top of page

Food Language: A Recipe for Change

People laughing and eating

Have you ever stopped to think about how you talk about food? We often toss around words like "good" and "bad," praising healthy options and shoving treats into the metaphorical naughty corner. But what if this kind of language is hurting your relationship with food, and maybe even yourself?


This is where the concept of food language comes in. It might sound surprising, but the words we use to describe what we eat have a profound impact on how we feel about ourselves and the choices we make. Ditching the good/bad food binary is key to developing a more mindful and empowered approach to eating.


Why the "Good" vs. "Bad" Food Talk Doesn't Work


The problem with this good/bad system is that it assigns a moral value to something that's fuel for our bodies. Think about it: a plate of steamed broccoli gets a gold star, while a slice of cake gets labeled the villain. This sets us up for shame and guilt when we indulge in the so-called "bad" stuff, making it harder to break free from unhealthy cycles.


That negative self-talk can lead to:


  • Unhealthy emotional connection to food: Food becomes a source of comfort or punishment.

  • Difficulty making balanced choices: The pressure to be "good" can lead to restriction and bingeing.

  • Increased stress and negativity: The spiral of guilt and shame fuels unhealthy eating patterns.

  • This constant labeling makes it difficult to trust ourselves around food. It's time to ditch the good/bad labels and embrace a new approach.


Food Language: A Recipe for Change


How can we shift our food language and create a more positive relationship with eating?

Here are a few tips:


  1. Ditch the Moral Labels: Instead of "good" and "bad," focus on the function of food. Is it providing energy (power food)? Or is it a delicious treat to be savored (pleasure food)?

  2. Use Neutral Terms: Describe food by its characteristics – "protein-rich," "high-fiber," or simply "sweet."

  3. Listen to Your Body: Focus on feelings and body cues like "satisfying," "energizing," or "heavy." Pay attention to hunger and fullness signals.

  4. Embrace Self-Compassion: Accept occasional indulgences as normal and forgive yourself for not always making perfect choices.

Food Language and Beyond


By shifting your food language, you'll be on your way to a more mindful and empowered approach to eating.  (Stay tuned for future posts where we'll explore other tools for healthy habit change!)


Action Time!


Start noticing your food vocabulary and experiment with more neutral terms. Pay attention to how your body responds to different foods, and be kind to yourself throughout the process. Remember, a healthy relationship with food isn't about restriction – it's about awareness, balance, and a little self-love on the side.



5 views0 comments


bottom of page