TLS Tip: 4 Tips for Banishing “Food Guilt”

By: Tayler Glenn

The holidays can come with a serving of guilt when it comes to food. It’s easy to get caught up in your own guilt trap after a weekend of celebrations, but this mindset can take the fun out of Finding Your Fit and pave the way to an unhealthy relationship with food. Learn how to recognize and move beyond this diet dilemma below:

What is food guilt?

It really is exactly what it sounds like: a negative feeling towards yourself or food after a perceived indulgence. It can include behaviors such as micromanaging food intake and timing, feeling negative about oneself after eating or punishing oneself emotionally for not resisting something “off limits”.  Researchers say experiencing this from time to time is normal, but constant guilt creates an unhealthy relationship with the food you need to fuel your body.


What can you do about food guilt?

Accept mistakes and move on

So, normally you wouldn’t have a few glasses of wine and a slice of pie, but that definitely happened. The good news: it’s going to be okay.

Life happens. One day of indulgence doesn’t mean you’re a failure, and it’s definitely not a sign that your healthy lifestyle has come to a screeching halt. It’s important to remember that when it comes to healthy lifestyle, it’s your day-to-day habits that make the most difference.

You can’t change the past, so acknowledge what happened, understand that it makes a minuscule impact in the long run, and get back to working towards those TLS goals!


Exercise is not a punishment

Make that your mantra, especially when you’re feeling guilty.  Exercise is a celebration of what your body is able to do and one step closer to a healthier body, not a punishment for eating another slice of grandma’s pie you’ve been thinking about all year.  It’s not all about “burning calories”, right? Exercise to care for yourself because you deserve a healthy body and a long, active life!


Savor your food

When you’ve finally decided to go for dessert, you might be tempted to eat it quickly so you can avoid feeling guilty while you’re finishing those last few bites. Don’t! If you take the time to savor each bite, you’ll feel sated more quickly. But, you don’t have to stop with the food! Savor everything from the company, music, and lighting, too.  It’s a great way to remind yourself that the food is only a single aspect of the holidays and that the people and places we enjoy play just as large of a roll.


The thing to remember this holiday season is if you are generally eating healthily, moving your body, and getting enough sleep, then a small treat for the holidays won’t derail you in a big way.  Remember what the holidays are about + don’t let food guilt get in the way of what’s important!