menu

Menu

close

Close

Yeah…Immaeatthat

Mar 13

Is it okay to eat sweets everyday?

I’m back today with another reader question from reader Jenna! Feel free to submit questions via email (immaEATthat@gmail.com) or Instagram DMs.

A decrease in craving intensity is a side effect many experience when they give themselves permission to eat all foods at all times of the day. This happens because when we (mentally or physically) restrict certain foods it strengthens the reward pathway for that food making us desire it even more. Allowing yourself unconditional permission to eat all foods begins the process of rewiring that reward pathway (aka allowing your cravings to decrease in intensity). However, cravings getting less intense doesn’t mean that now you should stop eating certain foods. The question to ask yourself is, “what food is supportive to me right now?”

The first time I ate ice cream when I wasn’t craving it was a bit of a disorienting experience. We’ve been taught it’s to be reserved for special occasions and dessert, but ice cream makes a wonderful snack, as do a bunch of other snacks. Having ice cream regularly and consistently (i.e. daily) can allow you to eat it in a way that feels pleasant to your body. Since the spirit of our age is food fear and guilt around food, some people have never had a society deemed “bad” food without overeating it.  Just the mere thought of “I shouldn’t have this food” leads many to overeating or feeling bingey. However, repeated exposure to the foods we are used to overeating or feeling bingey around allows us to being to interact with them in a way that is supportive to our health and well-being (aka we don’t have to eat an amount of them in one sitting that is uncomfortable to our body).

A step towards interacting with food peacefully is seeking food neutrality (aka not having good or bad foods). When I say food neutrality it means we’re able to take a look at what food is and how is makes our physical body feel, rather than focusing on any preconceived notions that our diet/weight loss/body manipulation crazed culture has instilled in us around a certain food being good or bad. A client told me last week that she’s having to learn what is true about food for her. Meaning, that we’re bombarded with messages that sugar, carbs and fat are bad for us, but if that is true, then why do I and my clients feel physically well after we eat carbs? (Mentally it may not feel so good.) While the mental turmoil around eating certain foods may still be present, instead of defaulting to the engrained and practiced thought of this food good/bad, you have to be intentional about asking your brain to utilize the below:

Food is = protein, carbs, fat, dairy, or fiber

How food makes your physical body feel is = satisfied, unsatisfied, full, empty, gassy, energized, sluggish, etc.

So, is it okay to have carbs and fat* everyday? Yes. 

*i.e. ice cream

Questions for you: have you found you miss the intense daily cravings that restriction from certain foods used to bring you? Why or why not? Have you considered the question, “what food is supportive to me right now” when choosing a food/meal?

22 comments on “Is it okay to eat sweets everyday?”

  1. Just curious why you include dairy as one of the components of food (versus any other delineation)?

    • Since dairy is usually quick to be eliminated by the ED population and many clients have osteopenia and could benefit from sources of calcium. Plus for the disordered eating population dairy is typically a fear food/“bad” food that some need encouragement to make peace with and approach neutrally before they can decide how it truly feels in their body.

  2. I only started eating a snack every night when I was pregnant with my last and a midwife made a comment about me not having gained much weight and that I should consider snacking more. It felt so free to hear that when those old voices in pregnancy can be so loud about your body changing. I quickly realized how great o felt when I ate a snack every night before bed(even when I didn’t have. Present feeling of hunger necessarily) and I have done it pretty much every single night since then. So simple but once I realized a had a rule about not eating a snack after dinner or right before bed I also realized I feel less ravenous and even stopped waking up feeling nauseous(I thought this was my body’s normal after years of an ED. I’m so glad I know it’s not now!) 

  3. Hi Kylie, I’m not sure if you’ve discussed this on the blog/instagram before, but I wanted to know if you’re heard of and/or read Barbara Eheeneeich’s book “Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer.” It has been on my list for a while and I wanted to know if you had any thoughts. I think her theory about diet rules, food worship and body worship, etc. having come to replace traditional God-centered religion in many people’s lives and in society at large is especially interesting. 
    As always, thanks for the great content! And congratulations on baby number 2 on the way :) 

  4. One thing I think that is important to emphasize is the fact that it can take SO LONG for your body to truly trust that you will give it all the foods it wants. I used to be really restrictive around peanut butter. I loved adding it my breakfast (oatmeal, yogurt bowls, smoothies, toast!), but would frequently try to eliminate it or measure out 1 tsp (the saddest thing I’ve ever seen). When I vowed to embrace intuitive eating, it literally took years of eating a big heaping spoonful peanut butter with my breakfast every single day until the day came that I thought, “you know, I kind of want something else this morning.” It honestly shocked me. This process can take so much longer than we expect.

    • Thanks for sharing, laurel!

    • I agree with this completely! I have been out of residential treatment for about 9 months, and am JUST now starting to feel like I can actually do this.

    • Thanks for adding this! It’s been a long time since I’ve restricted physically but I’m still working on breaking out of the “mental” restriction (having negative thoughts about certain foods, even if I was allowing myself to eat them) and I keep waiting for myself to have that lightbulb “oh, I don’t really want that ice cream (peanut butter, fries, etc etc) and it hasn’t really happened yet. To hear that it took a while for someone else is encouraging that I’ll get there at some point! 

  5. Love your no fear approach to food!!  I also include dairy as pretty much it’s own food group.  Not only do I love it but when I broke my knee skiing they told me it would take 6-8 weeks to heal, but that they never see only 6 weeks so count on 8.  They thought they x-rayed the wrong knee, it had healed so well after only 6 weeks.  Love the Q&A!! 

  6. Hi Kylie, I’ve been following you for a while now but this is my first comment. I really appreciate this post. I am in recovery from anorexia and for the past couple of months, have been in the pendulum swing with intense cravings over to the overeating side because of so much restriction. It’s been really hard to love myself through this part. Now I finally feel like the pendulum is slowing down and moving toward the middle. My intense cravings for all the “bad” foods I didn’t let myself have for so long are slowing down and I’m now trying out intuitive eating where I just eat what feels good. It feels like I’m stepping into the next phase of recovery.

  7. I appreciate hearing this! I’ve often heard the, “once I am allowed to have it, I don’t want it all that much!” storyline around intuitive eating. While that has been true for me for some foods (burgers and pizza), it hasn’t been true for me with ice cream. I always crave it and always eat it- and not a small serving, either. It’s been 2.5 years that I’ve been practicing intuitive eating, and I’m still waiting to be less interested in ice cream. Or maybe ice cream is just that good to my taste buds!

    • I relate so strongly with this! I’ve been eating ice cream daily after dinner because I need some sweet after dinner and it’s always on hand. I feel the same way though, I haven’t gotten tired of it and I don’t just eat a small serving every night, I eat around a coffee mug full of it and I feel like it’s bad and I need to break myself off. But I just can’t go to bed without having that sweet craving satisfied. 

  8. Thank you!! This is perfect – it’s so funny after I asked that question i had a week where a quesadilla sounded better for a pm snack instead of ice cream! lol. Thank you Kylie <3

  9. Hi Kylie, this is a tiny bit off topic but I was just wondering if you would consider doing a post on how you approach feeding your (soon to be two!!!) children and how you plan to talk to them about food. I know little Jojo is still young so a lot of stuff in parenting is a learn as you go approach, but do you have any ideas about how you’d like to approach it in the future?  I’m asking because I have a 5 year old, 2 year old, and another soon to be born daughter (who by the way is also going to be a Joanna😁). I struggle so much with the responsibility of feeding them and teaching them to eat foods that make them feel good but also let there be a variety of tasty foods that maybe don’t have as much nutritional value. Out of fear of passing on disordered eating I have veered too far in the wrong direction where all my kids will eat is what for simplicity purposes I’ll call “junk food” and won’t even touch anything with much nutritional value…and I’ve let them. And now I don’t know how to go about teaching and training them to eat other foods without dividing foods into “healthy” and “not healthy.” Sorry this is long winded, if you ever have time to discuss this, I would love and respect your ideas! 

    • Ahh congrats on the pregnancy! Clearly I too find Joanna to be a fabulous name haha!

      I want to write this post. It just isn’t the right time yet. Maybe in the next year. Still learning and forming my opinions/thoughts on it. I haven’t enjoyed hearing some of the “should’s” (not necessarily from overt diet culture sources) that are thrown around with feeding kids, so I’m trying to see how my approach evolves over the next bit of time. As you said, “parenting is a learn as you go approach” <--STRONGLY AGREE. But, YES, this post is on my mind to write!

  10. Have you considered doing a blog post on food approaches as a mother, as it pertains to introducing different food groups and as well as how other members of the family speak about food? We have family that is GF by choice, and some family who say they “lost a taste for sweets” when they had a gastric sleeve. I have twin daughters and I want them to have a healthy body image and relationship with food. I am worried about food being labeled as good and bad (flour tortillas bad, corn tortillas good as one example of what I have seen at recent holiday gatherings) and just want body/ size positivity in our family. Also, they are identical girls so if they grow differently, I know that will be a big comparison factor. I just want these women we are bringing up in the world to love themselves and their bodies when there are so many industries out there that profit from the opposite. I hope this makes sense!

    Thank you!

  11. Pingback: Day divided between times I was eating and times I was keeping myself from eating. – Yeah…Immaeatthat

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top