What if I told you there were no “bad” foods, and that you could be free to eat your favorite meals and snacks? In today’s fast-paced, perfection-seeking society, dieting has been normalized. We’re taught that we have to restrict ourselves and cut out the “bad” foods if we want to look like the slender poster girl. Happiness, however, is not found at the end of a restrictive diet. By realizing that our bodies have their own innate wisdom, and by learning to really listen to them, we can become the experts on how to feed our bodies. As our own body experts, we have to change the language associated with food. There are no “good” foods and “bad” foods, but rather “fuel foods” and “recreational foods”.
Food is fuel, not therapy
Just as a car engine needs gas to run, your body needs the appropriate fuel to function too! Fuel foods are the ones that give our bodies and brain energy. Our bodies need good fuel to get the energy to move, work, play and think. Lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, good fats, fruits and vegetables are fuel. These foods are nutrient-rich, provide you with energy, nourish the body and have positive health benefits. They support your body, your brain and provide you with optimal functionality.
However, human bodies are not merely combustion engines.
We can still have a little fun.
Sure, we need fuel to work, but we can still ‘play’ with small amounts of high fat or high sugar foods. Recreational foods, or ‘fun’ foods, are those that don’t necessarily give your body anything back, but you love to eat them! We can still eat the foods we previously considered to be “comfort foods”. We just need to redefine their place and meaning. Recreational foods can be a part of a healthy lifestyle, when enjoyed in moderation. It’s not about restrictive, external guidelines, but rather about listening to your body’s own wisdom.
When we learn to trust our bodies, we can eat what we love without believing that food is the enemy! We can learn to eat in order to fuel our bodies, and not feed our emotions. No more dividing food into good or bad. No more eating from a list of foods that are not appealing to you and no more feeling guilty if you do. You and your body get to choose what you want to eat!