Quarantine is back, the media is full of panic towards the crisis situation, and all of a sudden a voice in your head gives you a pleasant idea: “Why don’t you eat something?”
Quarantine is back, the media is full of panic towards the crisis situation, and all of a sudden a voice in your head gives you a pleasant idea: “Why don’t you eat something?”.
Surely, you’re not going to get the salad that’s on your fridge, you want something that makes you feel better, maybe a pizza or a cheeseburger, “I deserve it”, you may think. But as soon as you finish with that last bite, the feeling of guilt invades you: “Why did I eat that?”
Although food guilt is a common feeling that anyone can experience in their life, it can be also the basis of an eating disorder (ED), which affects at least 9% of the world population, and causes 10,200 deaths per year only in the United States. But food guilt is not only associated with an ED, whether you had a traumatic experience with food in your childhood, currently trying to lose weight, or just want to eat healthier, you can identify a common denominator between all the causes of this feeling: the good and bad food.
The classification of food into these two categories has been something common in the last few years, where nutrition and fitness life has become a rentable business for a lot of influencers. Eating has not been the same since Instagram was filled with posts pointing to the benefits of certain ingredients or recipes, and the catastrophic consequences of eating what is now called “trash food.”
Nowadays it's almost impossible to eat pizza, burgers, ice cream, candy, or anything that’s not low-fat or sugar-free without the anxiety because only the name “guilty pleasure” comes with a dose of stress. Contrary to what you might think, these terms haven’t been invented by any dietitian, actually, in a 2019 article published by The Washington Post, it is said that terms as good or bad food, clean eating, guilty pleasure, and low-carb/cutting carb, lead up to unhealthy approaches to food. According to the dietitian's concept presented in The Washington Post, declaring certain food as “forbidden” is the reason for craving that particular food.
So the truth is that there’s no such thing as good or bad food, there’s just-food. According to an article published by the Center of Discovery: Eating Disorder Treatment, all food is fuel to the body, and it will nourish it regardless of whether its “good” or “bad” food, as long as you keep the balance between all of what you eat because even an excess of water can be mortal. The article also affirms that humans are not designed to eat the same thing every day, variety is a necessity, and you are the one who decides how to balance your diet to enjoy it.
So the next time that you hear that voice, and you want to eat a pizza or a cheeseburger, remember that it’s not a bad food nor a dirty food, it will nourish your body, and especially it is not a guilty pleasure, so don’t feel guilty, just enjoy it, tomorrow you can eat the fridge’s salad.