Skittle you not!

“It is Friday, treat day!”

“I will have a nice piece of chocolate cake after lunch and have a few glasses of vino after work, because I worked so hard all day..or because “I had such a rubbish week”.. does this sound familiar to you? I still catch myself saying these things or at least thinking of saying them to justify my food or drink choices. It used to make me feel better for a second, only then to find myself waking up next day regretting that third glass of fizz or the snack I opened way too late.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we need to label foods treats or naughty or sins?

I got some Skittles the other day for Mia’s birthday party. There were 18 mini bags in the multipack and figured as we only had 9 party bags to make, I could have one, “as a treat”…explaining to myself, it was ok, I had a rubbish week suffering from hay fever, having the first day of my period and feeling lethargic. The moment the thoughts came up I caught myself self-loathing and it got me thinking.. No, it didn’t stop me eating! – I hear you laugh!

Why do we need to give ourselves permission to have a bag of sweets or a glass of wine? Do we really need to limit ourselves to these special occasions to have a “treat”, to have something we enjoy? This seem to give these foods and drinks more power over us and make them more special to crave? I believe (and research also suggests the same) that categorising food and drinks like this can lead to binge eating and drinking – and of course extra weight that you probably do not want or need. Which then creates a vicious circle. You will feel worse and to lift your mood, you will have some more treats and drinks, and so on. This came up many times when I was researching mental health and nutrition for my diploma in culinary medicine. It suddenly all made sense!

So what can you do instead?

Educating yourself is the best place to start to build a better relationship with food. Listening to your body and your own circadian rhythm will help guide you. If this is something you are not used to, I suggest asking yourself whenever you can this question: “What do I need today?” You might be surprised about the answers your inner guidance and body will give you. It took me a long time to put this into practice and it is still work in progress. Podcasts, articles, books really helped me learn about all of this.

This is just a little nudge from my corner of the internet – if it feels appropriate with where you are on your health journey – to start noticing the language you use in relation to food. Are these phrases and labels helping you? Has this created a routine that perhaps no longer serves you? I am thinking of for example the Friday lunch treats and visits to the chippy, the bottles of wines that get opened as it is the weekend and you “should” chill. Are you just choosing those options because that is what you do on a Friday or Saturday night? Have you considered what else could help you relax and tune in for the weekend?

These are the actual questions I ask myself nowadays and exactly what I ask my clients when they are trying to build healthier habits. Not to judge you or make you feel ashamed, more to make you aware of your patters. Being aware is the first step in any kind of healing or change, or at least this is how I see it.

Another way to approach this is asking yourself which part of you you are “treating” with these habits and food choices? Are you emotional eating? What are you numbing? And if you have children, what kind of example are you showing them?

Have you considered using the language and labels to your advantage and re-labelling a healthy salad or a nice balanced dish as a treat? I have done this and although it felt very strange at first, it also made me feel better later. It did not give me the sugar rush I was hoping for but it nourished my body in a way that I didn’t need the sweet “treats”.

If you are trying to get healthier and stuck with the how, get in touch for a free consultation. I would be love to hear from you!

With love,



2 thoughts on “Skittle you not!”

  • Hey Viki
    A very interesting read and one that is quite timely for me! I find myself thinking of any opportunity to ‘have a treat’ and more often than not it is a sweet treat and extremely unhealthy. Essentially, I am ‘treating myself’ to foods that are actually harming me and not making me feel any better at all. I will try reframing ‘treats’ to include healthier options – great idea. Thank you for a thought-provoking blog.

    • Hi Raheel, thanks so much for reading my post and leaving me a comment. I am glad it has made you think about the language around food and labels too. I look forward to hearing how the reframing goes. Viki