Updated: Jul 10, 2021
Have you ever felt food remorse? You know the typical: “Oh, I shouldn’t have eaten that...”, “Why did I let myself eat that much?”, “Oh, this is going to derail my entire day/week...”. These thoughts often come after “holiday eating”, because holidays can create the “perfect storm” if you don’t control your thoughts regarding food. I did some research and I want to share with you some tips on how to AVOID feeling guilt.
I want to start with this quote from Melissa Hartwig “[…] Food freedom is feeling in control of the food that you eat, instead of food controlling you. It’s about indulging when it’s worth it, passing when it isn’t, and never feeling guilt or shame for doing either. [...] True food freedom means you never again feel powerless over food.” So, we need to change our perception of food. Let me give you 5 tips:
1) Let’s remember than food is more than just fuel. It is also mixed in the way we socialize. It’s a way in which we share experiences. So, when we eat just for the enjoyment of it (just like at any holiday), this is also healthy.
2) Don’t try to counterbalance by exercising or to feel like you can “earn” your food. If you have a consistent, healthy llifestyle, treating yourself won’t really affect you and you should stop any of these negative thoughts on its tracks.
3) Don’t focus on subtracting but rather adding. We always start by cutting out foods we like but what if we avoided the guilt of treating ourselves by adding actions that benefit your overall health, such as: a 10 minute walk, drink more water, add 1 fruit a day. This will also help you overall, not just when you feel guilt from holiday eating.
4) Make a decision and let go. Make a mindful decision and let go of anything else. If you choose to eat the slice of cake, do so with the midset of full enjoyment and nothing more. Also, recognize that guilt serves no purpose. It won’t “subtract” what you ate, it won’t turn back time but it will tarnish the happiness from the moment.
5) Think in terms of progress, not perfection. Remember that enjoying a treat won’t derail you from your goals. You can eat a cookie and continue with your healthy lifestyle, it doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”.
Let me know, have you EVER felt “guilt” over eating something? If so, how did you cope with it?