Recently, Gwyneth Paltrow has faced backlash from health experts and members of the public after sharing the details of her daily “wellness routine.” Paltrow’s routine, which she discussed on the podcast “The Art of Being Well,” involves coffee in the morning, bone broth for lunch, and a vegetable-heavy paleo dinner.
Many people have criticized Paltrow’s diet for being restrictive and lacking the nutrients, calories, and quantities of food necessary for optimal health. They’ve also argued that Paltrow’s restrictive eating habits could promote disordered eating among fans and others who may be vulnerable to her celebrity influence.
Facing criticism, Paltrow later clarified her comments by explaining that she eats a much broader range of foods than just bone broth and vegetables and that the diet she described is tailored to fit her own health needs, rather than provide advice for anyone else. The specific conversation, she explained, was between her and her doctor, podcast host Will Cole, who holds a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and other qualifications.
Celebrities have been sharing their self-prescribed wellness routines and custom nutrition tips for a long time, and it may be tempting for people to look to these influencers for lifestyle advice. However, in general, it isn’t helpful or healthy to compare your body size, nutrition needs, or self-care routines to others. Your ideal health and nutrition practices will be unique to you and can be the result of many factors, including your tastes, energy needs, physical health requirements, and goals for personal well-being.
According to statistics compiled by Verywell Health, research indicates a rise in the prevalence of eating disorders in recent years, particularly during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In one large international review study, eating disorder prevalence rates increased from 3.5% for the study period 2000-2006 to 7.8% for the period 2013-2018.
These statistics are a reminder that many people around the world are struggling to find a healthy and fulfilling relationship with food. And while many celebrities and influencers seem to tout the benefits of following strict eating habits, creating a positive relationship with food frequently requires just the opposite.
Here are some potential benefits of embracing balance, variety, and moderation when it comes to eating well and caring for your well-being:
- By eating a balanced and varied diet that meets your nutritional needs, you can find numerous ways to enjoy food and allow it to enrich your life. Enjoyment of food can be a powerful and meaningful determinant of your health.
- By rejecting the idea of “good” and “bad” foods, you can begin to release any judgment you might have toward your day-to-day eating habits. This can help you make food choices that support your holistic wellness, including your mental, emotional, and physical health.
- Embracing balance and variety is generally a more sustainable approach to nutrition than dieting, which can lead to cycles of binge eating, intense guilt or shame, and further unhealthy restriction.
Additionally, a movement known as Health at Every Size is helping to promote a weight-inclusive approach to health and well-being. The Health at Every Size movement asserts that people of all body types deserve to experience optimal health and have access to effective care. This approach to wellness can be an antidote to the extreme eating patterns described by Gwyneth Paltrow because:
- It offers a personalized approach to well-being rather than a one-size-fits-all model.
- It can help people focus on health promotion and self-care over restriction and deprivation.
- It encourages people to find self-acceptance and avoid comparing themselves to others.
At Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, we help empower women and adolescent girls who have eating disorders and other behavioral health concerns to create extraordinary opportunities for themselves. If you may be struggling with symptoms of an eating disorder, we encourage you to seek qualified care so that you can rediscover joy and get on the path to well-being that’s right for you.