Let's Talk About Food Guilt

Sunday, 5 June 2016

 Any fitness junkie will tell you that food is most difficult part of staying healthy. It's the mental struggle between eating what's going to be good for you and eating what you're REALLY craving. Most of the time I'm really thoughtful about my nutrition and I make sure everything I eat is going to fuel my body how I need it to. With my love of cooking, I've also found foods that are fun to experiment with and great for my health too. I pretty much live by the 80/20 rule, which keeps me sane. And just like everyone else, I do have my off days where I eat 10 million snacks and can't resist my cravings. It happens to all of us.

I'm talking about the internal "Should I, or Shouldn't I?" that makes us feel guilty for giving in. I've decided that it's time to stop punishing ourselves for having a treat every now and again. And it's time to stop expecting everyday to be filled with perfect clean eating. Who's with me?

It's all about the balance 

I know life is too short to not enjoy a pizza to yourself every once in a while, but life really will be short if you don't take care of yourself and have everything in moderation. I've been around a lot of people who abuse their bodies by continuing to fuel it on junk and they can barely survive the work day. They moan about their health problems, but then binge on cake everyday. Now, I love a good piece of cake every once in a while, but I know it's got no nutritional value in it for me. None of us are perfect 24/7, but having a balance of foods that are good for you, and a treat every so often, is key to living a lifestyle that enables you to do the things you want.

Feed your body and your soul

Bad days, or even weeks just happen. And they happen to us all. If I'm particularly crabby and irritated, then food is my go-to comfort and all self-control goes out the window. On these particular days, I don't make myself feel guilty for having an extra serving or another snack of cheese and crackers. Don't feel bad about indulging a little bit on days like this. Food can bring us comfort, so have a little treat to make yourself feel better. Just don't go over-board and make yourself feel worse!

Stop calling them Cheat Meals

 I can't remember where I read it, but someone took to calling those cheeky meals you have once or twice a week, Sanity Meals. Even just mentally, changing the words makes it feel OK to have a treat for working hard on your health. The word "cheating' makes you feel guilty from the outset, so afterwards you might not feel so happy about eating it. But if I've worked my ass off at the gym all week and stuck to my healthy eating, I'm gonna have some Fish and Chips to keep some sanity to it all. Sanity meals are a way of rewarding yourself, so don't feel guilty for indulging when you need it.

Build a healthy relationship with your body

For me, this is the most important factor in making my food choices. The more I've got into fitness, the more I've realized that fueling myself with the right foods can make all the difference to how well I perform. I listen to what my body needs; if I don't have enough strength, I probably need more protein, or more healthy carbs if I'm getting hungry all the time. Fighting your body won't make you feel better, work with it and treat it right for being able to do the things it can do for you. Love it right, and it will treat you the same!

I hope this helps anyone else struggling with food guilt. It's a horrible feeling, but not one that you have to put up with.

What would be your ultimate sanity meal? (Mine's definitely pizza or a McDonald's Apple Pie)
Steph x.


  1. I've recently got so much better with this Steph. With my brother being a personal trainer he has always taught us that no food is bad and that you shouldn't be scared of food, but it's important to know that everything in moderation rule. When I used to tell myself I can't eat chocolate I would crave it all the time, now I don't even think about it, I can go weeks with out eating it or I simply have a piece of dark chocolate and I'm good. Also, tracking macros's has really helped me to not think I've had a bad day if I eat a donut, if it's all within my macros and I'm working out, it's not going to kill me. I love eating fresh foods and spending time in the kitchen really helps bring out a healthy balanced mind frame and it's all about the mind. A salad can be just as delicious as a burger and fries and a burger and fries can be healthy if you tweak a few things, experiment and be happy! :) Sorry for the long ramble! :p

    Lucy x |~ SweetIsAlwaysInStyle || Lifestyle Blog ~

    1. I totally agree! Sometimes I really do get scared of food and then I catch myself and try be better. Dark chocolate is amazing for those cravings, I do that too! Completely agree with tracking macros, it's quite informative and reassuring at the same time. I'd put mine into the My Fitness Pal app and be like, "Oh yay, I can have dessert!" and not even go over my day's allowance. It's so cool that you love cooking as much as I do! It really does help you have a healthy relationship with food : )
      Steph x.

  2. It's so strange that such a simple trick like changing the name from cheat meal to sanity meal makes such a huge difference. I really, really love that idea and will be doing that from now on! I also find that under the guise of a 'cheat' meal...I eat waaaaay more than normal because hey - I'm cheating anyway! But with a new name....I think it would really motivate me to keep it to a minimum.

    Ah man my ultimate sanity meal right now would be a huge great big fat korma with bhajis AND naan. And prawn crackers. And dips. And a large glass of wine. Ahhhhh.

    Katie xx ¦ La Coco Noire

  3. Such a good post! I really like the idea of the 'sanity meal', I have to admit I can put myself down for having a cheat or falling off the wagon. But you're right, we need these for our own sanity!! Great post.

    Kate xx