Guilt is defined as a feeling of having committed wrong or failed in an obligation. When we think about guilt with food this implies that when we make certain food choices, eat more or less etc. we believe we have done something wrong or failed an obligation to ourselves. Thankfully, you do NOT need to feel guilty about your behaviours around food or your food preferences. Guilt may just not be the best motivator.
Here are some tips to help you can try to reduce your guilt around food:
1) Savour your favourite foods and continue to eat them. Over time if you include foods you used to feel guilty about, you will reduce your guilt over time. Remember a balanced diet includes all foods you enjoy.
2) Remember food is for fuel, nourishment and pleasure. It’s not a moral issue. Foods are not good or bad but they all make us feel differently.
3) Trust your body. Your body will tell you how it feels and whether it is satisfied after eating. Sometimes you may eat more just because something tastes good and at other times you may stop when you are satisfied.
4) Explore the food rules you use and question them. Where do they come from? Is it from a good source? Do they actually help you feel good?
5) Be curious about your overall eating pattern. Do you go long periods without eating or have meals or snacks that leave you feeling hungry? Do you eat mindfully? How often do you rely on convenience foods? The list goes on and on but there’s a lot you can learn about your eating patterns that doesn’t involve guilt just thoughtful reflection.