Not all foods are created equal. When we add negative words to food like ‘junk, bad, unhealthy’ to try to steer clear of them, it can have the opposite effect.
Not only that, when we eat those so called ‘bad foods’ it can trigger a shame spiral, our judgement on ourselves can lead to feelings of hopelessness and giving up- making it much harder to have a healthy relationship with food. The old ‘Dammit, I’ve had one biscuit and now i feel bad- might as well have the rest of the packet I’m never going to have self control anyway’ is a common behaviour. We can even find ourselves judging others for their food choices at times.
We are all born natural intuitive eaters. Babies cry, they eat, and then stop eating until they’re hungry again. Kids innately balance out their food intake from week to week, eating when they’re hungry and stopping once they feel full. Some days they may eat a ton of food, and other days they may eat barely anything. As we grow older and rules and restrictions are set around food, we lose our inner intuitive eater. We learn to finish everything on our plate. We learn that dessert is a reward, or can be taken away if we misbehave. We are told that certain foods are good for us and others are bad – causing us to feel good about ourselves when we eat certain foods and guilty when we eat others. We need to stop the shame cycle and listen to our bodies- we require different foods at different times for different reasons!
We need to appreciate a food nutritional value over a moral value.
So while it’s important to eat lots of vegetables, you don’t really have to eat the avocado chocolate mousse (unless you prefer it). Enjoy the real deal. You didn’t lose weight from eating the occasional salad, and you’re not going to put on weight from eating the occasional desert. Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures- Enjoy it, listen to your body, enjoy having a healthy relationship with yourself and not using food to set your moral compass.