I’m afraid this isn’t going to be a post of me showing some new fangled research that that McDonalds you just had is actually good for you. Its not. Sorry. But I am hopefully going to challenge some attitudes to food.
There is so much pressure to look a certain way that it seems almost compulsory to be on some form of diet. Most of these diets are, for want of a better word, complete bullshit. Cutting one thing or another out, severely restricting your calories, or replacing meals with some fancy liquid won’t ever work in the long term.
Many of us know this, so when the idea of eating “clean” appears it seems like a good idea. There’s no ridiculous restricting, just replacing “bad” food with “good”. But that labelling of foods is where the problem lies. Obviously there are foods that are really good for you and you should try to centre your diet around them, but foods like cake and chocolate and fried food aren’t inherently evil. You shouldn’t have banned foods- especially if you really enjoy them! Nor should you have cheat or YOLO foods. Putting all these negative words onto to foods will only do one thing. Make you feel guilty for eating them.
You shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for eating the food you like. You need to eat every single day in order to survive so you might as well make it an enjoyable. And with eating disorders so rife, linking so much negativity to food isn’t going to help anyone. Also, I can’t say that I think that having your life revolve around eating “clean” is mentally any better for you. Its still a fixation on food, one that will make you feel guilty when you inevitably “fall off the wagon”.
I could go on about this far more more but I’m just going to leave it at this: many of you will have a New Years Resolution which goes along the lines of “Stop eating X” or “go on a diet”. Just think about your attitude to food. A diet shouldn’t make you unhappy. For them to truly work you have to make it a change for life. So you should aim to make it something you enjoy. Eating healthier will make you feel better in yourself, there’s no denying that. But sitting eating a salad while everyone enjoys their full fat, cheese coated pizza/ pasta/ whatever isn’t going to improve your quality of life as much as you try to tell yourself it will.
The occasional slice of triple chocolate fudge cake won’t undo everything, and you’ll probably be happier for it.