Stop Food Shaming

June 22, 2017 in Balance / Recovery


The other day I was viewing Instagram stories, and I saw someone shame another’s food choices. And to me it came off as they were “better” for eating that clean protein bar, and the other person was not as good for eating that Nature Valley bar.

There is NO good or bad food. Food is just food. And I am so tired of seeing this message being spread on social media platforms. 

My instant reaction to that Instagram story was frustration. This is why our society has such an unhealthy relationship with food. When we are constantly hearing different foods that are good for us and foods that are bad for us, we start to view food as such a black and white thing. And in order to have a balanced relationship with food, you need to be able to see the grey areas.

Yes, an RX bar is more nutritious than a Nature Valley one, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a Nature Valley bar. It is still fuel, it still has some wholesome ingredients, and they are cheaper than RX bars. Nature Valley bars are not bad, and RX bars are not good. These bars are just snack bars to give our bodies fuel. That’s it. You are not a better person if you chose to eat the RX bar over the Nature Valley bar. Our morality is not tied to the foods we eat, and we often lose sight of that. If you want to eat the RX bar because you actually enjoy it and it feels good for your body, then by all means eat it! But do not go vocalizing to others and in your own head how that Nature Valley bar is bad and “unhealthy.” Because it is not.

What happens when we fall into the food shaming mentality? 

Viewing certain foods as good and bad is detrimental to our mental health. When we view a food as bad, we have the tendency to put that food off limits. And when we say that we cannot have something, our natural instinct as humans is to want that more. What does that lead to? Bingeing. When we also put that “bad” food off limits, it can also just lead to us thinking about it over and over again causing our head space to get a bit foggier and our overall state of happiness to decline.

Viewing food as just food. 

I hardly ever see this mentality around food anymore. Food is such a complicated, messy topic that causes so much stress and anxiety in people’s lives. But the thing is, it shouldn’t. I strongly believe food shaming has a lot to do with it, not to mention the diet industry and unrealistic beauty expectations. But what would happen if we viewed food as just food? No good, no bad. Just looking at food as fuel. Obviously there is the more nutritious food and the “fun” food. But maybe if we worked on being in tune with our bodies and allowing ourselves food from both categories, people’s relationship with food would begin to improve. When we aren’t labeling what we eat as good and bad, it’s also easier to be compassionate to ourselves. Whenever I ate a “bad” food, I felt disgusted with myself. I hated myself for consuming such a disgusting thing and all the love for myself went out the window. But when we eat a cookie and aren’t labeling it as bad, we can be more kind with ourselves. “I just ate that cookie and I LOVED it. It was so good and such a yummy snack to have!” There is no talk about the cookie being bad and any guilt surrounding that cookie. It is just talk of enjoyment! And that’s how it should be.

Food is not like people. There is no good or bad. 

When we think of people, we often label them as good and bad. A good person may have remarkable qualities like being kind, respectful, loving, and caring. And a bad person may have less admirable qualities like being rude, dishonest, vengeful, and irresponsible. These qualities come to mind when I think of good and bad people. So why would we label food the same way that we label people? Are sweet potatoes loving and caring but white potatoes aren’t? You see what I mean?? At the end of the day, it sounds so silly to use this food shaming mentality. Because all food is is just food. It is nourishment. That’s it. No bad, no good. It gives us life, it gives us energy, and it keeps us going. 


Keep growing good thoughts in your brain. About yourself, about this world, about food, about your body.

// only grow thoughts in your brain that you wouldn’t mind putting in a vase //

Any comments or discussion on this is welcome in the comments as always!!

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  • Reply Emily June 22, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    YES> YES YES!!!! Thank you Lyss for this. I often find myself still thinking in the way of good vs. bad food, but this is so true. A Nature Valley bar can actually be easier on my stomach sometimes than an RX Bar, but it depends on the day. Most of all it’s food, delicious fuel to keep my body and mind going so I can live for God!
    Emily recently posted…Why I Like Fartlek Runs Over Track Workouts (WIAW)My Profile

    • Reply Alyssa June 25, 2017 at 2:20 am

      yes girl!! it is just delicious fuel 🙂

  • Reply Amanda @ The Life of Andie June 22, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    SO IMPORTANT. Not to mention I absolutely love that graphic…and the idea that we should focus more on “growing” good thoughts. Love love love!

    • Reply Alyssa June 25, 2017 at 2:20 am

      right?! I saw this pic and was like omg yes this is spot on!

  • Reply Edye June 25, 2017 at 2:14 am

    I cannot thank you enough for this post, Lyss! I used to compare what I eat to EVERYONE else. I still do on occasion, but I’m slowly getting better at not doing it so often. I am not what I eat and neither is my worth. It is so important to eat healthy, but not to deem food “good” or “bad” or deprive ourselves of what we truly desire and crave. <3
    Edye recently posted…Chewy Sugar Cookies Recipe!My Profile

    • Reply Alyssa June 25, 2017 at 2:19 am

      exactly! we cannot deprive our bodies of what they are craving. There is no need to put restrictions on ourselves!
      Alyssa recently posted…Friday FiveMy Profile

  • Reply Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar June 26, 2017 at 1:31 am

    How sad. If this person is going to shame someone else over a Nature Valley bar, how does this person treat themself when they eat a Nature Valley bar…or something else they might really be craving, like nachos or bacon or a donut. It seems like this person must have a lot of insecurity and anxiety to shame another person in this way. 🙁
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…Almond Butter Soba Noodle Stir-Fry (Vegan)My Profile

  • Reply meg June 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    YES YES YES! I hate that there is so much morality surround food. Like you said- food is just food. When we label it as good and bad this only leads to disordered eating and an array of other issues. Thank you for this post!

  • Reply Kristy from Southern In Law June 29, 2017 at 8:06 am

    YES YES YES YES a million times yes! Why can’t we just let people do whatever the heck they want to do – and do whatever the heck you want to do too?!
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recipe: Single Serve Vegan Banana Pancakes (Gluten Free!)My Profile

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