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Food and Guilt

That pang of guilt after eating something unhealthy was something that some people really battled with they feel really horrible and hate themselves after eating something that wasn’t on the plan they are following,

And with the Christmas season upon us we don’t want to feel horrible every time we have a mince pie or a glass of mulled wine. Here is why those feelings of guilt are totally unnecessary.

There are 2 mistakes

  1. you see it as a diet rather than a new lifestyle

  2. you begin to develop a bad relationship with food

If you go off track and eat something that was not part of your plan (whatever your plan is), feeling guilty about it is not going to take it back. You have eaten the cake – worrying obsessively about it is not going to change that you ate it. It is just going to escalate the problem – especially if you are an emotional eater. When you do go off track a little, the guilt felt usually makes you feel so much worse that you just think “Oh well, I will carry on eating junk – I might as well”. That attitude isn’t going to get you anywhere.

Just draw a line under it, ditch the guilt and move on.

Everyone has that one food that sends them off track, that they just can’t eat in moderation. Ice cream, crisps, biscuits, cheese and Pizza. If you KNOW you can’t eat them in moderation, just don’t have them.

This might not be what you want to hear, but if you are still in the beginning of your weight loss/getting healthy, you might not be in a place yet where you can exercise restraint.

We put so much pressure on ourselves to have a perfect diet, comparing ourselves to how “good” people are eating and how “bad” we have been ourselves. All that this pressure and guilt actually does is take the pleasure out of eating, because it certainly doesn’t change what you have eaten. You ate that giant bit of cake because you like cake. Once you have eaten it and feel guilt over it, you are not enjoying that cake any more, but you have still eaten it – so what is the point in the guilt?

You might think that the guilt will make you make a better choice next time – but has that really worked for you?

Here are some things that may help eliminate guilt surrounding eating.

–arrange your food so it looks nice and pretty.

– Remind yourself that eating is about balance. Have you been eating lots of foods that make your body feel good and healthy for most of the week? Yes? Well, how is that slice of cake and coffee with a friend really going to change that? Don’t look at every single food choice and analyse it, instead, analyse the patterns over a few day, weeks and months. Not every food you eat has to be “perfect” or low fat/low in sugar.

– Stop judging yourself based on your food choices. What you eat does not define you as a person.

– enjoy and savour every single mouthful and take time eating it. If you shovel it all into your mouth, then you know that you are binge/emotional eating. Whereas if you take it slowly and enjoy it, you know that you are eating it because you want to enjoy eating something you like. When you go on holiday, you don’t wish for it to come to an end do you? Well the same is with eating, take it slow.

– Identify the things that you truly do love. For some, the guilt around eating came from binging on foods you don’t really like anyway – they were just there. just accept it and moved on

If you are seeing this as a lifestyle change rather than a diet, which you should be, then banning all the foods that you love forever is not realistic, as you won’t be able to stick to it. You might be able to ban them during a “diet”, but this is for life! There is no end date for getting healthy. You won’t stick to this lifestyle change if it is devoid of pleasure and feeling guilt from eating is taking that pleasure away. It is OKAY to indulge sometimes, it is when it becomes constant indulging that you need to address the reasons for it and start to do something about it if you feel it is changing your life. But if you eat some cake one week, you ARE NOT A BAD PERSON!

It is about making the choices that are right for YOU and ENJOYING them and forming habits. What is life if it is full of guilt? Life is for living and being happy after all. Form healthy habits and skip the guilt!

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