Most of us have been taught — even if subconsciously through culture – to bucket foods into good and bad categories. But the truth is, this line of thinking can create an unnecessary forbidden, rebellious feeling around food, which only leads to overeating and yo-yo dieting swings later. If you’ve ever experienced this, you’re probably all too familiar: forbidding ice cream only leads to eating an entire pint of it a few weeks later, instead of just being able to fully enjoy an ice cream cone once in a while as part of a full, balanced life.
So today, I’m sharing three tips to let go of that all or nothing, good versus bad, food mindset. And instead step into a more balanced, freeing, and empowering way of relating to it.
Food Mindset: Letting Go of the Good / Bad Food Buckets
1. Think of food less as calories, and more as nutrients.
With a smoothie, what do you see? Fruit sugar? Calories? Carbs? That’s what I used to see. But now, I see…
🍓 ANTIOXIDANTS from berries
🥬 DIGESTION-LOVING FIBER from spinach
💪 MUSCLE-BUILDING PROTEIN from collagen
✨ DISEASE-FIGHTERS from super greens powder
🧠 BRAIN-BOOSTING VITAMIN E from almond milk
💉 ANTIVIRAL bee pollen sprinkled on top just for fun
⭐️ ENERGY-INCREASING MAGNESIUM from cacao nibs
One of the first steps to relinquishing an obsession over the numerical values of food — calories, carbs, grams, etc. — is to recognize that food is so much more than that.
Food is GOOD. What we eat becomes our cells, tissues, muscles, and neurotransmitters to fuel those big beautiful brains. Food is what your body uses to detoxify, grow, repair, and sustain itself. Food is literally what keeps you alive. Gives you energy. Fuels your moods. Enhances your focus.
Those calories, grams, carbs, all of them are FUEL. Energy. Life. You wouldn’t want to limit all that goodness, would ya?! Start focusing on nutrients over measurements, and watch your mindset shift.
2. Recognize that it’s not JUST about the physical side of food.
I truly believe that pizza can be just as healthy as salad, and I’m not talking only from a nutrient perspective. I’ve experienced the most recharging, soul-fueling nights over pizza with girlfriends. I’ve experienced the most isolating nights at home alone, eating salad because I was too in my head about eating out.
Food has a physical component, sure. But there’s also an emotional charge to everything we eat… or not. Every moment we so fully embrace… or miss. The next time you feel the mental chatter start about good food / bad food / calories, take a breath and consider what would truly be the healthiest choice for yourself — not just physically but socially, emotionally, and mentally.
3. Choose a new word to eat for.
So many of us eat with weightloss as the only goal in mind. But if you’re only focusing on LESS — eating the bare minimum that you can survive off of — you’re going to FEEL like you’re living that way, too. Your energy, focus, mood, and brainpower will all take a hit. What if you choose a new word?
What if you eat for ENERGY? And watch what a difference you make in your food choices, how good you feel, how much you accomplish, how unstoppable you feel, and how vibrant your plate and life become.
What if you eat for MOOD? And notice how you start to gravitate toward foods that make you FEEL good. Not because you have to, but because it feels so much better than eating things that make you groggy, lethargic, and depressed.
The options are endless. Choose the word that serves you — energy, mood, focus, satisfaction — and watch as your food choices begin to feel less confining, and more empowering.
Tell me in the comments below: which tip are YOU going to practice this week?!
P.S. Want help applying steps like these to build a healthier, more freeing food mindset? Book a free 20-minute discovery call with me here.