Food guilt occurs when we feel very shameful and sad for consuming food. The smallest amount of food can make us look down upon ourselves. Have you ever felt very sad after eating your favourite fried chips? Well, that is food guilt! In this article, we understand what causes food guilt. We learn about why experience food guilt and the ways we can fix it!
Chapter 1:Signs of Food Guilt
Food guilt alters our eating habits. It can affect us mentally and emotionally. It can also cause many physical issues. Following are some signs that you may be going through food guilt:
- You feel that you have betrayed yourself after eating anything. It can be as minor as eating candy.
- You self-loathe even at the sight of a food item that you feel like eating.
- You feel ashamed while eating out.
- It is difficult for you to enjoy the food that you’re eating
Food guilt affects our mental health. We can overthink all the carbs and sugar we consumed. It can disturb our mental peace. We may engage in unhealthy forms of dieting and exercise to burn the extra calories we consumed. We may also experience food guilt because we see so many social media stars endorsing some kind of food and shaming people for eating unhealthy.
Chapter 2:What Causes Food Guilt? Why Do We Experience It?
There are many reasons for food guilt. Largely it is based on our perception. Here are some reasons for food guilt:
- Dieting: When we are dieting, we feel that we are breaking a rule when we eat out of our diet plan. Moreover, we feel guilty about not being disciplined enough. We think that we are not serious which is why we have cheated on the diet. Additionally, when we are dieting, we are extra conscious of the calories we consume. Therefore any addition to our diet could alarm us. We will therefore feel guilty about going out of our diet plans.
- Food labels: Food items have labels that indicate nutritional values. Food labelled as high in fat or carbs can make us feel guilty. We may love the taste of it but we feel guilty for consuming them. We know that the food is not good for our health. Some people may have sweet tooth and hence overeat sugary items. We tend to overeat because we like to eat to our heart’s content. However, later we feel guilty for consuming those extra sugars. We associate well with healthy and bad with unhealthy. Therefore we feel guilty for consuming ‘Bad’ food items.
- Eating disorder: When we suffer from binge eating disorder or anorexia (where people starve themselves), a small amount of food can bring intense guilt and sadness.
- Social environment: We may feel guilty for eating food in some environments. When we are amongst a group of very health-conscious people, we may think twice before ordering a can of coke. We may feel guilty for eating our favourite chocolate ice cream in front of them.
- Trauma: In past, if our parents were very critical of our food habits, we may feel guilty for consuming food now.
Chapter 3:How to Fix Food Guilt?
While it is important to be careful of what we eat, eating should not be a guilty event for us. Guilt occurs when we feel we have done something wrong. Eating is not wrong. Food guilt can affect our social relationships. Due to the guilt, we may not enjoy a fun moment with friends or family. Food dishes also carry some emotional value. We may end up hurting the emotions of the cook who has made the dish for us. For instance, if our grandmother has a family recipe and she wants you to try it. You may tell her no because you have food guilt. This can hurt your grandmother. Here are some ways you can fix food guilt: