We have well and truly become a world obsessed with nutrition, eating right, and calorie counting. And I have to say, although I'm usually not one to jump on the latest trends, I have definitely been swayed by a load of Instagram influencers into eating various meals made up of - with slight variations - pretty much the same ingredients: avocado, sweet potatoes, kale, brown rice, spinach, salmon, and asparagus.
I guess, I quite like the idea of appearing to be the picture of health and fitness, and all those Instagram fitness bloggers with their washboard abs and slender physiques are definitely to blame. Although it's by no means a bad thing that I have started to dedicate more of my time to ensuring I maintain a healthy diet, I do realize that it's very easy to overdo it in the name of health.
And it's also very easy to get swept up in all the many food-related myths that exist out there, and insist on, say, not eating dinner anytime after 6 pm. But a lot of time, when we adhere to these myths, we're restricting ourselves for no good reason.
Well, luckily there are some people out there who are fighting the good fight and dispelling a bunch of different food myths. And what better example is there than fitness chef, Graeme Tomlinson (pictured above)? Using his various social media pages, the personal coach and nutrition consultant uses scientific facts to dismiss certain widely-held beliefs about food.
And here are some of his finest examples:
1. "A calorie is not a calorie"
"A calorie is not a calorie" is the idea that the source of your daily calories is irrelevant, it's just about consuming the right amount of calories. People who live by this theory believe that if you eat half an avocado or a whole tub of smarties, they will have exactly the same effect on your weight.
However, you have to take into account that different foods may have the same amount of calories but some, as opposed to others, cause energy (calories) to be lost as heat and some as opposed to others control your hunger more, making it less likely for you to overindulge.
2. "Protein snack" vs. Protein Meal
Eating a whole protein-based meal as opposed to 100g of almonds, and you'll be consuming fewer calories yet more than double the amount of protein.
3. "Healthy" vs. Forgotten
Who needs flavored vitamin water when, for fewer calories, you can eat a sizable portion of strawberries, a kiwi and all the water you want.
4. "Eating carbs after 6 pm makes you fat"
How sad would it be if this was an actual fact? I'm never home by 6 pm let alone have a meal prepared and ready to eat.
5. Emotional overeating
You can save a huge amount of calories by simply not giving into your "need" to use food to comfort yourself when you're feeling under the weather.
6. "But I snack on fruit"
Because dried banana chips are made from fruit, many people assume they must be healthy. But although they may have some essential nutrients, they are packed with a lot of sugar and saturated fat. You're best stinking to the real thing.
7. "Good snack" vs. "Bad day"
That is not to say, that a Big Mac, a Kit Kat, and four whole donuts is on a par with dried mango and almonds, but you should be aware that even when you are consuming "good" foods, you shouldn't overdo it on the calorie front.
8. "Skinny coffee" vs. Real coffee
Skinny coffee club's miracle weight loss drink is a scam, basically...
9. One meal vs. two days of eating
One very calorific meal can equate to two whole days worth of calories if you're not careful.
10. "Superfood" vs. Just food
Not such a "super" food now...
11. "Sugar causes obesity"
Yeah, it's not just sugar in "sweet foods" that make you put on weight, although it can certainly help.
12. "Being unhealthy" vs. Being ridiculous
Contrary to what many people still think, fruit juice has a lot of sugar and is therefore not a good alternative to water.
13. What we think causes obesity vs. What actually causes obesity
It's not junk food that can make you put on weight, too much of any food can lead to obesity.
14. Idolized vs. Demonized
Healthy food consumption is not always about calories. If we always thought about food in terms of their calories, then Nutella on white toast would seem like a slightly healthier alternative to avocado on wheat toast.
15. Fashion vs. Frown
Despite what you may have seen on Instagram, food really isn't a fashion statement.
It's very important that we remember why we're eating what we're eating - to maintain a healthy balanced diet and not to keep up with a popular food trend. Another good lesson to take from these Instagram posts is that everything - including so-called "good" foods - should be eaten in moderation.