When you’re on your wellness journey, it can be so fun to seek out nutrition advice by following a bunch of people on Instagram, reading all of the articles on all of these different sites, and staying up to date on the latest trends.
But with so much information, it can cause you to become obsessive, striving for perfection, or jumping from one thing to another — never finding a balanced lifestyle.
If this sounds like you, know that you’re absolutely not alone!
I created my Mindful Nutrition Method™ where I teach mindful eating to help people align with their unique wants and needs for a healthy lifestyle and give them the confidence to know what is best for them.
This is what guides you towards knowing what will best serve you and your needs and what information or practices are best to let go of because they’re not aligned with you.
When you’re able to look at nutrition information and advice through this lens and ask yourself — will this support my body, my lifestyle, and the vision I have for myself in the long-term — you’ll be able to go down a much more intentional, healthy, and long-lasting path.
5 Questions To Ask Yourself To See If You Should Listen To That Nutrition Advice
No matter what you’re seeing trending in the health, nutrition, and wellness space there are a few simple questions to ask yourself to streamline your actions of whether or not to buy a certain product or follow a specific trend or diet.
Here is what you need to keep in mind to see if this is really worth your time, energy, and resources.
1. What do You Want Wellness to Look like for Your Life?
The most important thing to consider on your wellness journey is your wellness vision, but it’s often overlooked.
Your wellness vision is what you want and desire your life to look like. It’s a detailed vision and set of overarching goals of how you would ideally design your life — from how you feel, think, act, show up daily. It outlines what you might do throughout a day, from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep.
On a deeper level it allows you to explore your wants, desires, and core needs without judgment, ego (or the shoulds to fit in/or belong), and without external pressure.
But more importantly, it includes why you want those things.
When you have a detailed wellness vision, it’s easier for you to filter nutrition and wellness information and only focus on the things that align with what you want to experience. You are better able to decipher which things may support you and which will not.
Once you have a wellness vision created, then you can ask yourself if the nutrition advice you’re hearing about aligns with it.
2. What is Your Intention for Wanting to Listen to That Advice?
With your wellness vision in mind, start by asking yourself what is your intention behind wanting to try that advice. This is often the most important.
Ask yourself, with full honesty, is this something I want to try? Why do I want to try this and what’s my motivation behind it?
Is it because it’s aligned with your wellness vision or is it because you’re being “influenced” by the touted benefits because a few people online look like they’re “thriving” on it?
I’m all about guinea pigging things to see what works and what doesn’t work — I did this for years in graduate school as a way to explore and discover certain foods that agreed with my body and optimized my health versus those that didn’t.
But, I tested the things that I truly thought would support my wellness vision, like giving up 3 cups of coffee a day and replacing it with herbal tea or reducing my stress by upping my meditation game.
The most important thing here is to ask yourself if this advice will support your wellness vision. If yes or you think so, then try it out. If not, there’s no need to test it.
3. Is it Coming From a Credible Source?
Many of the things you see online today are just social media trends and they don’t have any data to back up the claims or studies to show the long-term side effects.
Go to valuable resources that share evidence-based research and references to their articles or trusted resources like Nutrition Stripped, examine.com for supplements/trends, and one of our favorites Healthline.
Otherwise, seek out licensed professionals that may have blogs or websites with supportive free resources that can also help you find the information you’re looking for.
Also, go to the source! Who started this trend? What’s their background? What’s the research they provide? Do you intuitively trust this person or align with them?
Also, consider who you heard this advice or trend from.
With the growing influencer space, is this person paid to say this? Are they honestly and with integrity sharing with you that they are commissioned to work with that brand? Are they partnering with so many other supplement brands, for example, at the same time? How trustworthy are they?
4. Is it Something You Can Sustain for the Long-term?
The next question to ask yourself is whether or not you can see yourself practicing this advice for 12-months and beyond. I emphasize the long-game so much because it’s so important!
Remember health is a daily practice and it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
What it comes down to is figuring out if this trend is worth putting your resources, time, and energy into to support your long-term health. If it’s just focusing on your short-term health then you’re doing yourself a disservice by not thinking about the long-game as you deserve.
If it feels restrictive, too challenging, or not suitable for your lifestyle, you likely won’t be able to maintain it for the long-term.
5. Should This Advice be Guided by a Professional?
There is a lot of advice out there meant to educate you on options that are available, but not all of that advice is meant to be done on your own. Many of the trends and much of the advice out there is intended to be used under the guidance of a professional, like the registered dietitians here at Nutrition Stripped.
For example, a FODMAP diet is often used for a short period of time for people with severe digestive issues. However, many people try this on their own and don’t know how to use it safely, how to make sure it doesn’t feel restrictive, how to integrate back to a maintenance way of eating, and how to properly understand their digestive issues.
For some people with digestive issues, the FODMAP may not be the best approach.
It’s so important to consider if the advice you’re trying is something that’s manageable on your own, like trying new food, or if the advice is more complex and should be done with the support of a professional.
Putting This Into Practice
Next time you’re trying to decipher if the advice you just read or heard of is something worthwhile, bring up this list of questions and use them to guide your decision.
Remember, it’s more important to create a few strong habits and practices that support you for the long-term than it is to try a bunch of things that never truly stick.