One of the biggest mistakes people make while pursuing a healthier diet is going crazy with restriction. Disallowing yourself any kind of 'bad' food is sure to set you up for failure, as temptation lurks around every corner.
Whether you find yourself staring longingly through a patisserie window at glistening flaky croissants, melting at the scent of a freshly grilled burger, or swooning over an inviting bowl of macaroni and cheese, it seems like just one bite is all that it takes for a cycle of destruction to ensue.
A single indulgence in so-called 'bad' foods can lead you to throw caution to the wind, abandoning your healthy eating plan without a care in the world. It's common for such episodes to cause you to regain all of the weight you have tried so hard to lose. This cycle is detrimental to both your mental and physical health, and it can ruin your relationship with food as a whole. So, it's time that we started changing your attitude to remove 'good' and 'bad' foods from your vocabulary.
Why It's Time To Banish Good & Bad Food Labels
In reality, there's no such thing as 'good' or 'bad' foods. Each food is unique, as it offers its own individual ingredients list and subsequent nutritional value or density, and both a piece of fruit and a piece of candy can be eaten by someone who maintains a healthy diet.
Though a piece of fruit may be totally different from a piece of candy in terms of calories and vitamins, neither will do you any harm when eaten in a balanced manner.
Denying yourself candy as you view it as 'bad' food will cause you to think only of candy. You may even begin to hate fruit due to its inability to replace the taste of your favorite sweet treat. Instead, if you were to add in a small portion of candy that fits within your daily calorie count, then you can indulge without feeling any kind of guilt or restriction.
It's time to banish 'good' and 'bad' food labels in healthy eating and dieting, as healthy food is a spectrum and exercising such extreme restraint continuously leads to failure.
Understanding That Flavor Matters
Sitting down to enjoy a salad of green leafy vegetables with no protein, dressing or croutons might seem like an ultra-healthy dream diet meal. Still, in reality, such a plate will likely be flavorless and unappetizing, to say the very least.
Food is not all about its nutritional value, as you need to be able to enjoy the taste of your meal if you want to finish the plate. Adding some chicken breast, vinaigrette, and a couple of thin shavings of parmesan won't send your salad into calorie oblivion, but it will add masses of flavor that it was previously lacking.
Though there might be fat in the parmesan, there will also be calcium, and chicken can offer a lean protein source that will keep you fuller for longer. If you finish your meal feeling satisfied and enjoy the taste, you won't need to seek out something more. Eating nothing but an undressed green salad will leave you craving something more substantial, likely leading to the diet destruction cycle that ruins most efforts to pursue a healthier lifestyle.
Balance: The Bigger Picture
The bigger picture of a healthy diet is balance. In this instance, that means focusing mainly on whole foods with indulgent treats thrown in to ensure you can enjoy a variety of foods and avoid restrictions.
Striking a balance between the low nutritional value yet high taste value of so-called 'bad' foods will help you to understand that having a treat every once in a while will not ruin your weight loss success, as long as you are making an effort to balance out your indulgence with healthy wholefoods elsewhere in your diet.
Deciding to try and cook your favorite treats from scratch can be of real benefit, too, as you can create your own more nutritional version with less processing. You don't need to feel guilty when eating your favorite treat foods, as long as you make an effort to maintain balance.
Eating a diet containing both high nutritional density foods and low nutritional density foods will provide you with the satisfaction you seek, both physically and emotionally. Many people associate different feelings with food. It would be best if you never deny yourself a little bit of comfort by demonizing a food as 'bad'.