There are many different eating patterns that people choose to follow, all with different labels to differentiate them. Paleo, Clean, Vegetarian, and Raw are just a few. Each pattern has its own advantages, but they collectively have some drawbacks which are usually not acknowledged.
The advantage of deciding to follow a particular pattern of eating is that it gives you rules which are, hopefully, based around optimising health. These rules guide your choices. Giving the chosen pattern a name helps you identify and find similarities with a larger group of people, and helps to explain to others just what you’re doing.
So now for the disadvantages:
For example: “That sounds a bit unusual. Are you sure it’s sensible to eat that way?”
For example: Vegan eating patterns prohibit animal products but allow everything else. Packaged, processed, refined foods may not be good for an individual’s health, but the ‘rules’ allow them.
For example: The Clean eater indulges in French fries, feels like they’ve failed, sees no hope for future success, and reverts to established unhealthy eating patterns.
For example: the Raw foodist wants to lose 30kg but finds that it is taking too long so changes to Paleo to see if that will happen more quickly, and then jumps to a vegetarian pattern to see how that goes, and so on.
For example: the proud statement “I’m a clean eater” suggests that if you’re not doing the same, you eat ‘dirty’ food.
For example: you go to a restaurant and the menu options don’t fit your chosen pattern. You can make a scene, or you abandon your pattern and eat whatever takes your fancy – sometimes permanently.
For example: eating meat and vegies at each meal for five days, and then ‘treat’ yourself to donuts on the sixth day.
For example: eating desserts that only contain ‘natural’ ingredients. They’re still desserts, which by nature are sweet, and while one serve might be OK, six are probably not.
For example: “Oh, Paleo, that’s the caveman diet where you just eat meat, right?”
For example: the Lemon Detox Diet. Enough said.
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