Good food, bad food
If you struggle with binge or emotional eating, advice about “good food” and “bad food” probably causes some conflict within you.
“If I don’t see chocolate as bad food then I’ll eat it all day long!”
So we need to clarify what we actually mean by good and bad foods.
When you see certain foods as “bad”, they are the foods that cause you to break your diet. They put you off track. In so doing, you are breaking the rules and you’re being “bad”.
The message that you’re sending to your brain when you do this is that you are violating both your diet and your own personal values. Going against your values causes a lack of self-esteem and leads to further problems in losing weight. You no longer trust yourself to make the right decisions. In fact, you feel conflicted a lot of the time.
Personally, I eat my favourite foods every week, whether it’s chocolate,
cake, cheese, bread, wine – but not all at once of course!
Nothing is “good” or “bad”
Everything is dose dependent. Even water is toxic if you drink too much of it. I’ve had plenty of clients who binge on broccoli because it’s a “good for you”! But they’re still wrestling with anxiety, fear, and compulsive emotions around food every day.
Anyway, going back to my personal favourites like chocolate or real, full fat milk…
When I’m eating them I’m not being bad, breaking my diet, or going off track.
I’m 100% living in accordance with ALL my values: I’m meeting my health/fitness values and my recreational values, all at the same time. There is no conflict.
Contrary to what you might think, eliminating your favourite (“bad”) foods and not eating them on a regular basis is what actually puts you OFF TRACK!
Because you’re reinforcing the very behaviours that cause binge or emotional eating in the first place. Negative associations such as your perfectionism; your inability to have “just a taste” without it developing into a binge; your socialising with constant food/drink conflicts going on inside your head all hold you back from reaching and sustaining a healthy weight.
Can you really eat everything?
Eliminating the “good” and “bad” food paradigm doesn’t mean making all your “bad” foods suddenly “good” foods. It means that EVERYTHING is dose dependent. Simply put, there are times when it’s appropriate, and there are times when it’s NOT!
What you have to do is stop living in the “not an appropriate time” as this inevitably ends up in binging because your diet has become so
unsustainable. Instead, the aim is to create a lifestyle that meets ALL of your values at the same time.
How do you do this?
Think of your long-term diet goal. If you could see an overview of your eating patterns for the year, what general pattern would you like to
see? Expect a few conscious deviations like holidays and birthdays, but what’s the overall pattern? Once this is clear, and the general pattern is positive, you will be better able to live accordingly year round. No more yo-yo diets putting you on and off the wagon. And no more thinking of foods as “good” or “bad”.
Looking to lose weight without restricting what you eat?
If you’re done with the constant stress and worrying whether what you’re doing is ‘right’ or not, and if you want to learn about how I can help you break free from the ‘dieting’ cycle for good, reach out and get in touch today.