3 Reasons to Stop Labeling Food as “Good” or “Bad”

by | Sep 20, 2020 | 13 comments

3 Reasons to Stop Labeling Food as “Good” or “Bad”

Could the way you view what you eat be stalling your progress?

We are excited to share this special guest post from Rebecca the Dietitian! We recognize how much the way you fuel your body influences your exercise results, and are excited to be able to bring you Rebecca’s sound eating advice to help you optimize your health, enjoy eating and get the most out of your workouts. We hope you will check out her post below and look forward to learning more from her. You can learn more about Rebecca, her philosophy and her services on her website, RebeccatheDietitian.com.

 

Hi! I’m Rebecca, a registered dietitian, and I help women learn to balance their hormones to achieve their best weight while enjoying delicious food.  My own struggles with weight loss and dieting have inspired me to help my fellow females learn the truths and misconceptions about cravings, self-care, food, and how to optimize hormone levels so that they can lose weight for good while living their best lives.  

 

Have you ever found yourself saying something like, “I ate something bad?”

 

Many women come to me with struggles around overeating and/or sporadic binge eating episodes. They tell me that they eat what they consider to be really healthy for a period of time and then all of a sudden, they have an out-of-control overeating experience.

 

When we talk it out, it turns out that even though these women may enjoy their nourishing choices, they classify the healthier foods as “good” and everything else as “bad.”

 

If you can relate to this, you may also feel like you are “being good” when you’re on track but you’re “being bad” during the binge episodes.

 

Here are three reasons you may want to stop labeling your food choices as “good” or “bad”:

 

1)    Feeling like you have to be “good” all the time may lead to binges.

Sometimes we may put pressure on ourselves to be perfect, and there really is no “perfect” diet. Sure, there are foods that nourish our bodies and help us feel energetic and amazing. But other foods and beverages may offer us emotional happiness and fun. The key is to find a balance that works for you to honor your body and optimize your health while allowing for guilt-free indulgences.

 

2)   Not being able to be “good” all the time may lead to a poor self image or negative self talk.

When you are tired from all of the other “being good” stuff in life like working hard and taking care of others, this mindset sets you up to crave a release (often in the form of a binge on “bad” foods).  We feel like we “deserve” to watch TV while mindlessly polishing off a pint of ice cream or a bag of chips at the end of a tough day.  And this might be fine if we didn’t end up feeling sick and guilty afterwards, potentially berating ourselves with a barrage of insults for “being bad” (I used to get so mad at myself for being “such a pig” and tell myself that I would “never be able to lose weight”).  It’s also a problem if the overeating stops you from achieving your healthy, happy weight. This habit of negative self-talk and judgement can make us feel less confident and may end up causing us to feel hopeless, leading to a vicious cycle of trying to punish ourselves and “be good” and then feeling sad and frustrated, temped to give up when we end up “being bad”.

 

3)   Too much of a good thing can still be too much.

There is so much confusing information about diet and weight loss out there. It can feel very overwhelming. And sometimes it could be the wrong “good” plan that isn’t helping you succeed. For example, the recent popularity of the keto diet has a lot of people believing that the more fat you eat, the better. But the truth is, too much fat could be unhealthy and will most likely slow your weight loss in the long run. Even healthy fats need to be balanced because they are very high calorie compared with other amazing weight loss promoting foods like whole grains and fruits and veggies. Again, the key is to find balance of foods (that you love) that fit into a fun and nourishing routine that helps you be happy and feel amazing.

 

When you count on will power to “be good” all the time, eventually your brain will probably eventually rebel.  Will power only gets you so far when it comes to achieving your goals.  I recommend that you try to find ways to make healthier versions of your favorite treats so that you can enjoy them on-the-regular and feel happy and satisfied with your food plan.  I also recommend that you mindfully incorporate indulgent foods so that you can fully enjoy them with no guilt.  This way, you won’t need will power because you enjoy all foods without judgments.

 

The good news:

As you start shifting your mindset, finding healthier versions of foods that you love, and allowing for guilt-free indulgences, binge eating episodes often disappear. The food loses its power and happy, healthy weight loss is possible (while living your best life).

 

So, next time you find yourself placing “good” and “bad” judgements on yourself or your food, pause and reconsider.  Does a food choice really mean that you’re good or bad?  Can you truly enjoy an indulgence if you’re judging yourself for eating it?  I hope that you are able to start shifting your mindset to recognize that you are amazing no matter what you choose to eat.

 

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13 Comments

  1. Catharine

    Thank you so much for joining this team. Having sound nutritional advice and support is something I have been searching for!

    Reply
  2. Tina Parish

    Thank you so much for the inspiration to move forward in health. I truly enjoyed it and will remember your advice as I move forward with my path to my ideal weight and to a healthy body.

    Reply
    • REBECCA HENSON

      I’m so glad that this will be helpful with your health journey! Please reach out to us if you have any questions or need support with anything.
      – Rebecca

      Reply
  3. Donna Frederick

    Thank you for your sound advice! I lost 53lbs over 13 years ago and have kept it off by adopting the mindset shift you described! When it comes to eating, it’s really the mind that we’re working on and not so much our stomachs! Love, love Jessica’s workouts and now this great nutritional advice too! Thank you again Rebecca and Jessica!

    Reply
    • REBECCA HENSON

      Wow Donna! What an amazing accomplishment. We are so happy that you are excited about nutrition advice being added to Jessica’s amazing workouts!
      – Rebecca

      Reply
  4. Leah Price

    Hello and welcome, Rebecca. Great advice. After many years of struggling with obesity, I was able to get to a healthy weight and have maintained it for more than a decade. (I do slip and gain some back occasionally, but I tell myself I lost the pounds before and can do it again. Then I get back on my plan.)

    For me, allowing myself to (moderately!) indulge in my favorite foods has made all the difference. I also modify recipes to swap out healthier ingredients when I can, stock my fridge with healthy snack options, and am pretty strict with portion control. I learned over time that I don’t have to have huge amounts of a food to be satisfied, and knowing that I can have the same food the next day is freeing.

    I’m looking forward to your future posts!

    Reply
    • REBECCA HENSON

      Hi Leah! That is some great advice right there- enjoying your favorite foods in moderation and “healthifying” recipes and snacks. Congratulations on your amazing weight loss success. Please let us know if you have any questions that we can help you with.
      -Rebecca

      Reply
  5. Karen Tannenbaum

    I love your philosophy. When I started practicing allowing myself to eat whatever I wanted with mindfulness, my tendency to binge on forbidden foods fell to the wayside. I now enjoy every morsel of my food and tend to be an 80/20 eater…80% healthy and the other 20% free choice with portion size in mind. It is a very portable eating plan.

    Reply
    • REBECCA HENSON

      Yay Karen! Kicking that tendency to binge by allowing yourself to mindfully enjoy your favorite foods with the 80/20 approach is fantastic! Thank you for your comment and please let us know if we can support you in any way.
      -Rebecca

      Reply
  6. Debra Kneller

    This really resonates with me after 30 years of yo yo dieting.

    Reply
    • REBECCA HENSON

      Hi Debra! I’m so glad that this resonates with you. I struggled with yo yo dieting for years and it’s certainly a journey to learn to revise my inner dialog around food. Please let us know if you have any questions we can answer or if we can support you in any way!
      -Rebecca

      Reply
  7. Noela Pennington

    Hi Rebecca – Noela from Australia here – welcome! I look forward to reading your posts into the future.
    You provide great sound advice here; and like many, I too would self talk about how bad I was having that “bad” snack etc. Again, by changing my mindset, overhauling my entire eating habits to consist of fruit/veg/legumes/grains, and of course working out with Jessica 6 days a week for at least 30ms – I now have the skills to manage my weight and food intake. I’m 54, I’ve lost 26kgs – now weigh 60kg and have kept it off now for 3+ years.
    My tip for eating the “bad” stuff?…I regularly make baked goods- mainly for my husband 🙂 (muffins/slices/brownies/biscuits), but I ALWAYS swap out the “bad” ingredients for the much healthier versions(olive oil, honey, oats, cacao etc). I portion them up and place them in the freezer…normally my snacks are cut up veges, BUT IF I feel like a sweet treat, I just grab a healthy, portion-controlled alternative from my own freezer…it satisfies that ‘sweet’ twinge, but I know its healthy, cause I made it! :).

    Again welcome! all the best.
    Noela

    Reply
    • REBECCA HENSON

      Hi Noela from Australia! Thank you for your comment and I look forward to seeing you on here as well! Congratulations on your healthy journey and amazing weight loss success. Your plan sounds great! I couldn’t get by without my healthy baked goods- we have to enjoy life, right?

      Please let us know if you come up with any questions that we can answer for you or if we can support you in any way!
      -Rebecca

      Reply

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