Food Labels - Good or Bad?
How do you label these kinds of foods? Sometimes foods? Special Occasion Foods? Treats? Bad? Toxic? Junk food? Processed crap? It’s true these foods may have fewer nutrients than a bag of carrots but by labelling our food negatively we could potentially be doing more harm than good when it comes to achieving our health goals. When we label certain foods as "bad" (or something else), we are giving that food more power than it deserves and though our intentions may be good, it will often backfire in the end. For example, if we label a food as bad, or something that we “shouldn't have” we tend to avoid it for a certain amount of time. However, have you ever been told you can’t have something and want it all the more? This is often what happens when we label our enjoyable foods this way. We can end up craving it until we finally ‘give in’ and the result can lead to a number of outcomes. Labelling the food this way can also strip away the pleasure we would have once gotten from this food because of the guilt we feel when we eat it. This, in turn, can cause us to overeat because of the fear of not having it again, or the body finally getting what it’s been craving. Once we overeat, we feel miserable, we have ‘fallen off the wagon’ and we either punish ourselves with exercise and restricting ourselves again the next day, or give up altogether, and thus the cycle continues. As Dr. Michelle May says: Guilt is a powerful trigger for overeating. So what should we call these foods? What should we tell our children to call them? How about we simply call it as it is. Call ice cream – ice cream and lollies-lollies. Moro bars are Moro bars, nothing more, nothing less. Let’s not just save these foods for treat or cheat days otherwise, we may eat them when we don’t even want them. let’s simply practice tuning in and listening to our body’s needs and wants. Before we reach for chocolate out of habit, sadness, or stress, stop, press the pause button and ask yourself if you are hungry, what your body wants, and whether you “really re
ally really really” want it. If you make a conscious decision to eat it, enjoy your chocolate, be grateful and move on. Don’t let food control you and your life.