All of us have been guilty of categorizing foods as either “good” or “bad.” It’s a habit that has been instilled in all of us by many influences. Even though foods are sometimes marketed as “junk food” or “bad,” here’s why you should stop attaching those labels and start looking at food in a new light!
Labels associated with guilt
One of the biggest conflicts with labeling a food as “good” or “bad” is the side effect of guilt that comes with eating a certain food. Even if you’ve developed a healthy eating routine, categorizing a food as “bad” can lead to feeling guilting if you do indulge in having a dessert. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a sweet treat every now and then. When there is an occasion that warrants a treat, the last thing we want to feel is guilty. Even labeling foods as “good” can lead to guilt when you find it hard to eat “clean” or “good” foods all the time. Life throws us many curve balls, and not every day is it possible to follow a meal plan perfectly. Adding these emotional labels to what we eat creates an unbalanced relationship with food, and oftentimes makes creating healthy habits harder in the long run.
Promoting avoidance rather than adherence
Guilt can lead to a snowball effect when trying to create new habits or rituals in our lives. Trying to avoid foods because they are “bad” for us in theory is meant to promote eating healthy, but it usually leads to strict rules that are harder to adhere to. The core of trying to have healthy lifestyle habits or sticking with a meal plan is trying to find ways to stay on track rather than to completely avoid certain foods. The best way to implement healthy foods is to allow yourself flexibility to enjoy the less nutrient-dense options every once in awhile. Avoiding certain foods offers zero flexibility, and doesn’t consider life events, stress, crazy schedules, etc. It’s better to focus on what you can have or trying to find ways to have the best of both worlds. No you don’t need to have chocolate every single night of the week, but if having a piece of chocolate every so often helps you keep on track, then feed that sweet tooth! There are the foods that feed our souls and our bodies and we need both to help stay on track. Labeling food as “good” or “bad” just adds extra rules to our lives that already have too many restrictions. Finding ways to fit in balance is the best way to stay on track in the long run!
Language and how we label foods has a huge impact on how we feel about eating them. Even though some foods are better suited for special occasions, that doesn’t mean that they are inherently bad for us. Moderation is always key when sticking with healthy habits, and there’s no need to create unnecessary guilt about what you eat. Try changing up your language this week and see how your relationship with food begins to shift!