I hear a lot of women say things like,
“Oh, I shouldn’t eat that. It’s bad for me.”
And I get it, you want to make healthy choices and eat what’s going to help you lose weight or feel your best.
But here’s the thing…
…labeling a food as good or bad misses the bigger picture and often leads us to label ourselves as good or bad when we eat those foods.
It leaves you creating a mental list of what to eat or what not to eat without factoring in the grey areas or what actually works in your life to create sustainable healthy habits.
Hmm…sounds awfully like a lot of those diet programs out there (that don’t work!)
So the questions to really be asking are:
“How will this food make me feel?”
“Will this food help me reach my goals?”
I don’t believe you have to restrict certain foods to be your best.
Actually, moderately having not-so-healthy foods you enjoy (without going overboard) can keep you on track and sane.
When we label foods as “bad” or “off limits” it makes us want it more and can easily lead to overeating that food because we vow to ourselves,
“This is the last time I’m eating this so I’m going to eat every last drop!”
So instead of avoiding something because it’s “bad” or “unhealthy” or “sugary” or whatever you want to call it…
…what I’ve found works better is to be mindful about when you have it and how much you have.
I know when I eat too much sugar I get lazy and my midsection starts to balloon up.
I try to stay away from foods that I know will trigger overeating or binge eating because I know they do not make me feel good and they do not help me reach my goals.
For instance, if I have Ben & Jerry’s in the house I know I’ll binge eat the whole tub and then end up feeling guilty, miserable, stuffed, and tired afterwards.
And in the past, I would have labeled myself as “bad” for having eaten such a “bad food” and then went on to eat more “bad” food since I would feel so crummy about myself.
So, if I do decide to indulge in some New York Super Fudge (which I absolutely do every now and then as a special treat) I only buy it when I can share it with someone else so I eat a smaller portion.
I don’t label it as “bad”.
I don’t tell myself I can never have it again.
Instead, I am mindful about when I have it and how much I can have so that I don’t feel like a miserable lump afterwards.
By avoiding making ice cream “off limits” or labeling it as “bad” I can enjoy it more and I get on track with clean eating afterwards more easily.
It’s important to adopt the mindset that foods aren’t inherently good or bad.
It’s ok to enjoy foods you love in moderation.
Sometimes a little splurge helps you stay on track the rest of the time.