You’ve seen the posts or Pinterest pins before. The FDOE (full day of eating) from weight loss specialists, food bloggers, celebrities, etc. It’s where people share exactly what they ate throughout the day. Either to lose weight or to stay fit.
Either way, these types of posts are actually destructive to our own health.
Why is that?
Because pictures can be deceiving. We’re not seeing the whole picture of their day. It can be really triggering for someone who’s trying to recover from an eating disorder or disordered eating.
How “what I eat in a day” is destructive to our health
Pictures can be deceiving
You don’t know how much was rice or veggies or meat was loaded into that bowl. Maybe the bowl is really shallow, or maybe it’s really deep. Sure, someone can tell you how much (measurements) they had of something, but did they eat all of it? Did they eat half of it?
It’s also a snapshot in time. And people can forget.
If someone is showing you what they ate in one day, they could have forgotten to take a picture of those two grapes they grabbed out of the fridge. Or they could have missed a photo of that one date they ate from the pantry.
Either way, these photos are just a small snapshot of what someone supposedly ate during the day.
Comparing your food journey to theirs can be destructive to your health because comparison isn’t healthy in the first place. But second, you’re not getting the full picture.
You’re not getting the full picture
FDOE posts are centered around food. They don’t usually take into account what someone did during the day exercise or non exercise wise.
For example, if I would have done a FDOE post the other week, one day you would have seen me eat a lot. I just couldn’t seem to get satisfied and was continually hungry. The next day? I was back to my typical eating schedule. What you didn’t see was that I had a really intense workout on the day I was really hungry and the next day was yoga.
Plus, what’s “intense” for me could be an easy workout day for someone else. The point is, everyone’s body is totally different. And expecting someone to view these posts as just the snapshot in time and take it for their word is really destructive to how you start to view food and your body.
Again, it comes back to the comparison. Because you could look at what I ate and say, wow, I eat so much more or less than her. She seems fit, maybe I should try eating what she eats.
And there, that’s the biggest caveat that we notice with a lot of these posts: “she seems fit, I should follow what she does.” What it may look like on the outside from pictures and videos is also not giving us the person’s full mental state.
Someone could look completely healthy from the outside, but be miserable on the inside. We just don’t know, because we’re not seeing the full picture.
FDOE can be triggering to someone recovering
Whether someone is recovering from an eating disorder or disordered eating, these types of posts can be very destructive to their recovery.
A lot of it comes back to the comparison factor. Comparing your journey to someone else’s as you work on recovery is going to be really hard to make full recovery happen.
I completely understand that those who are in recovery share these FDOE posts as a way to help others who are in the same situation, but it can be hard for the two main points above.
When I started my intuitive eating journey, I had to make a more conscious effort to not pay attention to these types of posts. Because I found them to be really triggering in making me want to go back to Weight Watchers or dieting. I would think that I was wrong for eating a certain amount of food different from what the skinny celebrities or weight loss gurus out there were eating.
The “what I eat in a day” posts can have an effect on your mental state that can have you wondering if you’re doing it right. Why you’re not losing weight or don’t look like X, Y or Z person you see on the internet when you’re following “exactly” what they’re eating.
So when these posts tend to overtake the internet, how do you look beyond them to have a healthy relationship with food and body?
Be willing to try something new
Let’s get really real here. If obsessing over what other people ate, following their eating style and body checking yourself and comparing your journey to a celebrity’s was working, you’d be to where you want to be right now.
Being willing to try something new, like intuitive eating, can lead you to trusting your own body and the decisions you make around food and feel less crazy around it. It allows you to begin to look in the mirror and actually like what you see.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 5+ years of practicing intuitive eating it’s that when I took the time to learn and trust what my body needed, I was able to create healthy habits that made me feel confident: in food and my body.
When you allow yourself to just give intuitive eating a shot and start to listen to your body’s needs, you’ll find that your body will begin asking for what it needs to be at its best and happiest. So that you don’t have to view someone else’s day of eating and wonder if you’re doing it right. You’ll be listening to exactly what YOUR body needs for YOUR health and happiness.
This happiness will make you shine from the inside out.
Be open to start relying on how you feel around food vs. looking at someone’s photos of food
Many of the “what I eat in a day” photos are centered around how much or how many calories someone ate. You’ll likely see rough measurements or calories or points attached to those foods. This way of viewing food simply makes food a number and not something you truly enjoy. It also puts a lot of pressure on you to eat perfectly to a certain amount of calories or points.
Being willing to try something different (like intuitive eating) will give you the opportunity you need to start listening to your body so that you can start to trust how you feel around food, rather than relying on following what someone else ate. This trust will get you to feeling more confident around food.
However, you need to give your body some time to get used to this new way of living. So don’t get discouraged if you feel like intuitive eating isn’t working right away.
But the good news is you can absolutely get to this place of food freedom and trusting what your body needs!
Explore what it would feel like to feel neutral around food
Viewing everyone and their mother’s “what I eat in a day” posts can have you feeling really unsure of your own eating habits. It can have you feeling like you can’t trust your own body and you need a specific plan (of someone else’s) to follow and make the right choices. But all of these diets and plans and photos make you believe you can’t trust your body and that certain foods are good or bad for you.
This belief or feeling is likely why you feel anxious, guilty or crazy around food. And why you think about food 24/7 and why certain foods feel “good” or “bad” to you too. Especially when someone who is seemingly fit is posting “exactly” what they eat in a day.
I KNOW without a doubt that if you’re struggling with guilt and anxiety around food, have an all or nothing mentality or feeling lost on how to eat healthy, then being willing to try intuitive eating is going to be the key to learning how to make food a neutral resource. So that you can look at food and eat it based on what your body is craving or in need of rather than seeing it as good or bad. Or rather than looking at someone else’s food photos to determine your health.
Releasing that guilt and comparison will actually help set you on the path to achieving confidence in your food choices and in your body.
Three more steps to creating your own improved healthy habits around food without watching what other people eat
There are actually three more really important steps to creating healthy habits for yourself that don’t involve dieting or tracking or watching what someone else ate in a day to feel a sense of healthy.
Download this free guide that will help you to stop feeling crazy around food and your body so that you can make healthy choices for yourself. So that you can slide into that pair of “someday” jeans and feel sexy as hell or feel less guilty and crazy around food.