Diets: 5 proofs that your “life coach” is toxic
Your life coach has a new miracle fitness plan based on the mass ingestion of root vegetables? Attention, danger of toxic diets. On International No Diet Day, we point out five red-flags that indicate your nutrition is in the hands of a slimming quack.
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Being a vegetarian and not eating meat is totally fine…if you feel good about this diet and it's your personal decision.
But if certain “rules » that you apply to your food does not come from you, it is that it is a diet, considers the nutritionist Bernard Lavallée. And it can get very toxic.
Several examples of “rules” can indicate that your diet mentor does not want you well: such as forcing you to eat only certain foods, giving you food quantities to respect or even establishing a specific meal schedule. < /p>
“Rather than listening to our needs, we listen to someone who tells us what to do or not to do. And it's a red-flag because we have a lot of scientific literature that indicates that diets don't work in the long term,” says Mr. Lavallée.
Bernard Lavallée is well known thanks to his blog Le nutritionniste urbain.
Telling you what to eat down to the grain of rice is not certified and recommended nutrition practice.
And that's not just for the coaches of supposedly specialized in food.
It's also a myth that nutritionists are food tyrants, or that they keep lists of good or bad fruits, according to Lavallée. “Unless you are allergic to peanuts,” he says, laughing.
Anyway, if someone – expert or guru – asks you to eat raw celeriac at midnight each day after a five-hour fast, ask yourself questions before your stomach turns upside down.
2— Say that a diet is inclusive
Weight loss quacks and the diet industry are increasingly using misleading advertisements to trick you into thinking their “diet” isn't one.
How? By using terms associated with body diversity and well-being in order to project a less negative image.
“They're going to say words like 'lifestyle', 'lifestyles', whether it's a matter of good habits or finding a balance,” says Lavallée. The term diet is less and less popular and so it has been transformed into other things. »
So don't be fooled by the ultra-inclusive appearance of an Instagram account that sells healthy alternatives: proposing a weight loss program with dietary rules is still a diet.  ;
3— Using fuzzy and dubious science.
It's easy to believe in miracle foods, but watch out if your “coach” cites an obscure study from 1967 or a website that claims COVID-19 is a myth.
Before changing your entire menu, a “background check” on Google can save you a lot of trouble and save you a few bids unnecessarily spent on foods whose virtues have not been scientifically proven .
An example? Celery juice.
It was American Anthony William who started the trend on his blog in 2019. Drinking celery juice was supposed to prevent cancer, prevent acne, lower cholesterol and even help lose weight (obviously). Gwyneth Paltrow got on board and it turned into a mega “healthy” trend all over the planet, causing the price of celery to jump even in Quebec.
A glass of celery juice. Celery juice was a popular food trend in 2019.
The catch is that Anthony William is not a nutrition doctor, researcher, therapist, or even a scientist.  ;
“It's a coach who said he was talking to ghosts,” sighs Mr. Lavallée. The myth that food is magic is perpetuated. Yes, foods have health impacts, but in the long run and there is no one in particular that is magic. No food alone can make us healthy and no food alone can make us sick.” It is rather an unbalanced diet or a diet centered on a single food group that can cause damage.
The “alleged” virtues of celery juice have never been confirmed. by science… Yes.
4— When deprivation is glorified
It's scientifically documented that most people revert to their old (and bad) habits when they go on a strict diet. It's the deprivation's fault.
Eating should be pleasant and not scary.
If going to a restaurant is a torment for you and your loved ones, because you have too many dietary restrictions, now is the time… to stop your diet.
Especially if you feel that your coach or your diet is taking advantage of your wallet and your body insecurity.
No one wants to have a toxic relationship, as much with those around them as food.
“When food takes up a lot of space in our lives, when it stresses us out, when it cuts off and when it's associated with feelings of guilt, it's a sign that it's going very far,” concludes Mr. Lavallée.
5- Excessive guilt
If you decide to go on a diet anyway (everyone does what they want after all) and you get a slice of cake on your son's birthday. (You have the right. Again, everyone does what they want). There's a big deal, though, if your dieters or mentor are banging you over the head for your few bites of dessert.
Mr. Lavallée advises to leave “this way of life” immediately.
“The charlatans will say: it's your fault, it's because you didn't listen to me and now your weight is coming back. But it’s the fault of the external rules that don’t work,” he says.