Every day I see people talking about the “bad” food they ate and they are either punishing themselves for it, making excuses for it, or using it as an argument for the anti-diet. I’m not saying that I’m innocent here, but my mindset has definitely changed about “good” food and “bad” food, and I want to get one thing straight:
There is no such thing as “bad” food!
The second we start to call something bad, we give it all sorts of power that ends up working against us. If you’re trying to lose weight, odds are you already have a pretty rocky relationship with food. The last thing you need is to classify foods (most likely some of your favorite foods) with a label that will make you feel guilty every time you eat it.
Think about it: if you label something as bad, what happens mentally when you think about doing or eating that bad thing?
- You feel guilty
- That thing is off limits
- Classifying something as “off limits” starts the deprivation mindset
- A deprivation mindset starts a downhill spiral
- You feel shame for eating that “bad” food
- Shame and guilt have the potential to start a downhill spiral
- You feel negative about yourself because you gave in or you weren’t strong enough to resist the bad thing
The list can go on and on. Do you see how ridiculous this is? The worst part is that it all started because of a slice of pizza or a decadent brownie or enjoying an evening out with your friends. Do not let your fear of “bad” foods limit your life!
At the end of the day, ALL food is just calories. Calories are the energy source that fuels our body and all of its functions. Different foods give us different amounts of that energy. That’s it! Food in and of itself has no moral compass. Good and bad food does not exist.
Correction: if your food is rotting, molding, or curdling when it shouldn’t be, then it’s likely bad and should probably be thrown in the trash. 😄
Sure, there are healthier and less healthy options, but what is important is finding the proper balance of both. Eat salads, steamed veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats, but if you love pizza, then for the sake of all things happy in this world EAT A PIECE OF PIZZA. Don’t do it every day, but eat the pizza every once in a while. It’s not bad to eat pizza. It’s not “good” to only eat salads and live a life feeling deprived of your favorite foods.
So, what is the right thing to do?
Basically, I’m begging you to take the “good food/bad food label” out of your vocabulary and focus on the facts. Pizza has more calories than a bowl of steamed veggies. Obviously, we want to do what it takes for us to meet our health and wellness goals, therefore, ultimately we need more veggies and less pizza. Not NO pizza…just less pizza. Pizza is not bad. In my opinion, pizza is very, very good! 🍕We just need to keep it balanced.
I know strawberries have fewer calories and more vitamins than a cupcake. Does this mean the cupcake is bad? Of course not! Like pizza, in my world cupcakes are very, VERY good. They’re just something good for me to have every once and a while, whereas strawberries are something good for me to have each and every day.
My bottom line is this: there are no bad foods.
Say it with me!
There are no bad foods!
Now doesn’t that feel good? I thought so.
For me, one of the biggest things in healing my relationship with food was getting this concept down. I mean, sure, I claimed that I didn’t see any foods as “good” or “bad” and I certainly didn’t label them as such. But there were the foods I was willing to eat daily and foods that were reserved for “special occasions” or planned “treat meals.” Once I let go of that attitude, everything changed.