Netflix and health motivation might seem like an oxymoron when spoken in the same sentence. But what if we tell you it can motivate you to finally start your fitness journey. Or know exactly what goes into your food before it reaches your plate. Or the reality of processed foods and sugars (which, despite umpteen attempts, we haven’t been able to take off our diet). So, stop what you are doing and read about (and be tempted to watch later) these health documentaries on Netflix. These will change the way you look at the food on your plate. Trust us!
1. From Fat to Finish Line (2015)
What is more motivational than watching a person’s success story to lose serious amounts of weight? Watching the journey of a dozen people to shed a hundred pounds each, together!
This 2015 documentary by Angela Lee, takes us through the journey of a dozen men and women who united to reach a common goal – losing insane weight. It only gets better as they commit to running a 200 mile relay race together.
If this doesn’t inspire you to finally take that first step towards your fitness journey, we don’t know what will!
2. What the Health (2017)
They call themselves ‘The Film that Health Organizations don’t want you to see’. The tag-line itself is sure to get enough eyebrows raised. The documentary goes on to reveal how chronic diseases can indeed be prevented by avoiding meat and processed foods. It uncovers secrets that health organizations, industry, pharmaceuticals and even governments are trying hard to keep from us.
It isn’t a surprise that this has been one of the most talked about health documentaries in recent times. And it won’t be a surprise either, if it makes you overhaul your food choices.
3. Food Choices (2016)
Michal Siewierski takes us through a three year journey to answer perhaps the most pertinent question of our times – what is the impact of our food choices? An absolute must watch, this film examines the impact that our food choices have – on ourselves, other species and even the planet. It beautifully tells us how all of this is interconnected.
Apart from featuring interviews of experts, it features amazing stories of people who have made small and significant changes in their food choices to see an incredible impact.
4. Hungry for Change (2012)
Don’t we feel that food can be addictive? But what we don’t know is how food industry, specially the weight loss industry is making us believe so!
Filmmakers James Colquhoun, Laurentine Ten Bosch and Carlo Ledesma reveal shocking strategies adopted by the diet industry to prevent people from losing and keeping off weight. The film makers put forth an interesting point that we stopped eating for sustenance a long time ago and that we now consume food like ‘products’.
The film hits you hard, to say the least and makes you rethink how you look at weight loss plans and diet.
5. Fed Up! (2014)
Well-made and highly relevant for many other nations, apart from America (which is its focus), this documentary is eye-opening through and through. Award winning filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig and journalist Katie Couric examine the underlying cause of the massive obesity epidemic and the significant role that food industry has in it.
Fed-Up draws comparison between the processed food industry to the tobacco industry – how food is designed to get people hooked to, with strategic planning and tons of research. You will actually end up rationalising this, as you watch this gripping film. It particularly talks about the impact junk food has on kids and will also help you know what you can do to combat obesity in children.
6. Forks Over Knives (2011)
This documentary has no qualms in portraying what it is – a film advocating veganism and this perhaps is its strength.
It digs deep and makes a seriously compelling argument that a plant based diet is your saviour from many degenerative diseases that we face today. We recommend this one purely because it relies on facts and research to prove its point.
We won’t be surprised if we find you looking for vegan alternatives after you watch this one.
7. Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead (2010)
It might be filled with fun and light-hearted moments, but doesn’t dilute the issue it is dealing with. Years and years of eating junk and all things ‘we aren’t supposed to’ takes a drastic toll on our bodies. Changing your diet, however, can dramatically alter your health. The proof to this, is brilliantly shown in the journey of Australian Joe Cross’s attempt to lose 100 pounds (he weighed more than 300!) after the doctors told him he was on the road to early death.
The film documents his struggles and the body’s ability to transform once we change our diet.
A sequel released in 2014 (Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2) traces Cross’s journey post the changes and gets experts to share their perspective as well.
It will certainly want to change your lifestyle as you realise the extent to which diet is important.
8. That Sugar Film (2014)
If desserts make you weak in the knees, this one is for you. The documentary follows Damon Gameau as he explores what the average amount of sugar we consume can do to our body. What makes it interesting is that the source of sugar isn’t the usual cola or candy, but hidden sources, which many of us conveniently consume, thinking as healthy.
The 60 day diet scrutiny is undertaken under medical supervision and you will be shocked (and ‘disturbed’ as its description on Netflix reads) by the end of the film.
9. The Magic Pill (2017)
Directed by Rob Tate, The Magic Pill, looks closely at the diet that we would definitely have tried at least once in our lifetime – the Ketogenic (popularly known as Keto) diet. The documentary examines if the high fat, low carb diet can indeed help prevent a number of health ailments. The film features interviews by doctors, scientists, chefs and farmers to dig deep into the impact that Keto diet can have on our health.
10. Vegucated (2011)
It is in your face, it is engaging, it is super entertaining. This guerrilla style film is an out and out vegan advocacy attempt as it follows three New Yorkers (who love their cheese and meat) attempt to go vegan for six weeks.
The documentary captures their journey, their social interactions and if they manage to resist temptations. But most importantly, it educates us about food and veganism like never before.
We are waiting for an India-specific health and food documentary though! Are you listening, Netflix?