No food should be vilified.
We often place foods in lists as being either good or bad. Although the goal of making it off limits is to reduce the intake of these foods, unfortunately, it often has the opposite effect. Most of the restrictions are limitations on higher calorie foods. There is research to back this up, so it is not just a wives tale.
Research on restricting foods:
- Restricting foods leads to increase intake and carving. A study from the Journal of Appetite looked at restrained versus unrestrained eaters. Restrained eaters abstain from foods that they see as being unhealthy such as high-fat or high-calorie foods. In this study, they found that the restrained eaters tended to desire high-calorie and high-fat foods more than the unrestrained eaters.
The bottom line: If you label foods as “bad” or make them “off-limits”, you will be more likely to crave the foods and overeat them. Instead, I recommend that you consider moderating the foods you love by controlling portion sizes and not vilify them as being off limits.