Anything good always gets my attention, but I read somewhere, “Guilt is not an ingredient” and it stuck with me.
Happiness can be edible, whether it is brownies or chocolates and all food must be enjoyed. The only thing that matters is to ditch the guilt and strengthen your relationship with food. And this why you shouldn’t feel guilty about eating certain foods…
Food Isn’t “Good” or “Bad”
It is super crucial to now that no food must be categorized as either “good” or “bad” or should make you feel guilty. This happens when we put the induced labels on the food and our behavior around them.
If we label it as ‘bad’, the response is restriction. This sets that ‘feeling-out-of-control’ reaction whenever we are around food.
But when you abandon this concept of labeling, all restrictions are forsaken and you can actually choose to enjoy your food. Moreover, labeling it as “guilt-free” is just the other side of the coin and because no food has guilt as its ingredient. Which is unless if you are stealing food. Be guilty, then.
Food Is Nourishing in So Many Ways
There are so many reasons we choose to eat- for nourishment, satisfaction, energy, for the sake of companionship, taste, etc. So instead of asking if this food is good or bad, ask yourself “What do I need at this moment?”
And this will alter your relationship with food for life.
Food Makes Us Happy
The important thing is to realize that food makes us happy. It is comforting and can instantly connect us to memories growing up or a loved one. It can make you feel energized and get you through your workout or probably a day you do not want to get off your couch.
The reality of food is that it is a part of the celebration and brings people together. It tastes good and brings joy.
Cooking, baking or eating can get you through stress or anxiety. Emotional eating is not detrimental; it’s a coping mechanism and that’s quite neat.
We Need Food to Survive
The non-negotiable part of being a human being is that we need food to survive. It keeps us alive, gives us energy and helps us take care of ourselves. And this is where having a positive approach towards food actually increases the variety we need in our diets.
You don’t need to ‘earn’ your food, and you don’t need to ‘burn-off’ your food.
How Can I Stop Feeling Guilty About Food?
Listen to your body: Don’t be judgemental, be curious about the amount and type of food you are having. Our body gravitates toward different kinds and amounts of food each day. It has its own dynamics and it’s quite normal.
Acknowledging your hunger instead of criticizing it can help you know your body better; you will feel more in tune with yourself and your eating patterns.
Question where the guilt is coming from: Who really said that you must feel bad for things to taste good? Ask yourself that. Who said you need to make food your enemy and see your life as a constant struggle of ‘to eat or not to eat’? Who said that ‘I’m bad’ for eating one kind of food and not eating another kind?
Who creates all these rules? Negotiate with yourself for these answers and challenge the negative thoughts. Feel empowered and happy when you see a brownie, or pizza or an ice-cream as ‘just food.’
Ditch the diet mentality: If you feel bad that you can not stick to a diet, just know that it’s not the food, it’s the diet mentality.
Diets are supposed to be restrictive and we immediately develop a “good” or “bad” reaction to them. Then, we see food in a black and white conversation- either we are ‘doing it right’ or ‘we have ruined it all.’
How we eat has to be sustainable in order to support our health and lifestyle. So if you see eating a brownie as “breaking your diet” or “cheating”, know that’s a clue that your way of eating might be failing you.
Then your eating pattern is neither of these three things- sustainable, flexible or REALISTIC.
The only approach to getting through this situation is the acceptance of food as a reality and ditching the labels and guilt. Enter the grey zone where eating is still flexible and subjective to you.
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What’s next: Looking for some serious healthy life changes this lockdown season? Hop on to my next write-up: 15 Healthy Life Changes In 15 Days.