When will “guilt-free” go out of style?

Twitter is my own personal version of the “grey lady” newspaper wrapped up on a screen with a shiny light blue bird. This morning I scrolled through my feed as usual and came across a story that made me go…what. in. the. world.

Bethenny Frankel, talk show host, chef, and creator of the original Skinnygirl® Cocktail company, announced this morning that she plans to release a strain of marijuana under the Skinnygirl brand that won’t cause the associated “munchies”, according to a report by USWeekly.

The Skinnygirl® brand has a line of “guilt-free” ready to serve cocktails, wine, and vodka, and claims that all forms of alcohol are low calorie.

Well, if we are already trying to make alcohol guilt-free, it must be a smart business plan stretch it out to marijuana, the medical drug now legal for recreational use in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. Maybe Frankel is on to something.

Maybe Frankel is just  banking on the “guilt free,” “low fat,” “fewer calorie,” sensation that has the consumer world going “this will help me be healthier!” in the middle of the grocery aisle.

Face it: all of us have chosen one product over another because of these claims. I choose “light” Yoplait yogurts over the original version because of it.

You might even choose a gluten-free or paleo option from a restaurant menu just because it sounds a little healthier without knowing if there are any real health benefits.

Now here’s the question: Why are we obsessed with aiming for “guilt-free” in our diets?

Guilt-free doesn’t always necessarily mean healthier, and even when it does, we all deserve to indulge in what we love if we keep in mind that these things are a treat.

You don’t need to go for the light alternative to ice cream and choose a frozen yogurt or sorbet if you’re really craving that ice cream. You can have a few scoops of the double chocolate fudge ice cream without beating yourself up about it.

Your body knows how to bounce back if you are consistent with your weekly workouts and keep your diet natural and healthy at least 80% of the time.

Most of the time, these “low-fat” and “lower-calorie” options are adding in the amount of sugar and artificial sweeteners to substitute the fat and calories with equally health devastating alternatives.

As college students, it’s important to remember that staying healthy doesn’t mean you don’t have to restrict yourself from what you love. Crash diets are just that: made to make you crash and binge later.

Keep it mind: eating natural, fresh produce, vegetables, grass-fed meats, dairy, and occasional sweet treats are essential to staying healthy and focused throughout the quarter!

So while you’re at it, forget the Skinnygirl cocktails and this reported new strain of marijuana and stick with what you enjoy, completely guilt free.

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