I want to talk to you about food. For many of you, food creates tension, confusion, love/hate, pleasure, guilt, shame, and secrecy.However, food is never the enemy.
Society Is to Blame
Food is neither good or bad but we as a society have assigned moral values to food. So what happens is that when you eat a food, you believe is “bad”, then you consciously and unconsciously see yourself as a bad person for eating that food.
Yes, there is scientific research that states that specific foods are “good” for you and other kinds of foods are “bad” for you because of their nutritional profile. However, I invite you to be a food scientist, and rather than seeing things as good or bad, to ask yourself: ‘Does this food serve me or not?’
Good Food Versus Bad Food -You Decide
The best educator if a food is going to serve you or not is you and your body! To determine if a food serves you or not ask yourself the following questions before you eat the food (as a baseline), and right after you eat the food, two hours after you eat it, and the next morning.
How are my energy levels? Low, moderate, or high?
How is my mental clarity? Do I have brain fog or am I able to focus and concentrate? Is my mental clarity sharp?
How is my mood: irritable, stable, or angry? (note: Not the same as how you are feeling about eating that food because your answer will always be guilt).
How is my digestive health: bloated, clear, or constipated?
How did I sleep last night?
Track these questions every time you eat your “forbidden food”. You will see if there are actually negative effects on your inner health. Do not focus so much on what you think and know about the food based on what you have learned about it from outside resources. Be a food scientist and use yourself as the subject.
People React Differently to Food
How certain food affects one person may have a very different effect on another person. For example, my husband can eat granola and not have sugar hangover, whereas for me, when I have granola (in appropriate serving size), my belly starts to hurt and my head starts to spin. So if I choose to eat granola, I make it a conscious decision that I am also choosing to accept the consequences. That means I will not beat myself up for enjoying it and experiencing the negative effects on my body afterwards. I take it for what it is and move on.
You may be surprised to learn that what you thought was bad for you, may actually not have any negative impact on you. Sometimes, however, it may confirm that it does! Ultimately, this is how you can start neutralizing your food and stop seeing food as good or bad.
Food is not the enemy…bullying yourself is!
Food is just food. You can change your story. You can change the way you respond to food, regardless of what it is.
I’d love to hear from you about how your food scientist experience is! 🙂 What did you learn?
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Rosalyn Fung is a Registered Psychologist & Founder of Holistic Body Love. She is a wellness speaker, consultant, mentor, writer & blogger. Roz specializes in Holistic Nutritional Psychology in which she empowers people in their relationship with food, body image, weight, as well as digestion, fatigue, immunity and mood.
Her approach is a combination of eating psychology, positive psychology, mindfulness, neuroscience, family systems and nutritional therapy. She’s the go-to person to help you understand how to feel normal around food, and break-free from body image and weight struggles.