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Good Food, Bad Food


Locking yourself up in a cage day after day will inevitably lead to strange behavior when you are set free. The fact that you overeat is not a sign that you are helpless to resist the call of ice cream from a freezer so you must never eat ice cream again. It is only an indicator that you locked yourself up and are now rebelling against being confined. You need to learn to trust the inner voice that tells you what feels good and what doesn't, and you can't do that by restricting yourself to someone else's menu plan.

Take a close look at your food-and-weight history. How much of your seemingly erratic behavior resulted from restriction? How many food fests were on the tail end of diets? Then start slowly by asking yourself — and acting on — these two very simple questions:

What foods give you energy?
What foods drain your energy?

Your body already knows the answers to these questions, although your mind might not like to hear them. Your body might say, "Kale and broiled fish for dinner please," while your mind was hoping to hear, "Carrot cake and fried sweet potatoes." But take it from me, there will be times when your body says, "Chocolate truffles, please!" and your mind says, "All right!" — and it will be all right.

Geneen Roth is an international teacher, speaker, and writer of best-selling books on emotional eating. You can visit her at


Originally published on June 10, 2008


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