It always seems to amaze me how many times clients come in with the idea that there are “good” and “bad” foods. That someone, somewhere, be it your co-worker, mother-in-law or the internet tells you that you must eat this and that you have to avoid those foods. The old saying that “all foods fit” really does ring true.
What we, as Dietitians, are trying to teach people is more of a realistic approach to eating and also something that’s called Intuitive Eating. One aspect is to Make Peace with Food. What does this mean? It means we need to stop the fighting we have with our food. It means that we need to start learning to accept that all foods can fit. To learn to no longer feel guilty after eating what you may have considered a “bad” food. When we start to accept the idea that all foods can fit, the feeling of restriction can slowly melt away and then you end up having less of those uncontrollable cravings that can lead to over-eating.
This isn’t an easy process to re-learn. Yes, I’m saying relearn as when you are born, you don’t have cravings? Have you ever seen a 3 month old asking for chips or chocolate? No. There are a lot of possible reasons out there as to why our relationship with food could have changed over the years. From external factors; an example would be that some parents reward/punish their kids with foods. “No, you didn’t eat your meal, so no dessert” or “You played a soccer game, let’s go get ice cream!” Or as mentioned above, friends or even the media telling us that we shouldn’t eat that as it is “bad” for us. All of these messages can shape how we think, eat and use food. No longer for the purpose for pleasure or to fuel our bodies but because someone told us or possibly emotional eating (which is another topic altogether).
If you have labelled certain foods as “good” or “bad”, consider talking to a Dietitian. We can help you have a better relationship with food and no longer use those labels anymore!
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.