Fruits and veggies are good. Cake and ice cream are bad. Do you label food ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and then feel guilty or shameful when you eat a ‘bad’ food? Food labels can be destructive and I want to give you a different way to approach food, so you can enjoy it all!

labeling food good or bad


Happy Wednesday!

I realized this weekend that I haven’t dropped much of my newfound nutrition knowledge on the blog. This topic has been on my brain nearly every day, since I started working with my nutrition coaching clients. It’s a topic I’m betting every reader can related too and a topic I just had to write about.

Disclaimer: a mildly passionate rant is about to ensue, be prepared.

Tell me if you’ve been in a similar situation:

It’s time to get in shape, like now. You want your clothes to fit better, you body to look better…you basically want to feel better. So, you find a ‘clean eating’ plan on the internet or do a plan that has been recommended to you by a friend. The first day start off okay. You eat all kinds of good foods that are green, fill of fiber and other such nutrients. But because it’s fall and everything is made with pumpkin, your co-worker brings in a box of pumpkin spice doughnuts (box opens with a choir humming ‘ahhhhh’ and a glowing light radiates from the box).

You can’t resist. The doughnut is gone in a matter of bites. And it was damn good. Even though it tasted like a gift from heaven, you know that eating a doughnut is bad on your diet/’clean’ eating plan. You feel guilty and weak and terrible for ‘messing up’.

This might not be the exact scenario you’ve been a part of, but we’ve all been faced with a decision to a eat food we label as bad. It can be a handful bag of M&M’s (raising my hand) or a couple slices of pizza. 

Here is the thing I’ve decided:

There is no such thing as a good food and a bad food. There are foods that fuel your body in a positive way and deliver the nutrients you need to thrive at your optimal level. There are foods that do not fuel your body in a positive way and deliver nothing of value, except maybe a good taste.

But what about carbs, Jen? Or Halloween candy? Or milk? Or gluten? Or soy? Or any of the other foods we believe to be bad?

[bctt tweet=”Why we need to stop labeling food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Find out #ontheblog. @fitapproach #sweatpink #nutritiontalk”]

When you eat said food, how do you feel? Does said food make your body feel amazing, give you great energy and a solid kick of nutrients? Does said food make you feel guilty, shameful or weak?

It’s habit right, to refer to foods in this way. To tie an emotional response to a particular food item. It took be along time to get to the point (and mind you, I STILL struggle sometimes) where I stopped referring to my bad foods as bad and started including them in my diet in moderation.


When asked how their weekend or day of eating went, in the beginning, a majority of my clients say, ‘It started out great, but then I ate some bad stuff.’ Or ‘It was a mixture of good food and really bad food.’

One thing I emphasize right off the bat is to stop labeling food as good or bad. THEN, do a little reframing.

When faced with that pumpkin spice doughnut, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Does this food nourish my body?
  • Does this food help me reach my goals?
  • Is there a food that could fulfill my desire for something pumpkin spice that provides my body with more nutrients than a doughnut? Maybe a pumpkin protein bar?

If you have a weight loss goal in mind, will eating a pumpkin spice doughnut help you reach your goal? Will this pumpkin spice doughnut provide your body with the same type of fuel, as eating 2-3 eggs, with some avocado?

You have to make the choice.

[bctt tweet=”Make smart choices when it comes to fueling your body. Dets #ontheblog. #nutritiontalk #sweatpink #healthcoach”]

If you choose to skip the pumpkin spice doughnut, holla, you took a positive step in the direction of your goal AND you took a step in the right direction of fueling your body properly. If you choose to eat the doughnut, I hope it tastes amazing. Sometimes you will choose the doughnut and that’s okay, but if you constantly choose foods that do not fuel your body in a positive way, it’s going to be a lot harder to reach your goal, you feel me?

Let’s recap:

  • Recognize you are not the only person that labels food
  • Move away from labeling food ‘good’ or ‘bad’
  • Ask yourself if the food helps fuel your body and provide nutrients
  • Decide if the food moves you in the direction of your goals
  • Understand that it’s okay to choose ‘the doughnut’ sometimes

I have openings to take on new 1:1 coaching clients, and I’ll be opening new programs in January. If you are ready to get a handle on your nutrition and learn to make smart choices that will not only enhance your body, but move you in the direction of a healthy lifestyle, long-term, shoot me an email and let’s talk.

Next week, we are talking CHEAT DAYS. Oh, this topic is another one that ruffles my feathers.

How is your week going? Enjoying fall? What are your thoughts on this topic? Do share!

Do you struggle with labeling foods good or bad?

– Jen.

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