In life when an action is followed by regret does that mean you are doing something wrong? The definition of regret is sadness or disappointment caused especially by something beyond a person’s control. In the case of eating, do you have control? And if you do then why do so many of us eat then immediately feel regret for what we just ate? This feeling can start with just eating a little too much for dinner or having that cupcake that a co-worker brought to work, but is this guilt or just an awareness and self reflection to get back on track and start eating healthy again. If this feeling is occurring more then just occasionally then you may need to stop and ask your self “why am I feeling so out of control and is it because I am truly eating unhealthy or maybe or this feeling can turn into a feeling of disappointment every time we eat (regret). So how do you avoid the negative feeling of regret?
Have a plan…
Before any plan can be established you first have to find out where you currently are or in this case what are your eating habits. Here are a few questions that may be helpful to identify your own habits and more importantly how to establish a plan to get out of guilty eating.
What time are your meals?
What do you typically eat for those meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)?
What restaurants that you frequent and what do you order?
What does your grocery list look like?
Do you cook, if so, what are your go-tos?
Do you eat by yourself or with others?
Do you know the serving sizes that you eat?
Do you drink calories? (Alcohol, sodas, or meal replacements)?
How do you feel after you eat? Some optional answers may be; full, satisfied, energized, sluggish, uncomfortable, guilty, regretful, happy or sad.
These are just some of many questions to help identifying your own eating habits and the feelings behind these habits. If guilt is a frequent feeling from the habits of your eating, it may be a good time to start with how you view food. I don’t like to think of food as “good” or “bad” I think of food as “what is the level of nutrition this food will provide for my body?” or “How is the food going to impact my body in a positive or negative way?.”
I believe that life is also about enjoying things in moderation, so by no means am I going to give up ice cream forever, because it has little nutritional value, but what it does mean is that I am going to enjoy in once in awhile or on special occasions and in smaller servings sizes. Food has no place in the realm of making us feel bad about ourselves. We need to stop looking down on ourselves because of what we eat, and start respecting our bodies enough to give it what it needs to be the healthiest it can be. When we change the focus, and plan our actions, the results will soon follow.