Take another look at the title of this blog post, are foods good or bad? Many people that I talk to would say yes. Did you hear growing up that candy is bad so you can't eat it whenever you wanted? Did you hear that vegetables are good for you and you had to eat them even though you may be full from the rest of your meal? How do you feel about these foods now since your childhood and hearing these messages? Believe it or not, there are no good or bad foods. This is because foods don't have morality attached to it. Let me explain more down below.
Why Aren't Foods Good or Bad?
Long story short: food is just food! Food has no morality attached to it. So how else can food be described? It can be nutrient-dense, meaning a single serving has a large quantity of a variety of nutrients. For example, a serving of carrots and hummus is more nutrient-dense compared to a dinner roll with butter. The carrots and hummus contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals and is also full of protein, carbs, fats, and fiber. The dinner roll with butter has carbohydrates and fats, and maybe some micronutrients if the dinner roll is enriched with vitamins and minerals. Many people would say the carrots and hummus is the "good" choice while the dinner roll with butter is the "bad" choice. Neither one is good or bad, remember food as no morality attached. The carrots and hummus is more nutrient-dense compared to the dinner roll and butter, this is true. However, just because this is true does not mean the dinner roll with butter has no place in someone's diet.
I don't want you to confuse nutrient-dense as an alternative word for calling food good vs bad. You can certainly eat less nutrient-dense foods and that's ok! If you are confused or concerned about how to appropriately incorporate these foods, I would be happy to work with you (check out the link at the end of this blog).
Why Does This Distinction Matter?
Food is nourishment, it is cultural, it is significant. Do not let yourself skip meals because you had an extra piece of dessert or had a larger serving at lunch than you normally do. You still need and deserve to eat full, satisfying, and sustaining meals. If you are not properly nourished, then you will start to feel lethargic, unmotivated, cranky. Ever wonder why the term "hangry" exists? Because if you aren't fully nourished you can develop negative emotions.
It's diet culture that has made many of us believe that food has morality. The next time you go into the kitchen for a meal or snack, please pick something that will satisfy you emotionally as well as physically, and don't think that your food is "good or bad" for you: it is nourishing you which is the most important part.
The Bottom Line
Be kind to yourself and honor your hunger cues and cravings. Don't be afraid of that cookie because, remember, it has no morality attached to it meaning it is not a bad food. Sure, it isn't as nutrient-dense as an apple with peanut butter, but eating that instead of the cookie won't satisfy you and your craving the same way and then you may end up consuming more calories than you originally intended. My 80/20 mindset has you listen to your body instead of fighting it. I would love to help you unlearn what foods are good vs bad and have you listening to your body again.
If you are interested in working with me and learning how the 80/20 mindset can be used in your life, book your free 10-minute consultation here to learn more and I can answer your questions one-on-one!