Disassociating “Good” VS “BAD” Foods
If you’re like me, you’ve probably referred to foods like salads, brown rice, and chicken breast as “clean” or “good” foods at some point. You’ve also likely referred to foods like cookies, pizza, or chips as “bad” foods, or part of a “cheat meal.”
While these terms might seem harmless, having this mindset around food can often cause more harm than good, especially when we consider the relationship towards specific food/food groups. So let’s talk a bit about the importance of disassociating “good” VS “bad” foods.
From a much broader perspective, all food is simply made up of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and protein), which make up our calories. Yes, some foods (like the pizza and ice cream) are more calorie dense, and less nutrient dense – and brown rice is a lot more nutrient dense compared to say, white rice – but it doesn’t make one “bad” and the other “good”. If we identify those foods as being bad, we’re less likely to eat them because we think they will immediately pose a negative threat to our body composition and fitness goals, and insinuates that we can’t or shouldn’t have those foods, and if we do, that’s “bad”.
Often times, the more we restrict, the more likely we are to binge and “make up” for all the time lost that we couldn’t have those certain foods. By completely restricting ourselves of those types of foods, it might lead to a cycle that looks like this:
you make yourself feel bad or guilty for not being able to stick to clean foods or for not being able to adhere to your diet
you end up restricting even more so that you can make up for your dieting mishap
you feel even more guilty when things don’t go as planned.
It’s a never ending hamster wheel of restricting and binging, restricting and binging.
That said, it does make sense to limit some of the higher calorie foods if you’re trying to moderate your intake. HOWEVER, just because it’s smart to limit them doesn’t mean that they’re bad or that you should avoid them altogether. The language we use truly matters, and in fact, being able to fit these into your diet in moderation can actually help you stick to your diet more successfully.
Have a goal and a plan so that you can make your diet more sustainable. If you’d like more personalized dieting advice, I recommend you check out a new service I’ve just added and check out the one time macro calculation.