I Feel Guilty for Eating Over the Holidays. What Should I Do?
It’s cruel really when you think about it. At exactly the same time you know you’re meant to relax around food – festive season – the food guilt and weight worries turn up like unannounced in-laws just in time to ruin your holiday. Don’t let this mess with your holidays. Come back to these tips.
I know I’m not alone here when it comes to these joy-killing scenarios.
You imagine that family you haven’t seen in a long time will judge your body or appearance. Bleurgh.
You feel scared to wear a swimsuit or can’t find anything to wear that makes you feel comfortable. Oooft.
You cringe when you see a photo of yourself and then can’t enjoy the moment because you’re too busy thinking about how awful you think you look. Not fun.
You lie in bed agonising over what you ate that day, then anxiously run over in your head how you’ll ”make up for it”. Ugh.
How to stop feeling guilty after eating over the holidays
If food guilt and body hate have ruined too many holidays…I know they have messed with mine in the past, so here are some things I want you to know – and come back to.
- It’s totally okay to give yourself permission to overeat. The holidays are exactly the time to relax around food. If not now, seriously when?
Note: If you’re overeating regularly and often, you might benefit from my FREE 5-day course to stop binge and emotional eating.
I teach you how to eat without feeling guilty and all the tricks and tips that helped me to skip the cravings and feel in control around food. The course will be delivered via email straight into your inbox. 💌
- You may gain weight over the holiday. It’s natural. It happens. It’s nothing to stress about. When the holiday is over, and your body returns to its pre-holiday routine, voila, so will your pre-holiday weight.
- If a family member or ‘friend’ judges your body or food choices. Firstly, ugh, that’s so not okay, and secondly, it’s their problem. It’s got nothing to do with your weight and everything to do with their own body hang-ups. Food shaming really sucks. Need tips for what to do when it happens? Here’s a blog post on just that.
Oh, and you might also like this poddy episode: Intuitive eating during the holidays
- Guilt won’t help you eat less or lose weight. It will give you a sinking pit-of-your-stomach feeling, screw with your happiness, isolate you from the people you love and ruin what’s meant to be a happy time. What a hoot, food guilt!
- And while we’re at it, food guilt doesn’t help you eat any healthier. It sets you up for all-or-nothing thinking and we all know how that ends, right? Hello under-eating that immediately spirals into out-of-control overeating. Side note: if this happens, this blog post How to stop feeling guilty after a binge or overeating has your back. I share my top tips on how to deal with food guilt.
- You’re worthy. It doesn’t matter that you ate Christmas pudding for breakfast, whether you have makeup on or that photo angle isn’t your best, you have permission to like yourself. Your worth is so much deeper than how you look.
- You know that deep in your bones, right? But there’s also a mean girl voice in your head. Imagining your brain is a radio can help. When you hear that neg voice, try to see if you can change the channel – from self-loathing to self-acceptance, because the second one is way more enjoyable to tune into.
Let’s work with some examples here. I start by simply telling myself:
- “It’s not my life’s purpose to have a flat stomach and look good from every angle.”
- “I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.”
- “I accept myself – and I accept others.”
- “My body is allowed to change. I trust that my body will look after me if I listen to it, instead of criticism.”
- “I’m allowed to relax around food. When I return to my usual routine, my body will return to its usual shape.”
8. How many more years or holidays will be wasted because you never looked “perfect” enough? Bare with me while I get all end-of-year-existential for a minute and ask you a few questions I’ve asked myself before I ditched dieting for good.
➡️ What would you prefer to count – almonds or happy memories?
➡️ At the end of your life, will you remember your soft stomach, or will you regret how much time you spent worrying about it?
“I feel guilty for eating.” – Stop worrying about holiday weight gain
It’s time to start thinking differently about your body and your relationship with food.
If you can have one goal this holiday – or this year – decide that you won’t spend yet another year controlled by body dysmorphia or diet culture. Don’t let diets be the only constant in your life. It really is time to live your best life.
Need a little extra support? In my FREE 30-day challenge I’ll teach you how to say goodbye to crappy old-school diet advice and create a healthier relationship with food. Click here to sign up for F*CK DIETS Challenge.
I hope your holiday is joyful, healthy and guilt-free.
If you’d love ongoing support to eat healthily when the holiday is over and side-step the food guilt after eating, check out my app Back to Basics.