, dairy fats (butter/ghee), and eggs. Other documentaries may tell you how to eat in a more environmentally friendly way.
Yeah, eating a plant-based diet can be REALLY good for you. But, so can eating a diet with animal products included. You can make significant health changes with both. With good planning and consistency, many people have achieved great physical results or performance at very high levels on both diets.
Every eating style has some core principles that make it successful.
Across all eating styles, a few things have remained consistent.
Eating vegetables and some fruit is ALWAYS good for health.
For losing weight, however you mix up the macros (carbs, fats, protein) doesn't really matter as long as you have a calorie deficit. Yes, having a little more protein is good for lean mass. Yes, there are certain carbs that are much better for health than others. Yes, there are also some fats that are better for health than others. But, in the end, you can still have big change or no change at all if the total calories isn't right.
They all force you to make a change. More on this later.
They mostly promote generally healthier and less processed forms of food.
Getting you to think about making a change from your normal works.
This is a really interesting and subtle thing that we may not even realize. By changing our eating style, it forces us to think and plan out the food we buy and the food we eat and when we eat it. Just this simple principle causes many to end up getting in much better, shape at least temporarily, because we are putting more thought and focus into what we eat.
That means that you might be feeling "better than you have in years" not because of the miracle diet, but because you are generally eating better overall with more thought-out and planned meals.
But what about that food they said would kill me?
Answer? It depends.
Some foods have been clinically proven to be cancer-causing or linked to poor health conditions, such as meat that is charred or black, really processed meat, or even sugary foods or sauces that have been charred in cooking.
Food many other foods, including white sugar, the jury is still out. There is definitely truth that things like sugar or fried food or snack DO NOT ADD to your health. If eating in excess, they can definitely be a piece of setting a trend towards bad health. But, by themselves, they are not the poisonous snake bite that will stop your heart. Many of these "terrible" foods can be handled well by your body if eaten in small amounts and not on a regular basis within an active lifestyle.
If you have a history of certain conditions or have already been diagnosed, it may make sense for you to stay away from certain foods. If you have significant goals of being a competitive athlete, a competitive body builder, or just the fittest person in your inner circle of family of friends, you may have to consider how much "treats" you can have to reach the physique you need.
There are many very well-made nutrition documentaries out there and these may be the new "fad diets" of our day instead of the former named diets. With the expert videography, one-sided research, and convincing personal stories, we can all be convinced to at least try it for a while.
But when you take it down to the science, generally if we all eat more fresh and minimally processed food and keep our meal portions at just what we need for our goals, then we can all benefit.
If you want to try one of those diets you have seen, go for it! But if you want to do it better and create more of a long-term outcome, you may want some help to do it well.
You may want a coach to help you get past just the basics of nutrition and get deeper into the lifestyle habits that help create real lasting change, then subscribe to our nutrition coaching. We'll walk through the entire process of change with you and give you the tools and support to help you succeed.