I want to let you in on a little secret – you can eat “bad” sometimes and not feel guilty about it. You can snack on a few sugar cookies, say yes to a serving of mom’s special hashbrown casserole, all without suffering many (if any at all) negative consequences.
All you have to do is change your mindset.
The mindset with which you eat food is huge in how your amazing body reacts to it. Feeling guilty, undeserving, and disgustingly weak while eating that slice of cheesecake? Your body knows it, and will respond by sending out all the signals that you’ve eaten a terrible, heaping mountain of sugar.
But aren’t your body’s reactions all automatic? Well, yes and no. In one amazing study, two groups of people were given identical milkshakes; group one was told the milkshake contained 620 calories, while group two was told it contained a mere 140. The group with the “unhealthy” milkshake responded as if they had consumed a huge indulgent meal, and their hunger hormones went way down. However, the group with the “healthy” milkshake responded as if they had eaten the equivalent of a small salad, and their “feed me!” hormones stayed high.
So what does this mean for you? Come to peace with the food you’re eating, and your body will too. (This doesn’t mean you can eat oreos and ice cream all day every day – those foods don’t contain much in them that your body needs. You’ll be starving for nutrients, and sooner than you think.)
A practice I implement when I intentionally eat foods I normally wouldn’t is to send love to my food, and feel gratitude for the energy it will provide for me. I pause before I take that first bite and really say thank you, fill my body with love, and allow my body to use what it needs from the food while letting go of the rest. Take it from someone with a list of food sensitivities a page long – this works. I can eat an ice cream cone on the first day of summer and, using this practice, not experience the intense stomach aches and digestive… issues… that this treat would normally give me.
So try this simple trick when you’re in the sugary throes of the holidays or really want a bite of that delicious looking chocolate pudding pie that your aunt always makes and begs you to try. Be thankful, be kind, and treat your food like you would want it to treat you – with love.
Disclaimer: This practice is not for people with food allergies or extreme food sensitivities. Eating with love is not a replacement for eating healthy foods – merely a way to enjoy occasional indulgences without suffering. With great power comes great responsibility, y’all!