Eat Junk Food--and Improve Your Health
We all know a diet filled with junk food can lead to a lot of problems: from weight gain to increased risk of disease to feelings of shame.
But here’s something most people miss:
Eating junk food can also have some health benefits—assuming you consume it in moderation and intentionally.
By intentionally, we mean…
You choose to eat the food…
On purpose (not just because it’s there)
With joy and contentment (rather than guilt)
In an amount that aligns with your overall health goals
After weighing and accepting the tradeoffs
Do all that, and the occasional processed food treat can help you connect with friends, and boost your experience of freedom and pleasure in your diet.
The result: Even if that ice cream indulgence isn’t directly helping your physical health, it might be helping you to feel healthier overall—and better able to sustain an otherwise highly nutritious diet.
Healthy diets aren’t “perfect” diets.
If most of your meals (say, 70 to 80 percent of them) are made up of whole or minimally-processed foods, that really is good enough.
Meaning: There is room for your favorite indulgences in your diet.
We have learned that most people are actually more successful when they allow themselves to eat their favorite foods regularly and intentionally.
This is partly because too much restriction can backfire (and then you find yourself crying into an empty bag of cookies).
Nutrition is just a part of your overall health.
Equally important: Your relationships, emotional wellbeing, and sense of meaning, purpose, and autonomy.
If a weekly pizza night with your family contributes to that, well then, pizza is part of a healthy life.
Work Hard Play Hard!