Ready to ditch the diet labels? Our very own Hip List-er, nutritionist Elly Ling, shares why simply eating intuitively is the way to go.

Perhaps you are vegan, but you occasionally have a little cow’s cheese. Or perhaps you are a vegetarian who enjoys chicken now and then. Is that ok or not ok? Do others have the right to judge you, or would you even judge and criticise yourself? If you are, perhaps it’s time to ditch the diet label and free yourself and others from unnecessary guilt and pressure. 

Labelling one’s diet and lifestyle has become a rising trend as awareness and education of the benefits of nutrition continue to grow. There is no doubt that leading healthier lifestyles is a positive movement for society. However, we often feel that once we have identified with a certain kind of diet lifestyle, or let’s call it a diet box, we can’t move into another without a sense of weakness or failure. When it comes to what we eat, do we really need yet more identity standards to live up to?

On top of all the other (many!) complexities in life, our diet and food choices can be another layer of demands. For some, the mental and emotional anguish around what to eat or what not eat, can often be challenging enough. This is a complex topic, but let’s alleviate what we can. Let’s stop putting ourselves in boxes within boxes.

If we were to cover the multitude of scenarios our dietary lifestyle may encounter, a more accurate and applicable label would look like this; “Food that provides the energy and nutrients my body needs, which I am currently in the mood for, fits in with my health goals, aligns with my values and beliefs and is also what I have available to me based on my current location/money/time” 

Ultimately, there is no need to label ourselves based on how and what we choose to eat.  Diet labels may create confinement as well as opportunities for being on the wrong side of right. 

Let’s focus on food that nourish our bodies, fuel us with energy and make us feel great. A healthy balanced diet looks different from one person to another, there is no one size fits all. Let’s liberalise diet labels and be a society that simply eats what makes us feel our individual best!

words by Elly Ling
Nutritionist – The Hip List

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