Spoon University articles, like all of us, go through phases. There was the “50 Things to Eat in *insert city here* Before You Die” phase, the “Unofficial Ranking” phase and the “Things You Need to Stop Doing” phase #neverforget.
But Spoon is not a little kid anymore. Recently, it has entered into a new stage in its life that reflects our generation’s interest in trying new things. It is a phase that we are all too familiar with: the experimental phase. This stage has been characterized by contributors trying out short-term diets and lifestyle changes and then writing about their experiences.
Commonly known as the “What Happened When I Tried This” phase, it has encompassed everything from common clean eating and veganism to the extreme eating habits of Chad from The Bachelorette and Tom Brady and Giselle.
It’s clear that Spoon University readers, including myself, enjoy reading this style of article; it seems like everyday I see a new one trending. The intriguing article headlines pull readers into journal-like accounts of what happened to writers when they experimented with changing their normal routines.
I believe the appeal of this style of article lies in the personal tone, as readers enjoy hearing directly from writers in the first person. Additionally, the topics foster curiosity in the reader and keep them engaged and entertained while reading.
The positive outcome of this trend is that the articles are often very informative for readers considering certain diets. They can provide first-hand knowledge about how the diets have actually affected people and helpful advice on how to be successful. And from a contributor’s perspective, writing this style of article seems like a fun opportunity to try a crazy diet without the long-term commitment. (Shout out to all the brave, adventurous writers who compromise their routine and their comfort zone to help inform us about the effects of fad diets #rockon).
When I first started to perceive this growing trend, I was eager try something out so that I could write about it. However, as I scrolled through the existing articles for inspiration, I found myself hesitating to commit to anything. Each time I had an idea, I quickly shot it down, realizing that I didn’t want to make any abrupt diet changes that could affect other areas of the day-to-day life.
I work each day to eat and live in a balanced way because I have observed how imbalance can affect my school, work, and personal lives. Crashing after a meal, feeling too full or too hungry, or worrying about poor eating decisions throws me off my game when it comes to my commitments and responsibilities.
Eating well and regularly gives me more control over my mental health and focus and sets me up to be more successful in class and at work. And after doing some research, I learned that this is because “food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance” and the best way to maintain focus (and blood sugar levels) is to eat frequently — the exact opposite eating routine promoted by fad diets.
I decided I did not want to jump on the experiential diet article trend because I did not want to compromise my priorities and my body’s balance. But, it’s important to note that everyone is different. Just because I think a diet might negatively affect me does not mean it will negatively affect you.
Therefore, by the same token, just because something worked really well for a writer does not mean it will work in exactly the same, successful way for a reader. In fact, most of the experiential articles out there end with the writer admitting that they will not continue with their fad diet. They often share that their change was either too extreme and restricting or not extreme enough to have any effects.
This article trend is not all good or all bad. I would just like to inform readers that they are reading very personalized accounts of diet experiences. Experimenting with new diets and habits is a necessary way to figure out what works and doesn’t work for you.
But, in order to do so in a healthy way, it’s important to guide your diet based on your own needs and lifestyle rather than those of others. Also, keep in mind the huge benefits of a balanced diet, notably disease prevention and mental health improvement.
So, will I be trying the Halo Top ice cream diet? Probably not. But will I read an article about it? Absolutely.
It’s so interesting to learn about how such strict diets affect others physically and mentally. But remember, these articles serve as a reminder that diet choices don’t only affect whether or not you feel hungry; they can have repercussions when it comes to sleeping, focusing, and staying positive. And these repercussions vary in degree from person to person, so as you read these new, well-written articles, take the information with a grain of salt, remembering that what works for one person may not work in the same way, or at all, for someone else.