Why yes, you can eat that.
Passing by a local bakery and that homemade pop tart is calling your name? Your friends invite you out for pizza? Or you are just really craving a salad filled with fruits and veggies. Whatever it may be, it is all OKAY to eat and we shouldn’t let “rules” dictate our food choices.
Well the easy answer is to fuel our body with energy but it doesn’t stop there. We eat for social experience, satisfy cravings, make memories, for comfort, deal with stress or because of impulse. There are numerous influences that drive us to eat the foods we do.
But what happens when we let food “rules” dictate our food choices?
Let me first explain what I mean by food rules. These would be any rule or diet that tells us how to eat, when to eat, how much to eat or what to eat. You may have heard….
Don’t eat carbs after dark
Eat every 3 hours
I can only have “X” amount of calories for each meal
Treats or “bad” foods can’t be part of a healthful diet
The only food rule that should exist is that there are no food rules. Nutrition is not black and white and that’s what rules give us: black and white answers. If I am being honest I believe that is why following diets or food “rules” is so prevalent today. We want the easy way out. We want to be told what to do and when to do it. We don’t like to mess with that grey mushy area that lies between a yes or no answer because that takes work. That takes getting to know our bodies and learning to trust them to tell us what it needs and wants. Then once we know what it needs or wants we have to listen to that request and act on it.
This may leave you wondering but what if I crave pizza and donuts all the time? Well, let me tell you that this likely won’t happen because your body would not feel that great if thats all you fed it. On the flip side, it is completely normal to crave fruit or roasted vegetables one day and a donut the next. By not allowing food rules to control your food choices this also allows you to take the label of “good” and “bad” off of foods. When foods are not put into categories or placed on a pedastal we are less likely to crave them because we know they will always be available to us.
While I once lived by these food “rules” I try my absolute best to not let them influence my food choices today. Why? Because I can’t live the life I want if I am living under a set of guidelines. I want the freedom to make my own choices. Choices that are based on what I want in that moment. Choices that will benefit me in every aspect of health. Choices that will contribute to making memories with family and friends. I don’t want someone or something else making those choices for me. And I hope you don’t either.