When it comes to intuitive eating, there’s the idea / concept that there’s no such thing as ‘bad’ food or ‘good’ food. When I first read this, it honestly didn’t compute. My whole life ‘bad’ food was the food that I ‘should’ only eat once in a while. The ‘bad’ food was the stuff I’d like to eat without gaining weight.
And the good food was the healthy stuff I should eat.
I’d say most people have pretty similar perspectives.
Most of us would agree that salad is good, hot cheetos are bad. Right?
So how in the heck does ‘bad’ food not exist in the world of intuitive eating. We can’t possibly think, let alone believe that bad food is good for us? Or that our bodies intuitively need it right?
I’m going to attempt to simplify this radical yet intriguing idea of ‘there’s no such thing as ‘bad food’ so hang on.
This will actually be a mini series because as I began to dig into this topic, so many other ones came up because of it. We’re going to hit from a few different angles.
First, in Part 1 of this blog let’s tackle what they mean by food has no moral merit.
Then in part 2, we will dive into ‘bad’ food and guilt.
Finally in Part 3, we’ll touch on healthy food vs unhealthy food and the all or nothing mindset that gets a lot of people stuck on the diet train.
Alright let’s get crackin on Part 1 – food has no moral merit.
In Principle 4 (Challenge the Food Police) of the book, Intuitive Eating A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resche, the idea of food being attached to morality is brought up.
To paraphrase, ‘eating bad or illegal food becomes a morality issue…one if four dieters categorized food using both ‘guilt’ and ‘no guilt’ labels… for highly caloric diet-breaking foods’
Let’s look up the word morality… it’s described as, ‘principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.’
When I think of morality and food, I think of vegans and vegetarians. I want to bring this up because it’s important.
The plant based community is growing stronger every year, and there’s many good reasons why. Plant based diets are becoming wildly popular for their health benefits but also because of their MORAL STANDARDS.
There’s no escaping that food and morality are one and the same for plant based eaters.
So while I’d love to argue that food has no morality, well, it kinda does for those who choose a plant based diets because their ethical and moral standards for animals.
Quite honestly, even as coach who advocates for intuitive eating and classifies myself as an intuitive eating coach, I do believe that we are all entitled to our own morals when it comes to food.
Morals, according to google is, a person’s standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do.
If a person feels that eating plants over animals is morally the right thing to do, that is their choice.
I, myself, am transitioning (I have ebbed and flowed over the years) to a more plant based diet.
While I don’t see myself claiming a label like ‘vegan’ or ‘vegetarian’ anytime soon, I have been experiencing my body (and soul) desire to eat less meat and more plant based food. I’m listening to that inner knowing. I mean, there’s times where I’ve looked down on the chicken on my plate and I see red strings or blood, or smell it and it quite honestly, it freaks me out. When I drive past cows, I want to hug them, not kill them and eat them.
I’m not sure if the intuitive eating book meant morality in the same terms as I’ve just described, but I felt it was worth bringing up.
What are your thoughts when it comes to intuitive eating and there’s no such thing as ‘bad’ or ‘good’ food?
Be sure to join the free community I host on Facebook Intuitive Eating Heal Your Relationship with Food!