Embracing Individuality in Nutrition

This is my first post in the nutrition section, and to be honest, it was the hardest to decide where to start as there is so much to say about it! I recently started an Instagram food channel and did a post today where I talked about my thoughts on “What Do I Eat in a Day” posts.
With that, I decided to make it the first topic of my nutrition series because it discusses a few essential things without going too deep into specific areas. It’s a great starter, and I’ll delve into individual parts more in-depth in other posts.
To start, you’ve probably seen countless “What Do I Eat in a Day” posts on Instagram, especially from athletes or other “health specialists” As someone with a history of disordered eating, I can say I’ve looked at many of these posts. Because of my experience, I want to share my perspective on this topic and highlight the importance of individualized nutrition, which often gets forgotten in “What Do I Eat in a Day” posts.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of these “What Do I Eat in a Day” posts, and that’s why I’m posting about it. Every person’s nutritional needs are unique, and even though these posts might not explicitly say, “Compare yourself with what I eat, and feel bad about yourself if you eat more or not as healthy,” that’s what it can unintentionally do. It may seem like a harmless post, but it can have a more significant impact on perfectionist, young athletes than you think, especially when it comes from someone they admire. Comparing ourselves to others can lead to unnecessary pressure and self-doubt, prompting us to change our dietary habits and stop listening to our bodies in favor of following someone else’s diet without knowing the whole story behind the post on social media. Listening to our bodies and responding to their cues is vital.
However, I still follow some dietary guidelines as an athlete most of the time, whether injured or in training. For many meals, I create a balanced “peace” plate, incorporating a mix of carbs, protein, healthy fats, and vegetables or fruits. It helps ensure I’m getting a variety of nutrients and all macronutrients. But here’s the thing: only some plates look the same! Some days, I might crave larger portions of specific foods, while on others, I might eat less. Sometimes, I take seconds or even thirds; other times, I don’t. That means individuality matters A LOT. We are all unique, and so are our nutritional needs. We must respect our bodies and trust that they know what’s best. Instead of fixating on someone else’s diet, I focus on nourishing my body according to its signals.
I still enjoy food content on Instagram, especially recipes, as it’s a fast way to discover new food preparation methods. I love getting inspiration on Instagram to try something new in my kitchen. However, in my opinion, a “what I eat in a day” post or video can do more harm than good. Since I can’t change what other people post, I hope to change how you look at these posts and what you take out of them for yourself – and these could be lovely recipes.
Always remember to listen to yourself. Your body is your guide, not someone else’s Instagram post. What works for someone else may not work for you, and that’s completely normal. Embrace your individuality, honor your hunger, and enjoy the freedom to eat in a way that feels right for YOU. So, if you’re an athlete, remember to be kind to yourself and tune into your body’s needs. Let go of comparisons and focus on what truly nourishes you, inside and out. Your well-being is worth far more than any perfect Instagram plate. ❤️

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