Stop Labeling Food As ‘Good’ Or ‘Bad’

Flickr / pallavi_damera
Flickr / pallavi_damera

You know what I cannot stand? This whole idea of labeling foods as “good” and “bad” that is so popular today. Sure some foods are less healthy than others but as soon as you put a label on it, you associate feelings of guilt and shame with food. It creates this idea that by eating, you’re “cheating,” and exercise is just a way to punish yourself for breaking the healthy food rules. These twisted ideas are what lead to unhealthy relationships with food and exercise.

Let me tell you something you might not know: YOU NEED FOOD TO SURVIVE. You need all types of food: “good” foods, “bad” foods, red foods, and blue foods. You need proteins, fats, and carbs (CARBS ARE NOT EVIL!). You can’t cut out one because it’s “bad”; YOU NEED THEM ALL! Depriving yourself of the foods your body craves leads to things like bingeing which then leads to guilt, self-hate and more often than not, the one thing you are trying to avoid: weight gain.

People use restrictive diets and excessive exercise to temporarily “fix” themselves (I hate the idea of someone thinking they need to fix them-self; You are perfect just the way you are!), but it can’t produce results that last. There are diets advertized all over the internet that promise to “fix” you in just 21 day; just 21 days of labeling foods and avoiding the “bad” ones like the plague. But what happens when the 21 days of restrictive eating are over? That 22nd day hits and your left with a desire to eat all of the foods you labeled as ”bad” during those 21 days, and hey you can eat them now! This diet mentality is a prime cause of an unhealthy relationship with food.

Life is too short to cut out certain foods because some program tells you they are “bad.” We need to create a lifestyle that lets you enjoy the foods you love and incorporate physical activity in a way that’s not a punishment. There should not be any guilt associated with food. There should not be any punishment associated with exercise. It’s all about moderation and finding a balance that allows you to eat that Twinkie without feeling like you need to run a marathon to make up for it.

So, this is my rant (don’t worry; I’m almost done). As a society we a evolving and learning that labeling people in negative ways is not okay, so why should it be okay to label food. Food has feelings too. We need to continue this anti-labeling movement and apply it to the food we eat and put a stop to the promotion of disordered thoughts and feelings about food and exercise! TC mark

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