Five Words You Should Stop Using When You Talk About Food

  • June 13, 2019

You are what you eat, yes, but you are also what you speak. The power of words extends beyond being able to influence or win another person over; we must not forget, our own body is always listening too. How you speak about matters can therefore go a long way to determining your body’s relationship with it- especially when it comes to food.

Don’t underestimate the power of words, and your beliefs and thoughts as expressed through them. Even those mutterings under your breath are just as potent as the ideas you openly proclaim and endorse. So choose your words wisely – not because you are a word Nazi but because your choice of words- however simple- can go a long way to influencing how you feel, relate and respond to the food you eat.

It can play a role in how well you embrace the food you eat as well as in just how easily you shed those extra pounds; it can influence how satisfied you are after eating a meal or how great you feel on cooking it. Remember, it isn’t just about what you eat, but how you eat it too and therein lays the role words play. To give you a heads-up, we have listed five common yet highly avoidable words when it comes to culinary conversations; you might want to start by omitting these the next time you speak about food.

1. Never: Never say never especially when you talk about food. Not only does using the word ‘never’ create forbidden fruits out of pretty much anything, but it shifts our system into a denial mode. Whether looking to cut out the chocolate or just tweaking your food habits, like with everything else practice moderation in your choice of words. You may actually never eat another piece of chocolate, but if you use the word ‘never’ to set down the ground rules it is probably going to be a bumpier ride.

2. Loss: I hear it all the time – eat this to lose weight, don’t eat that to lose weight. Now if anything shedding a few pounds is not a loss in any of my books, yet we continue to refer to it as that. The idea of loss, even when I am celebrating it, is sooner or later registered as anything but that by my body. When talking about food, diets and your weight, try using ‘shed’ or ‘release’ instead of loss to keep your system in a positive frame of mind, and keep the pounds rolling off.

3. Bad: As I have explored and experimented with my diet to find one optimized to my body, I have come to realize that a lot of foods I was warned against are actually the ones that suit me best, while healthy raw salads just don’t seem to cut it with my slow metabolism. Yet for years I couldn’t get myself to eat what I calmly do now for they were deemed ‘bad’ for you, sugar being a simple example. I am not saying I now gorge on sugar or that it is all great, but what may be right in a certain quantity for one person may not be so for another, and vice versa. Instead of labelling food as good or bad, take a more individual stance with ‘appropriate’ and ‘not appropriate’.

4. Perfect: Have you cooked yourself the perfect meal, or are you following the perfect diet? Whether you realize it or not, perfection brings a lot more stress and demand than you may have initially bargained for. It induces stress, anxieties and discontent that not only take away from the joy of food, but also just how well your body digests and responds to it. Instead of ‘perfect’ try equally positive words such as ‘amazing’, ‘spectacular’ or ‘grand’- all of which imply just as fabulous an experience without setting up rigid benchmarks.

5. Ugly: It’s simple – if your food is ugly you shouldn’t be consuming it, or better you shouldn’t be calling your food names such as ‘ugly’. Whether scouring through fresh vegetables at the supermart or when preparing and presenting your meals, try and lay off the judgments when it comes to how good your food looks. Your meals priority is to nurture you and nourish you tantalizing a few senses along the way, but your eyes are low on the list. Therefore, when discussing your own cooking or another’s, lay off the harshness to keep the negativity out of your meal time.


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