Don’t get me wrong I LOVE instagram! But it is probably the worst offender for promoting “FOOD SHAMING ”! With the rise of “food styling” “food photography“ “clean eating” new recipe #ontheblog! Seems everyone’s who’s anyone, has got a food blog, or recipe book. I for one am Bombarded by the largely unrealistic & an endless stream of immaculately presented salads, colourful smoothie bowls & let’s not forget those perfectly risen home bakes that just makes your food look – Frankly!! – Shit!! in comparison!!!
You may not be a domestic goddess food photographer or food stylist , So it’s good to know “ITS OK IF YOUR FOOD DOES NOT LOOK PERFECT!!! “
FACT – There’s no one-size-fits-all diet & Nutrition SO it’s time to stop being so judgemental, criticising others for what or what not they put into their bodies.
If I’m honest I have to put my hand up to this, it was one of the hardest lesson for me to learn as a nutrition coach, I found myself constantly telling people how to eat healthier, and caught myself rolling my eyes in frustration when I saw people eating what I considered junk or unhealthy food. But the more people I worked with, and the more I got to know my own body, the more I realised how individual & unique our relationship with food really is. What we eat is intensely personal, and can provoke a very real & emotional response. I believe what people eat is ultimately their business, I do believe we should educate & empower, give people the full facts & support them through change, I learned very quickly It’s not up to me or anyone else to determine what someone should or shouldn’t eat, and this is why food shaming has got to stop!
6 food shaming behaviours that need to die NOW!!!
1. Making judgement comments on food someone is eating is never cool! It’s time to put a stop to comments like,
“You’re eating THAT?” and “I thought you ate clean!”
“That looks disgusting!”
“Vegan diets are some much healthier for
“You want to go Keto to live longer”
“That causes cancer”
Leaving a comment like this can make someone feel bad for what they’re eating, and can lead to exclusion or prevent them from fully enjoying it. If someone judges you for your food choices it’s important to try to understand that most are likely only trying to help, others well they are just sad! so take a deep breath, and bring your attention back to the pleasure of enjoying your meal. (Alternatively DO NOT LOOK At your damn phone whilst eating!)
2. Giving the “stink eye” at others for where they eat, such as at their desk! Or in front of the tv, I used to get this a lot whilst I was marathon training mainly because I eat a lot of mackerel!! As long as they’re not bothering you by eating then there’s no reason to pay any mind to someone for eating while they’re doing something else. There are a number of reasons why a person wants to eat this way, none of which are anyone else’s concern. Feeling judged for eating at your desk or elsewhere can make people feel awkward & self conscious. Don’t give into pressure, If you feel judgment for doing this, remember that you every right to nourish yourself in anyway you want.
3. Hot topic at the moment! With plant based & vegan foods flooding social media! Shaming someone for eating or not eating meat. This is a classic food-shaming behaviour calling someone insensitive, unfeeling or worse a murder for eating meat, or deeming someone “new age, elitist, faddy or pretentious” for choosing to go vegan! or veggie. All the people I know have legitimate & very personal reasons for eating or not eating meat, I have found judging someones choice only pushes them away and makes them feel alienated, misunderstood. If you’re being judged on your relationship with meat or being plant based, remember that you are completely entitled to your own diet, to eat what is ideal for you, even if it conflicts other peoples ideas of sense.
4. Making people feel bad for not finishing their plate is WRONG! & it’s ok to say NO THANKS I’m FULL! The phrase “No Thank you is so underused” Growing up, I was always made, forced & even blackmailed to finish my plate – “All those poor starving children!”. But the truth is, no one has the right to force or blackmail anyone into eating more than their body wants or really needs. We are ALL in charge of what & how much we put into our bodies, and if that means we only eat some of the food on our plates, it is what it is!, but In the same breath, if someone has a healthy appetite & continually finishes their plate even when they’re not hungry – great stuff!.
5. Commenting on someone’s ability to “get away with” eating or not eating whatever they want! Let’s put an end to telling others what we shouldn’t eat “ oh you really can’t eat” that or saying “I wish we could eat like them”. Next time you see your naturally slender friend eating a big piece of cake, instead of asking how she gets away with it, remember that we have absolutely no idea what she had for lunch, how active she is, or any idea of what her body composition or genetics are. Alternately, if you find yourself being asked how you eat the way you do, have compassion for the fact that the person asking may not have a healthy relationship with food & may not feel like they can eat what they want. If you can empower them and then go on back to enjoying your food!
6. Suggesting healthier alternatives!! Obviously! this is a double edged sword and a tricky one for me as I believe sharing is caring, so ok I had a little bash at instagram & food bloggers, Its a fact there’s some awesome bloggers (myself included) & hundreds of gluten free, vegan and sugar free recipes out there, it’s hard not to share the love & offer people alternative options to some of their favourite foods. However, this might make them feel like they shouldn’t be eating what they truly love especially if yours doesn’t quite measure up to the Instagram version. If someone offers you a healthier option of a food you love, it’s best to maybe stop & recognise that the person is just trying to help you or share something cool they learned with you. At the end of the day, the only reason we criticise others is because we are quick to judge & often too hard & on ourselves. Practice self- love, compassion, if you allow the inner critic in you, to beat yourself up after you’ve eaten too much or mindlessly munched your way through a whole “share” bag of revels or had something that didn’t agree with you!
YOU will drive your self insane! FACT!!!
And if you truly want to help the people around you become healthier, lead by example show people how rewarding it can be to relinquish stress & start listening to your OWN body’s subtle little cues, it’s constantly sending you signals of what craves and needs.
@instagram – Reebalancenutrition