Whether you're trying to lose weight or just looking to eat a little healthier, you probably already know which foods are good for you: fruits, veggies, raw nuts, extra-virgin olive oil, etc. On the flip side, you probably categorize certain junk foods as "bad": sweets, fried food, candy, pizza. But if you're thinking of foods as either "good" or "bad," then you're doing it wrong, explains fat-loss coach Carter Good.
Instead, he said you should think about food as either more nutritious or less nutritious. More nutritious foods have more nutrients, fewer calories, and can be eaten at a higher volume. Less nutritious foods, on the other hand, are higher in calories for a lower volume of food.
"Few things in life are purely black and white," Carter wrote in his Instagram caption. "Our food choices are no exception! You see, there's no one-size-fits-all definition for the terms 'good food' and 'bad food.'" He explained that people who follow a vegan diet may have a completely different idea of which foods are "bad" compared with someone who follows a Paleo diet.
Furthermore, labeling certain foods as "bad" may lead you to feel guilty about eating them, which could lead to a cycle of binging and feeling guilty about it. It's totally fine to have a cookie every once in a while, as long as you are balancing it with more nutritious foods most of the time. This is why many dietitians recommend following the 80/20 rule, where you eat whole, nutritious foods 80 percent of the time and leave the other 20 percent for indulgences and treats.
"Let's focus less on what other people tell us to eat and, instead, educate ourselves and choose foods that make us feel good physically & mentally on an individual basis," Carter wrote. Well said!