In order to lose weight, the typical dieter’s mindset is to give up sweets, chocolate, crisps, cake, ice-cream, and white bread.
In other words, all nutrient-less or “bad” foods.
But here’s the thing, we don’t. We can still eat some cake and reach our goals. We simply eat some of the cake some of the time instead of all of the cake all of the time.
And here’s the other thing, there is no such thing as “bad” or “good” food either for that matter. Our food choices do not hold any moral values. We either make choices that are conducive towards our goals or we don’t.
Bearing in mind that it is ok to make food choices some of the time that are not based purely on our fat loss goals. We can and should make some food choices because we enjoy the taste, the texture, how it makes us feel, and because it gives us great pleasure.
For example, chocolate cake is neither good nor bad. Sure, if we ate nothing but cake then this would be unhealthy, but the cake should be considered in a holistic way as part of our diet overall.
On the other hand, if we ate nothing but green vegetables then our diet would be lacking essential macronutrients, such as protein and fats, and this would be equally as unhealthy as eating all the cake, even though vegetables are inherently considered “good”.
We need to look at our eating behaviours on a whole instead of taking our food choices out of context and labelling them as “good” or “bad”.
Why so bad to say bad?
If we eat “bad” foods then we are instilling a belief that we did something wrong or immoral. The use of our language may seem trivial but it can be problematic if it results in feelings of guilt over our food choices. Or indeed, the polar opposite and experience feeling of self-righteousness because you ate "good" food.
We can feel guilty if we eat too much “bad” food, or alternatively we can feel a sense of superiority if we have eaten “good” food. This style of black or white thinking inevitably leads to emotional distress as feelings of guilt set in. Or worse still, you can experience shame because you have led yourself to believe that you have strayed from your dietary goals.
Using phrases such as “I’ve been so bad” can imply a sense of being a bad person and a sense of shame, which can lead to diminished self-worth and poor mental well-being.
Down with that sort of thing!
And for the record, NO Susan, you are not a better person than me because you ate lettuce.
Allow yourself treats or fun foods about 10-20% (or some) of the time, without the moral label, regardless of their nutritional value, and regardless of whether you have a fat loss, health, or sports performance goal, and watch the mental struggle disappear.
Live your life.
Don't endure it.
Eat some cake.
Or a big sloppy juicy burger.
Thanks for reading,
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