It’s time to talk about this.

Unless you are a certified nutritionist, knowledgeable about health or genuinely concerned about a loved one’s habits, do not give your input on someone else’s diet.

Not only have we all been encouraged to put down the desserts at least once or twice, but what’s worse is that many of us have undoubtedly been given misinformed and unwanted advice about nutrition that have been misleading and potentially damaging. Even if you are simply just someone that enjoys spreading what you believe to be knowledge, please mind your own damn business.

It’s a fact that fatty, sugary, processed snacks can lead to obesity, diabetes and other chronic health issues. Due to how clear the correlation is, no one needs your rundown of data to confirm these facts, while they’re just trying to #TreatThemselves.

Everyone is allowed to enjoy perceived “unhealthy” foods in moderation. Actually, anyone is allowed to do whatever they want because it’s their own body. If someone wants to nurture their body properly and take up new dietary practices, it’s best to speak to an expert, rather than hear from nosey Becky who swears that one lifestyle choice is supposed to work for everyone. (Spoiler alert: everyone’s body is different and needs to be taken care of differently).

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I’ve been deterred from making healthy choices due to someone else’s alternative facts just as many times as I have been deterred from making unhealthy decisions that are just “common sense.” For example: “Do you know how much fat is in an avocado?” or “nuts have so many calories in them,” or even “there’s so much sugar in fruit.” Although the validity of those statements might be true, the tone in which these questions are constantly presented sounds as if it is the end of the world no matter what you eat.

There must be a balance in one’s diet to live a healthy lifestyle, because too much of anything cannot be good for you, but what the hell am I supposed to eat if someone is telling me to stray away from eating fruits, vegetable and plant based proteins?

Let me live my life. W’re all adults and can make our own decisions about how much of what we choose to consume.

This discouraging attitude can cause many people to develop eating disorders, or just simply live in this strange delusional sphere in which they convince themselves that unhealthy eating habits are in fact healthy and vice-versa. Take it from me, someone who was scared of carbs for a solid year based solely on being told by others that “carbs are sooooo bad for you.” I wasn’t even completely sure as to what a carb was or why people were telling me not to eat them. I was just terrified of anything that resembled bread. The constant berating of other people’s habits can lead to toxic mind poisoning, confusion, stress and even harmful dieting practices as a result.

Typically, the people who provide me with these “facts,” that I never even asked for in the first place, are nothing close to credible. Just because someone looks aesthetically fit, does not mean that they are perfectly healthy either. (Honestly, who truly is?) Nor does it mean that they should be doling out health advice.

There are many different aspects that affect health and wellbeing. Your one snarky comment/word of advice is not going to completely change someone else’s life. To establish your credibility, you should at least have some sort of degree or other qualification. Also, just because one thing is working for you does not mean it is going to work for me.

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Try to refrain from speaking about the negative effects of a certain food that you read about from a vegan blog while I’m biting into that exact food. I wish this was obvious, but I’ve been the victim of this way too many times. All you have to do is keep your mouth shut and let others enjoy what they please. In my experience, the doling out of unwanted advice in a condescending way is typically a sign of insecurity in which that person desperately wants to establish their superiority over another.

Life hack: unless someone else asks for your input, keep your beliefs to yourself. If they want to eat a burger, sit with your salad and let them eat a burger.

Jill Kazlow ([email protected]) is a sophomore intending to major in journalism.