Much about health and weight loss is very similar.
So much of it comes to one’s perception or mindset. I am not a Star Wars person, but I do LOVE yoda’s quote:
Do or do not, there is no try.
Along with that, I strongly dislike CAN’T. If you think you can’t do something, then we all know you aren’t going to do it very successfully. We need to give ourselves the permission to be bad at something long enough that we succeed.
Good food/bad food.
When it comes to food, I have many foods that I should not eat because they make me sick. It has nothing to do with the nutritional value of the food. Some foods make me sick some of the time, but not others. When I am out with others, I try really hard to say I choose not to eat that. When I say, I can’t eat that, it has such a negative connotation. Think about it, you’re at a birthday party and someone offers you a cupcake. As part of your weight loss plan, you have cut out added sugar or processed foods, or even just sweets.
Your reply can be, I can’t eat that. Or I choose not to eat that. Which sounds like it will get less push back from the person offering the dessert? Which allows you to sometimes say, I am going to have half a cupcake today?
There are no health benefits of eating popcorn. Does that mean popcorn is a bad food? Absolutely not. Is there a time in which popcorn may be the best choice, yes. Is there times when popcorn can be enjoyed guilt-free, for sure? Popcorn may lack nutritional value, but it is not bad food. No single food is inherently bad. Restrictive thinking of good and bad around food has led to some misinformation about food.
A story I like to share is about a friend who once was on a weight loss journey. She reached out to me and asked if bananas were bad for you. I asked for more context. She replied that her weight loss had stalled. The only thing that had changed was giving into her bedtime banana craving. She was eating a bowl of cereal, with milk and a banana, in bed every nite. I let her know that as a fruit eaten without the skin on, bananas have a high content of sugar (12 grams) and low fiber (3 grams) content. However, I am a proponent of eating actual real food over processed foods, when possible.
As a stand-alone answer, a banana is not bad.
An average medium banana is 110 calories. Her glass of skim milk in the cereal also had 83 calories and 12 grams of sugar. Her cereal choice was raisin bran, which has 17 grams of sugar and 190 calories per cup, and let’s face it, a person usually pours 2 cups minimum into a bowl. Let’s add that up:
- 1 medium banana,
- 1 cup skim milk, and
- 2 cups raisin bran.
She was eating 573 calories, of which had 58 grams of sugar. All of this consumption was coming in bed, after she usually finished eating for the day. She felt the banana was bad food.
Is the food item bad, no. Do you need to eat the best foods for you 100% of the time, no. Should you always enjoy your food, and skip feelings of guilt or shame, so much yes. Here’s to reframing how you look at individual food items, never good or bad.