Are you trying to lose weight and feeling guilty having your favorite foods? Girl, we need to talk. I’m here to tell you that guilt is doing you NO good, and may actually be hindering your progress. Food guilt has no place in your weight loss journey, but so many of us have it. Let’s talk about why food guilt exists, why food guilt is not helping you, and how to deal with it in your weight loss journey.
Where does food guilt even come from?
First, we need to understand that food guilt almost always come from incorrect information that has been fed to you probably hundreds of times throughout your life. We feel guilty eating carbs, we feel guilty eating sweets, we feel guilty drinking alcohol, and we even feel guilty eating more than we think we should or honoring our hunger when it strikes. Why is that? Fad diets and BAD, often unsolicited, diet advice have given you misinformation and told you the “correct” way to live your life. Not cool.
So….. wait- food guilt is actually not necessary for my success and kind of destroying it?
Yeah, basically. All foods fit into a healthy lifestyle, but all our lives we’ve been taught what we are eating is the problem. Carbs are the problem. Sugar is the problem. Fat is the problem. Instead of thinking about our habits, beliefs, attitudes, and environments around food and weight, we’ve been taught to blame the food. And then we’ve been taught to blame our “willpower” when we eat the food we blame. It’s a harmful and unproductive cycle.
So, how can I start prioritizing the foods I love and previously deemed “bad”?
I teach my clients the 80/20 rule: 80% of the time you choose foods that you like that are also helpful for your health goals, energy, and hormone balance. 20% of the time, you choose foods that you LOVE and make you feel psychologically healthy and balanced. This process gets easier and easier as you learn more about the function of certain nutrients and how they promote these habits. It also gets easier as you create awareness of what truly makes you feel great and what you need in order to see successful change.
Key takeaway: food guilt has a lot of deep-rooted, highly personal reasons for all of us. But if you start to think about your weight loss journey as something that is purely yours- something that must be highly personalized- you can start peel away some of that guilt and make way for true success. After all, YOU are the only expert on YOU. It also helps to approach this with curiosity about self-discovery, not self-judgement 🙂
Have a sweet tooth? Check out this post for ideas to incorporate more chocolate into your weight loss journey!
Need individualized help reaching your weight loss goals and ditching food guilt? Apply for one-on-one nutrition coaching here.