You can eat whatever you want as long as it’s in “moderation” right?
I know I am guilty of saying this pretty regularly…even on this website. But what does that even mean? Is really good advice? What if you said this to someone struggling with addiction? Studies show that at a neurobiological level, sugar can be more addictive than cocaine. Is it any wonder so many of us struggle with eating foods with added sugar (soooo many foods out there) in moderation?
On the other hand, when you completely deprive yourself of a particular guilty pleasure it can often lead to certain ill effects such as obsessing over eating only healthy foods (orthorexia) or even binging and/or purging on that treat after abstaining for too long. It doesn’t hurt to reward yourself every now and then for a job well done! If you have been staying on point with healthy, balanced eating habits, it is ok to treat yourself as long as you maintain proper portion control. Be sure to read your labels or ask a nutrition expert for guidance.
The bottom line: know your limits. There may be several guilty pleasures that can satisfy you when consumed in the correct portions. However, if you lose all control every time a particular food is in front of you, or once you start eating it you have to have it every day, it may be one that you will need to work to cut out of your diet.
I have several trigger foods and beverages that I am working to eliminate from my diet. I gave in to pregnancy cravings for a breakfast sandwich from a certain fast food place run by a clown with red hair. After my first pregnancy it was no problem avoiding that temptation, but for some reason I have been unable to kick the habit after the birth of my second. Again, it is not bad to have one of these types of treats every now and then, but I had gotten to the point where I was stopping at least once a week if not more. (Ethically and nutritionally speaking I would advise that if you have a craving for this, you should make it yourself. As I am writing this, I double checked the ingredients and the paragraph of ingredients listed for the “folded egg” is reminding my why it was so easy to kick after Tes was born.) It is my goal to drive right past that golden beacon for the entire month of March to detox myself from this addiction. What food addictions do you struggle with? Set a realistic goal to eliminate one trigger food or beverage during this National Nutrition Month and let me know how you do!
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Orthorexia: An obsession with eating pure.” http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442471029.
Ahmed SH1, Guillem K, Vandaele Y.; “Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit.” Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2013 Jul;16(4):434-9. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328361c8b8.
Freeland-Graves JH1, Nitzke S; Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Position of the academy of nutrition and dietetics: total diet approach to healthy eating.” J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Feb;113(2):307-17. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.12.013.