I grew up in a household of dieters. I ate weight watchers snacks and Jenny Craig meals, Slim Fast shakes and protein bars of all shapes and forms. They were very much a part of my young life and you know what? I actually began to really enjoy them, what a treat!
Even once I gave up dieting for good through Empowered Eating, I still really enjoyed my meal bars and protein bars because they were sweet, chocolatey and satiated me more than other snacks (or so I thought).
I mean, it was easy! Everywhere you look now there’s Keto bars, Paleo bars, vegan bars, low carb bars, collagen bars, collagen gummies, keto crackers… You get the idea.
And so here I am in in my 41st year and well, I’m finally over them. Ha!
Since letting go of food rules, I’ve let all foods back into my life (which has been delicious!) And since doing so, either my taste buds have changed or I have finally realised how horrible these artificial foods taste.
It’s amazing what happens when you bring full awareness into your eating experiences. Sometimes, foods that you thought tasted amazing sometimes don’t taste so great after all. Your favourite biscuits might actually taste too sweet or those keto crackers might actually be a bit bland.
And I’m sorry, but you can’t tell me that a thick slice of almond bread tastes as good as homemade sourdough. Sorry! I just can’t.
Eating foods that are satisfying and taste delicious is such a huge part of healthy eating. If you’re eating something just because you feel you should or that it’s the ‘better’ choice than what you really want this could lead to cravings, hunger, overeating, and even binging.
The more pleasurable your food is, the more satisfying it will be and the less you’ll need to eat (especially knowing you can have more if you want it). When you give your body what it actually wants, a beautiful thing happens… it becomes – satisfied!
Have you ever wanted a chocolate chip cookie and chosen a chocolate bliss ball instead because chocolate chip cookies have too much sugar?
If you want a cookie and you’re choosing a bliss ball to be ‘better’ you’re better off choosing the cookie and enjoying it. If you’re worried about the sugar in cookies – take a close look at the packet – they probably have a whole lot less than the bliss ball anyways!
Yes, bliss balls might have more nutrients. But the protein is often the same and if you’re relying on treats to give you nutrition then that’s a problem in itself.
If you want to eat protein bars, bliss balls, keto crackers and collagen gummies go for it! But if you’d rather a banana and a handful of nuts – that’s good too. Or, maybe you want a cookie or two – rock on. Personally, I’m over the diet buzzwords and the fake foods. They just don’t do it for me anymore. If I want chocolate, only chocolate will do.
The point is, it’s our 'most of the time' that matters and choosing foods just because they have a health halo doesn’t’ always mean they are healthy. Restricting the foods we love is never the solution to long term health.
As Evelyn Tribole says:
“If you don’t love it, don’t eat it, and if you love it, savour it!