Health is not just about having a healthy body, its also so important to have a healthy mind. By ridding yourself of food-related guilt, you pave the way for a calm, easy and loving relationship with food.
Sadly, guilt surrounding food is a familiar feeling to so many of us and it’s horrible! Horrible, horrible! It is so easy to beat yourself up for giving in to temptation but this only makes it harder to commit to a healthy lifestyle and instead often results in a vicious cycle of binge eating.
Whether you are making changes to your diet or just generally trying to eat healthily there are ALWAYS times when you give in to cravings or have a need to eat when a raw/vegan/wholefood/organic/paleo/grass fed/blessed by unicorns option isn’t available. And contrary to how you may feel in that moment, this is not The End of The World (or The End of Healthy Eating for those of you who are slightly less melodramatic). Either way, a side dish of guilt is not a pleasant addition to any meal.
Here are my favourite ways to get rid of guilt and ensure eating is always the totally lovely experience it should be:
01. Don’t label your diet!
If you are trying to stick to a particular style of eating (eg. Paleo, Vegan) but you find you keep “cheating” (and then berating yourself) try dropping the label! Because guess what?! You can still eat healthily without subscribing to a specific diet! Hooray! For example, although my diet fits into the Paleo approach most of the time, I don’t label myself as such because, hey, sometimes I want to eat some quiona, goats cheese or rice malt syrup (or any other non-Paleo-approved whole foods). These are all beautiful, healthy, nourishing foods and there’s no way in haloumi I’ll beat myself up for eating them. If asked, I tell people I try to eat real and whole foods as much as I can. Feel free to steal that line and free yourself from those limiting labels.
02. Take it slow
When you’re eating something you might feel guilty about…slow down and enjoy it! Too often we shovel down those “naughty” foods in the hope that speedy eating = didn’t even really eat that (block of) chocolate. Unfortunately that ain’t how it works sweet cheeks. If you let yourself savour that glass of wine or scoop of ice cream you will feel satisfied and you'll be less likely to overdo it. Give yourself permission to enjoy your food BEFORE eating it and you won't get the guilts after.
03. Practice moderation.
Enjoy healthy eating with a 90%/10% approach - eat well 90% of the time and allow yourself to eat whatever you like the other 10%. This means you can enjoy a slice of pizza out to dinner with friends or indulge in that cocktail once or twice a week and still keep on track with your healthy eating. You can have your cake and eat it too, just not every day.
04. Plan ahead.
Plan these indulgence meals ahead of time. This will help you keep your healthy eating on track and stop you feeling deprived as you can look forward to enjoying a treat while you eat healthily. Telling yourself you can never eat certain foods is far too restrictive to be sustainable! I find that social occasions are a nice time to relax my eating approach and an easy way to schedule in treats. It also means that I am not a Fussy Pain In The Bum when it comes to eating out with friends. Win!
05. Find a healthier way to indulge!
This is my favourite! There are so many options when it comes to choosing healthier versions of your vice(s): Buy organic wine! Make your own raw chocolate! Try healthy restaurants! Use small amounts of dates, honey, rice malt syrup or maple syrup as sweeteners instead of refined sugar! Make homemade popcorn or kale chips instead of eating potato chips! Have a healthy potluck dinner with friends! Pop a couple of frozen bananas in your blender with a tablespoon of nut butter and make your own ice cream! Try this, this or this! Healthy eating is scrum-diddly-umptious so get experimenting!
Note: be a little cautious when enjoying raw desserts (think caramel slice, vegan cheese cakes and raw versions of your favourite chocolate bar). Although these are healthier options as they are made with wholefood ingredients, they are still often high in sugar and should be enjoyed as a treat.
ENJOY your food! LOVE your body! And create healthy changes that last.
Let me know what you think! Is food guilt something you struggle with or have overcome? Would you like know how to get those healthy habits to stick? Why not schedule a free chat with me and we'll hash it out.
Lots of love,