When the food rules of a diet are so strict that people wonder, ‘is this food legal’, it’s too restrictive.
Recently I overheard someone say, ‘I’m not sure it’s legal’, as to whether they could eat a food on their diet.
The use of the word legal was shocking to me. It is such a melodramatic way to describe what you can eat.
I was even further shocked when I searched online about this person’s food choices. I discovered that others, following the same diet, used the word legal also.
‘I can’t eat that on my eating plan’, is bad enough but to say a food is illegal is outrageous. It is using language that should have absolutely nothing to do with food. Apart from some special brownies and magic mushrooms, there are no illegal foods.
No, there are no food police
Although there are no food police, it seems that in certain diet circles, there are people who dictate what you are and aren’t allowed to eat.
No matter what health benefits these people may be promising, it is incredibly harmful to lead people to believe that certain foods are allowed, and others aren’t. It perpetuates an all-or-nothing, perfectionist approach to food. It can cause immense anxiety and obsession about what someone eats. And immense feelings of guilt and shame should they break the diet ‘laws’. It is prescribing eating disorder thinking to help people supposedly get healthy, and it is appalling.
Not only this, but it can also cause people to attach their morality to what they eat; when they eat ‘good’ they’re ‘good’, and when they eat ‘bad’ they’re very very ‘bad’.
If any way of eating, whether called a diet or lifestyle program, dictates strict rules and eating laws, I encourage you to step away.
And remember, there is no perfect diet to achieve health. There is no one perfect way to eat. And most definitely, there are no illegal foods.
No, there are no illegal foods
If anyone suggests that certain foods are illegal or not allowed, I hope that you have the inner resolve and knowing not to be taken in by their convictions. Or, alternatively, seek the support of someone who can help you take a more intuitive and joyful approach to eating.
I’d love to know if you’ve been sucked in by someone’s diet promises. Or whether you’ve followed a diet with such strict rules that you thought the food police were out to get you.