Breaking The Rules: Nutrition Style

Ever feel like there are just too many silly diet ‘rules’ when it comes to eating healthy or eating to get/stay lean? There are diets based on how often you eat, other diets based on eating specific types of foods at certain times, and still more diets based on avoiding certain foods or entire food groups to help you achieve a lean physique.

Silly Diet Rules

There’s the classic, eat 6 times a day. Skip one meal and your metabolism is going to slow way down. You’ll never be the same. You better make sure you have food on hand at all times because if you miss that 10:00am snack it’s going to take you days to get that metabolism fired up again.

Then there’s intermittent fasting which is all the rage lately. Don’t eat breakfast. Don’t eat lunch. You can’t eat until 2:00pm. I don’t care how hungry you are. You had dinner last night around 8:00pm so you better not eat until 2:00pm or those abs are gone forever.

You’re Paleo? No peanut butter for you (did you know peanuts are legumes and not nuts?) and that better not be milk I see in your coffee. How are you ever going to make any progress towards your goals?

I’m not trying to be a jerk here. I actually believe each of the three strategies can really work to help you achieve your weight loss goals and ultimately can lead to a healthier you.

I’m going to be working with more clients on their nutrition in the near future so I have been thinking a lot about this. Although I will certainly be recommending different strategies for each client based on their goals and lifestyles, I wonder if sometimes we over-complicate things.

What about if you kept your nutrition habits a little bit more simple? What if every single time you were going to eat something, you ask yourself whyyou are eating what you are about to eat. If you have a good reason (even if it’s because you love ice cream and you’re at a place with a flavor you have never tried!) then eat it. If you don’t, find something else to eat or wait until you’re truly hungry.

Obviously, the hope here is that most of the time you’ll be eating things because you’re hungry and want to fuel your body with healthy foods (still not sure when this whole eating healthy foods thing became ‘weird’) that help you reach your fitness and/or weight loss goals.

I know I’m really over-simplifying things with this theory, but just wanted to share it as some ‘food for thought’. (wink wink)

Babies Eating Berries

Have you ever found yourself sticking to silly diet rules even though they didn’t really make sense for you?


  1. I so wish I could answer “no” to this question, but sadly, I have spent the better part of the last 3-4 years UNlearning most of what I researched/practiced with regard to food. I’m in such a great place with my eating habits now, and there truly is room for anything in my diet. That said, I don’t think we can improve much on nature’s perfect foods, so like all of the other comments, mine casts one more vote for relishing the beautiful bounty of real, pure foods!

    • You and everyone else! You’re not alone. We have all been told so many different things it’s hard to weed through it all and find out the truth. The truth is ….you gotta do what works for you while trying to stick to real, nutritious foods!
      Amanda Perry recently posted..Confession Time: Changes!

  2. Sooo late to this post – but asking myself “are you REALLY hungry?” is exactly what a do.

    Truthfully, I rarely snack. It’s not in my nature. I’ve rather eat very large meals (people are generally amazed by the amount of food I can eat, lol) and then enjoy a few glasses of wine.

    For a long time I stressed about eating schedules, I tried the snacking, I tried the dieting — and in the end, I think I’ve realized that all of that actually makes me eat more. There is no “right way” to eat — except healthy :)
    Michelle recently posted..Saturday Night Motivation

  3. Well said!
    RunEatRepeat recently posted..Bliss Beauty Board Box Vlog

  4. This is so true! As if our body really knows that it’s 1:45pm and not 2:00pm and docks points for eating 15 minutes early. haha!
    In my opinion, most people would benefit more from ditching all of the dogmas and hard rules, and putting that time and energy towards buying whole, unprocessed, high quality foods.
    Jen Comas Keck recently posted..Fitness bullies?

  5. This is a great post. I think it’s true that different approaches to nutrition (paleo, IF, etc) tend to be very dogmatic and it can make it difficult for people to adhere to them. They feel like they failed if they didn’t follow the rules to the letter and this can ultimately lead them to giving up all together.

    I like your advice!
    Samantha Angela recently posted..Top Things to do in Loutro Crete

    • Yup! I have seen that so often. I actually use the Precision Nutrition System and it is much easier to follow (and stick to) than most very specific diets. You’re right…some people get so upset when they “mess up” once that they throw the whole thing out the window anyway!
      Amanda Perry recently posted..Breaking The Rules: Nutrition Style

  6. Oh man, we are on the EXACT same wavelength my friend. I absolutely agree. We have WAY overcomplicated things in the healthy eating department. Sure, there may be a reason for someone to go vegan or gluten-free or whatever (like a legit health reason, for example!) but in general, I think keeping it simple is the best ticket towards long-term success. Eating when you’re hungry, NOT eating when you’re not. Eating real, whole, nourishing foods 95% of the time, saving that 5% for a treat now and then (like wine!! haha). That’s my approach and it works for me. However, I will caveat that by saying that everyone is different, every body is different and all that jazz…but you get what I’m saying, right? Annnd now I’m rambling, woops πŸ˜‰ great post!
    Jess recently posted..15 miles on a prayer

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