Stop Wondering Which Foods are Good or Bad

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green, yellow, and red light foods

I have a client named John. John first came to me wanting to drop 20 pounds.

John had success losing body fat in the past but he struggled to find something that worked for him long-term.

“One week a certain food is good and the next week someone says it’s bad. I don’t know what to believe,” he explained. 

The problem here is that John was following a bunch of rules he thought he “should” follow. John was listening to what other people said about which foods are “bad” and which foods are “good.”

We tend to compartmentalize foods as good, bad, right, or wrong (I have been guilty of this too).

There are no “bad” foods.

Bad for who? Me? You? Someone with diabetes? 

And bad for what? Does the food taste bad? Is it bad for athletic performance? Is it bad for digestion? Bad for keeping you lean? 

We need more context than just “good” or “bad.”

I use this technique with my clients called green light, yellow light, and red light foods to encourage clients to think for themselves and never rely on what other people say is good or bad.

Green light foods

  • Foods you like
  • Foods that digest well
  • Foods that support your goals
  • Foods you can eat sanely

Yellow light foods

  • Foods you can tolerate sometimes
  • Foods that have consequences if consumed in excess
  • Foods that can be consumed in certain situations
  • Foods you can have a little of

Red light foods

  • Foods you don’t even really like
  • Foods that destroy your stomach and digestion
  • Foods that derail your goals
  • Foods that trigger overeating

Open your mind from the container of good or bad and think about the larger picture. 

We can all benefit from going with more of the green light foods, slowing down on the yellow, and stopping with the red light foods.

Take action – Make your personalized list of green, yellow, and red light foods.

For more tips on learning how to personalize your eating check out my blog post – “How I Eat as a Nutritionist.”


PS. I hope you enjoyed this powerful exercise! Deciding what and how much to eat can be confusing (especially if you are used to dieting). This is why I have devoted my life to teaching people how to ditch dieting and learn to eat intuitively. I do this by using a set of principles that makes eating something easy to understand. Book a free 15-minute consultation here.

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