Do you even know what a treat i s anymore?? I meet people all the time who say -“don’t be the food police - I want what I want when I want it- I don’t want to be told what to eat or not eat - don’t tell me what to feed my kids - rigidity will actually make me gain weight and have an eating disorder” and my thoughts are - If you are THAT connected to your daily food - you have an eating disorder. We need to separate “food anxiety” from “normalcy” when it comes to eating. we need to separate “I want no food rules” from “what kind of eating plan is a healthy, tasty eating plan.” Sure - when you are being regimented to the point that all pleasure is being removed from your eating life - then - I agree- that can set you up for disordered eating or binging. BUT…feeling that you have entitlement to desserts and treats every single day, to unbridled portions, to know selectivity when it comes to eating - is not normal. It’s a form of eating disorder as well. So is simply not caring.
We all know that certain foods are better for our health and we all know that we need to care somewhat about our health. Fruits and vegetables can be delicious when chosen and prepared with care; so can non-meat dishes like soups and chillis and dairy entrees made with skim evaporated milk , skim cheese and other low fat diary choices. If you really like food then there’s no doubt you want a delectable dessert, but unless you are at a healthy sensible weight and unless your health can bear it - full fat ice cream everyday is not a treat - it’s become a staple - and that defies the very nature of the definition of “a treat.”
If you can’t live without your poor food choices, then I suggest there are powerful emotional forces at work here, that are causing you to be powerless when it comes to sensibilities. And sensibilites revolve around mostly healthy choices of food, and reasonable portion control, and knowing how much to eat daily AND knowing when to position a dessert or treat in a week’s worth of eating - not a day’s worth of eating.
Until you reckon with those powerful emotional issues - some of which may incorporate** bad habits** learned as a kid and brought into your adult life (food rewards, food as a comfort, food as the sole means of satisfaction), you will call your need for daily dessert and processed food and comforting yourself with food - normal. But…it’s really not.
Known as The HealthGal, expert contributor Amy Hendel is a popular medical and lifestyle reporter, nutrition and fitness expert, columnist, and brand ambassador, as well as a health coach. Trained as a physician assistant, she maintains a health coach private practice in New York and Los Angeles. Author of The Four Habits of Healthy Families, you can find her on Twitter @HealthGal1103 and on Facebook at TheHealthGal. Her personal mantra is “Fix it first with food, fitness, and lifestyle.”