What Healthy Eating Is and Isn't
Start writing a post
Relationships

Here Are 8 Practices Of Healthy Eating, And 8 Things Healthy Eating ISN'T

Healthy eating looks different for everyone, but there are a few general misconceptions across the board.

485
Here Are 8 Practices Of Healthy Eating, And 8 Things Healthy Eating ISN'T
Julias Torten

I've had quite a journey to finding what healthy eating looks like for me. It took years of fighting through an eating disorder and trial and error to reach a point where I feel confident about intuitively choosing what to eat every day. And to be honest, it's still a journey, but I'd like to think that I have a pretty good hold on what is good for my body and mind and what isn't.

In our society, we've been socialized to have a really strict idea of what is and isn't "healthy." There's a widespread implicit bias that labels foods like salads and fruits as healthy and candy bars and cookies as detrimental to our health. However, this isn't accurate on the basis of nutritional, mental or emotional health. Like most things, it's a lot more complex than that.

But if what we've learned since birth isn't true, then what exactly is healthy eating? While there isn't a clear definition that applies across the board, here are some practices that are involved in healthy eating:

1. Eating nutrient-dense foods

Giphy

While foods aren't inherently healthy or unhealthy, there are foods that have more of certain nutrients than others. Healthy eating looks like eating protein-dense foods like eggs and almonds when your body needs it, or lots of carbohydrates like bananas and whole grains before working out.

2. Eating foods without regards to nutrients

Giphy

But! Healthy eating is also eating the foods you crave like pizza, ice cream and chocolate! No matter what the front of different magazines tell you, eating a variety of foods, including "junk" foods, is healthy.

3. Separating food from moral value

Giphy

Food has absolutely no moral value. You aren't 'bad' or 'good' for eating or not eating certain foods. Period. Food is simply food.

4. Eating what makes you feel good mentally and physically

Giphy

Of course, not everyone can eat everything and that's okay! Some people are lactose intolerant, have celiac disease or just don't agree with certain foods. Healthy eating means working around this and eating things that you enjoy and make your body feel good.

5. Meal prepping or taking a long time to prepare foods to ensure that you'll be nourished and satisfied

Giphy

Cooking is fun and it can allow us to really be conscious and mindful about what we eat!

6. ...while still being flexible enough to be able to spontaneously go out to eat!

Giphy

Sometimes you just have to save that meal prep for another day if you just ~really~ want pizza or get invited out by friends! Honor your cravings and your social life, not fake rules around food.

7. Eating while on-the-go to fuel yourself to move on to the next thing

Giphy

Yes, mindful eating is wonderful. But our lives are busy and we still need fuel! Sometimes we simply don't have the time to sit down to a full meal. So yes, it's okay to take that food to go and fuel your body for the next task.

8. Enjoying food and using it for celebration!

Usher Raymond Birthday GIF by USHER - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy

Birthday cake? Yes! Celebrating that new job with ice cream? Of course! Pizza because it's your fav? Go for it! Food isn't always just for fuel—it's cultural and social too!

Healthy eating encompasses a lot, right? But there definitely are still things to look out for that aren't included in a healthy diet. Here are eight things that aren't healthy eating:

1. Spending a considerable amount of your time and energy focusing on food and your body 

Giphy

Our lives are so much more than what food we eat and the way our bodies look. If those things are taking up most of your mental energy, it's not healthy.

2. Eating based on other people's needs or rules rather than your own 

Giphy

There are some interesting trends out there where people will go gluten free or adopt other food rules without any real personal need. This isn't healthy either—in fact, it's just a lot of extra unnecessary work.

3. Following a fad diet

Giphy

Similarly, fad-diets aren't nutritionally sound or helpful in any way. They're simply a tactic to induce self-consciousness and make money for big companies. Not to mention, diets are the single greatest predictor of developing an eating disorder.

4. Ignoring your hunger

Giphy

Big no no. If your body is hungry, you need food!

5. Associating food with self-worth

Giphy

Eating specific things doesn't make you any better or worse of a person! It bears repeating over and over again. Ingrain it into your head and your life will become a million times better, I promise.

6. Refraining from attending social events because of the food

Giphy

Staying home from events because "there will be too much temptation" is a really unhealthy way of viewing food. If you're feeding your body healthily—honoring your hunger, cravings and wants—"temptation" around food shouldn't be an issue.

7. Labeling food as 'good' or 'bad' or placing any other rules around food

Giphy

The only bad food is food that is rotten and that's the tea

8. Eating in a way that doesn't make you feel good

Giphy

Any food that doesn't make you feel good mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually or in any way at all shouldn't be eaten!


Like I said, healthy eating is really complex and this barely scratches the surface—I'm not a nutritionist. But this lays a basic groundwork for what healthy eating really is. If you're worried your eating habits might be unhealthy, the National Eating Disorders Association has wonderful resources to check out.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Your Work Week As Told By Michael Scott And Stanley Hudson

"The Office" is basically the best American TV show created in the past 15 years (you can fight me on this). And through all its hilarity and cringe-worthy "that would never happen in real life" moments, the show really does have a lot of relatable themes, as can be seen by the little compilation I put together of Michael Scott and Stanley Hudson.

Keep Reading... Show less
October Is Overrated, Let's Just Accept This Fact

I have never liked the month of October. I like the fall weather and the beginning of wearing sweaters in the crisp fall air, but I never associated this with the month of October.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Plight Of Being Bigger Than A D-Cup

"Big boobs are like puppies: they're fun to look at and play with, but once they're yours, you realize they're a lot of responsibility." - Katie Frankhart, Her Campus

7419
giphy.com

This probably sounds like the most self-absorbed, egotistical, and frankly downright irritating white-girl problem... but there's more to this I promise.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

An Open Letter To The Younger Muslim Generation

Fight back with dialogue and education.

6547

Dear Muslim Kids,

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Mystery Of The Gospel

Also entitled, "The Day I Stopped Believing In God"

7875

I had just walked across the street from the soccer field back to the school. I turned around and saw the cars rushing, passing each other, going fast over the crosswalk where I had been moments earlier. “It would be so easy to jump in front of one of them,” I thought, looking at the cars. “I could jump, and this life that I’m stuck in would be over.”

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments