Bread, pasta, bananas, rice… these are a few of the most common foods that the SnS Squad admitted to fearing. Diet culture thrives off creating restrictions around certain food groups because people associate success with adhering to a strict set of guidelines. People want to be told exactly what to eat and when to eat it. And I get that - there is SO much misinformation out there with nutrition advice that it makes it impossible for the average person to navigate through what’s helping versus what’s hurting them in achieving their goals.
The issue with restrictive diets is that anytime you are deprived of something you like, you begin to long for it. In order to control your eating, you abide by rules that dictate what you can and cannot eat, with little regard to your experience of hunger, fullness, and satisfaction. After a while, interoceptive awareness (the ability to perceive physical sensations that arise from within the body) goes dormant. Living and eating by the rules seems to work just fine until something goes awry. That something could be an event, an emotion, a thought, a craving or just sheer hunger that triggers the violation of a sacred food rule. Since tomorrow is a new day and the forbidden foods will be off limits once again, you may find yourself eating in excess today.
So you begin to associate those restricted foods with weight gain. But it’s not the bread that’s causing the weight gain - it’s the restriction and guilt that triggers the uncontrolled eating, providing false evidence that more rules are needed to constrain the eating.
So next time you feel guilty about that adding that banana to your shake or choosing a sandwich over a salad, QUESTION where those food rules came from… the truth is that there are NO magic foods that will make or break your progress. Just like eating a vegetable isn’t going to give you a 6 pack, eating that chocolate bar isn’t going to lead to obesity. Yes, some foods ARE less nutrient dense than others, but you CAN indulge in those foods and STILL see results. The road to sustainable progress is not an all-or-nothing game.