How To Release Guilt and Enjoy Food Again
Chances are at some point you’ve tried to make a healthier version of one of your favorite foods. We’ve all heard of tricks to swap out indulgent foods, for versions with less calories, less sugar, or other so-called bad ingredients.
It’s actually quite a common practice and if you’ve ever picked up a diet book, you’ve definitely seen things like healthy versions of pizza, cookies, brownies…the list goes on.
If this is something you find yourself doing, this could be working against you.
So why doesn’t swapping work?
Swapping out something that you want for a healthier version can cause you to eat more of it just because it’s deemed healthier. This doesn’t usually happen consciously and you might not be aware that it’s happening.
The biggest reason swapping doesn’t work though, is because the healthy version is rarely ever as satisfying as the real version.
The other day we went to the grocery store and decided to get some ice cream. When we got home we realized we had accidentally picked up the light version. It was so terrible we had to throw it away!
Ask yourself if you’re actually feeling satisfied after eating your swap.
The most common example I use with my clients is that no amount of strawberries will ever be the same, or as satisfying, as eating strawberry ice cream, if the ice cream is what you really want. Of course, there will be times when you might actually want the strawberries, and this would be a great time to eat some fresh strawberries.
Consistently feeling unsatisfied from your foods will leave you feeling like something is missing, and you’ll keep looking for that thing to satisfy you.
When your mind is full of rules and a list of things you aren’t allowing yourself to eat, this will leave you resorting to willpower.
Willpower can only go so far, and eventually you’ll find yourself bingeing on the very things you were trying to stay away from in the first place. This is called the binge, repent, repeat cycle, and it will leave you feeling trapped, frustrated, and full of guilt and shame.
Can you see how swapping, even with the best of intentions, can lead you to eat more of the treats than you normally would have?
Great, so now that you know why swapping doesn’t work, let’s talk about a couple things to do instead.
First, just eat the real thing. What do you actually want right now? You’re better off eating the real ice cream instead of the light fake stuff that you don’t even like.
Implementing this correctly will leave you enjoying your food and feeling more satisfied than ever. You’ll also be much more connected to your body and feel much healthier!
For most people, this concept can feel really scary, and for good reason. We’ve been conditioned to think we can’t feel satisfied and healthy at the same time. You might feel like your health journey needs to feel hard, or else it’s not working. When I work with my clients, we untangle the beliefs holding you in that sense of struggle. Then we implement the right steps in the right order so that you are moving toward a healthier you in a way that feels easy. Living in struggle is no fun, and you can’t hate yourself or your body into good health.
The second thing to do is get to the root cause of your cravings. When I work with clients, we always discover what the root cause is. Covering up symptoms won't lead to lasting habit change. If you find yourself reaching for food when you’re not hungry, using food to cope, or having a lot of cravings, it could be a sign that it’s time to get some support. If this sounds like you, click here now, to schedule a time to talk.
Let’s get you feeling better, together!