food rules

Posted: October 5, 2010 at 8:58 am

Bloggers of the Day! (randomly chosen from yesterday’s comments)


Good morning! I’m about to head into another busy day, although at least this one is all fun-filled. Yesterday I had so many things to get done that I didn’t even eat dinner until 8:45 pm!  I had to tutor last night and then stop at the store on the way home. It never fails that I forget something when grocery shopping. Without question, I inhaled my food immediately upon butt contact with the kitchen chair.


I dined on a turkey burger with my usual toppings – ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions, and tomato. I like the basics. Sides, however, can spice it up. We noshed on our first roasted butternut squash of the season. Delicious!

While eating my late dinner, I began thinking about those old food rules I used to follow. One of which touted that eating after 7 pm would cause my body to store every drop I ate as fat. No matter if my overall calorie consumption balanced out. Eating past the golden hour automatically equated to pudge in my book. In that same situation, years ago I might have convinced myself I was no longer hungry or had nothing more than a few veggies. How twisted! Like my body switches off its mitochondrial metabolism support at 7 pm. Riiiggghhhttt.

Then I remembered other “food rules” I used to live by. Laughable now really. Besides not eating after 7, I also could not have complex carbohydrates except around my workouts. So, in other words 2 meals a day and only on training days. Now, does a meal without complex carbs even exist? Not in my stomach!


Another rule in line with that? I could not could not could not consume a starch (complex carbohydrate) with a fat source. Oats and nut butter? Not possible. My body wouldn’t be able to process the nut butter after processing the carbs so I would get fat. Where did this logic even come from? Oh yea. I know. I won’t name names though. Let’s just say I no longer need to send out an “SOS” with my breakfasts. Like my morning’s glorious bowl with oats, 1/2 banana, sprinkle of raisins, and glob of Nutella. 😀


And I cannot forget the golden protein rule! I would keel over and die if I did not eat at least 1 gram of protein per my weight each and every day. Usually I consumed even more than that, getting upwards of 150g each day. That would be 100g OVER the recommended amount for healthy living. I don’t imply its bad to eat more protein, but forcing yourself to eat more because you fear muscle loss and not allowing yourself other foods you love to fit in protein…that’s not too smart. I wasn’t too smart. How did I force myself to eat so much of this…which I don’t even like?


I think my favorite food rule of all, however, was the need to rate my fruits and veggies. Berries and apples? Good. I can have one per day. After a workout, but of course. Bananas, peaches, and grapes? A bit too much sugar…better avoid. Green beans, spinach, and broccoli? Good! Zucchini, squashes, potatoes, corn, carrots, and peas? Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 “grade B/C” veggie calories.

French beans. potatoes in bowl 3 horizontal

I am not kidding. I used to view food that way. No wonder I binged! Carrots were “bad”! Letting go of food rules was one of the best things I have ever done. It freed me from fearing food and giving it power over me. I now eat how satisfies me and in the process learned that quality foods satisfy me more than anything else. Although that doesn’t stop me from having one food rule. Make room for a bit of dessert every day. 😉 Why, hello there special treat to share for tonight’s special Sister Night courtesy of BlogHer!


  • Have you ever succumbed to any of these food rules? Or what others have you placed on yourself?
  • What are your favorite burger (be it beef/turkey/bean) toppings?

[All photos not my own from]

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91 Comments to “food rules”
  1. (raising hand!!! Over here!)

    Food rules used to dictate my day, my mood, my decisions, my social life, ME in general. I am still working towards a no-food-rules life. They sneak back, creep to the front of my mind and ease their way into my day. Life used to be full of anxiety b/c of my rules. A good day was a day following the rules by the book!!!

    No way to live…restriction is not something my mind can handle as a result of 15 years with those rules so that is why intuitive and mindful eating is my dream cone true! I can be, relax and look at the world without food rules everywhere!

    My best and most ridiculous rule? The meat and egg only diet. That was so fun!!!! (horrendous, silly and not healthy) oh the things we do to ourselves!

  2. Sunny says:

    i’m pretty sure we all followed some stupid food rule at some point in our lives.. but one thing i know for sure is that PB/any nut butter without a starch isn’t even worth having, haha 🙂

  3. […] couple pieces of blog housekeeping – 1) LOVED reading all your thoughts on the Food Rules post from this morning. 2) Check out my guest post on Biochemista. It’s a letter written to my college […]

  4. Burger toppings: avocado, tomato, lettuce, pickles, ketchup and mustard. Sometimes cheese, but I find I can never actually taste the cheese since the other flavours overpower. 🙂

  5. I love this post- I believed so many of these fallacies that it makes me laugh!! I remember throwing tantrums because my boyfriend wasn’t hungry for dinner at 5:30, obsessing over grams of protein and spending an hour in the cereal aisle comparing calories to protein grams in every box of cereal, shunning any carb but WeightWatchers bread…oh yes, silly silly silly silly!! I’m so glad we all know better now!!

    Fave burger toppings (for my veggie burgers!) are salsa, pickles, tomatoes, mustard and ketchup!

  6. i feel that i can eat whatever i want at breakfast. okay thats not a rule but i in the past have been convinced that anything you eaten at night makes you fat but chocolate in the morning has zero effect. haha. actually, maybe i’ll go on believing that. makes life way more fun…

  7. Felicia says:

    okay, honestly, i started thinking the same exact way. It led me to bingeing too. SAME EXACTTT thoughts about fruit and veggies, etc. basically everything you just said. I had many of the same rules. The one that really disturbs me is how I let myself into feeling guilty for eating a freaking banana. Really? Really?! There is so much info out there that I twisted my brain up. Too much fat, not enough fat, too many carbs, not enough whole grains, etc,etc! It really lead me to have a distorted eating pattern, being so strict on days and then binging at night, feeling so guilty, gaining weight, etc. I felt like I lost a piece of my soul and wanted to just be normal again and eat without caring about every-single-little-thing. I just read this after posting about my binging habits actually. It is comforting to know I am not the only one that has these same thoughts and feelings… I’m just finding what works for me and I’m eating intuitively. Thank you for sharing this tina!

    • Tina says:

      That’s exactly what I hope to share. I hope to show that others have been in the same situation with the same thoughts…and that it is possible to find more balance. 🙂

  8. tabs says:

    Seriously, you just opened my head and pulled out a few of my old food rules…all of them so ridiculous. Why do we even need “rules” to eat? Are we playing a game? We shouldn’t be, that’s for sure. But I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who has fallen for these “healthy” rules. It’s also so good to find out how much more enjoyable life can be without rules.

    Oh, and I know EXACTLY who you’re talking about when it comes to not combining your “carbo’s” with proteins. Where did that logic even come from, anyway?

  9. […] want french toast, dangit! and now I will do that without worry. for more on this topic, check out tina’s recent post on food rules. it’s […]

  10. I can so relate Tina. There are times now when I look at a certain food and wonder what the initial reason was that I stopped eating it over a decade ago. Currently, I am trying to open up the foods that I will eat and let go of those food rules that have taken over my life. No need to send out an “SOS”, because some of those rules set me up for major problems, as well. My mother HATED when she would ask if I was hungry and I would look at the clock before giving her an answer. I’m trying to learn to listen to my body and give it what it wants and needs, instead of always restricting, which only leads to problems in the long run.

    I can really relate to what Felicia wrote. There’s so much info out there. Sometimes, I think that I know too much and confuse myself.

    Great post! Hope you’re well!! 🙂

  11. Dee says:

    Oh wow! After reading this post, I just realized that I have very many food rules, I just didn’t know it! 🙁

  12. […] Do What I Enjoy – I find healthy food choices, recipes, and combos that I actually like eating. I no longer force myself to follow food rules. For workouts, I pick things that are fun to me. I took time to discover what I truly like and try […]

  13. ugh I hate those food rules ESP the no eating after 7pm thing! I usualyl eat dinner around 730 so thats out the window and I usually always have a nighttime snack like cottage cheese and pb or greek yogurt and almond butter.

    Yes for my competition I will havet o cut out certain fruits and vegetables but I would NEVER do this long term!

  14. […] It Simple Stupid. Yes, it would be stupid of me to make things more difficult than necessary and place rules and restrictions on myself. I only want to have to defeat binge eating once, ya […]

  15. […] my old food rules, protein only came in the form of lean meats – a source that would provide almost purely protein […]

  16. […] used to have so many food rules. Once I stopped listing foods as good or bad and opened myself up to everything, food had less […]

  17. […] the shape you hope to achieve. I finally chose to listen to my body after years of following crazy food rules and ended up in the best shape of my life. I took that same approach post-Braedon and, wouldn’t […]

  18. Bella says:

    Oh gosh. I remember these!
    I remember reading all kinds of fads like this. Don’t eat 3 hours before bed no matter how late you get home. 1200 Calories for maximum weight loss, yadda yadda. Oh and my favorite, the no snacking rule? YEAH RIGHT. Want to throw me into a binge, take away my snacks! Sad part was.. I followed all of them. Heck I was even down to 1000 calories a day once. 500 or less for lunch and 500 or less for dinner. Scary I know. I am glad that I know I can eat what I want when I am hungry and still stay at a healthy weight now!

    As far as burgers, well veggie burgers for me.. Sweet Baby Rae’s BBQ sauce and caramelized onions. <3

    • Tina says:

      Isn’t it crazy all the things we used to do to our bodies!? Thank goodness for the chance to wisen up. 🙂

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