It's hard to overcome cravings for food that is too sweet, salty, or fatty. Rather than giving up chocolate, fries, and (god forbid) pizza altogether, stop dealing with food guilt by having 'cheat meals' (or even 'cheat days'). Your cravings will be satisfied and you'll have more control over your appetite when you do eat more indulgent meals.
Often, when we begin to eat healthier, we develop a love-hate relationship with 'junk' food. Sometimes we binge on it and then, we feel guilty afterwards. It isn't worth living a life filled with food guilt.
Here's how to form a healthy relationship with food so that you can stop bingeing and start eating intuitively:
How To Deal with Food Guilt
Clean Your Pantry
It might seem obvious, but we often don't even think about it. If your house isn't filled with food that might lead you to binge, you are much less likely to give into your cravings. It's a basic tip, but it's worth following.
Don't 'plan' your cheat meals
It might seem contradictory, but try not to plan your cheat meals. This might create anticipation and anxiety until your cheat day comes. When you finally indulge, you'll constantly be thinking about your next cheat day. Instead, let your cheat days be spontaneous. Have indulgences during special occasions and be mindful of your splurges.
Savour each meal
When you finally tuck into a “cheat meal”, enjoy it. Eat it slowly, concentrate on its texture and chew it carefully. Maintain a healthy relationship with your meals by suppressing any food guilt that you may feel. You’re having a “cheat meal” and it’s okay! What's the point of having it if you're not going to feel good afterwards? It might make sense to have your 'cheat' meals when you're out with friends rather than when you're eating a meal by yourself.
Portion out your meals
Having a “cheat day” or “meal” doesn’t mean that you have to eat as much you possibly can. Think rationally and try to say “no” to another piece of cake, the largest cola or the whole package of cookies. Practice portion control and think this: “If I want more, I can go and have it. But for now, I’m going to have smaller servings”. This will help you feel fuller sooner and it'll reduce feelings of food guilt.
Opt for healthier options anyway
Try to choose healthier options when you do indulge. Have a burger with leaner cuts of meat, opt for sweet potato fries instead of regular fries, or make banana 'nice' cream instead of full-fat dairy ice cream. Doing this fills you up equally and usually puts less calories and unhealthy substances into your body. This way even your “cheat meals” will be healthy!
With these tips, you may start to crave healthier food options. Remember, that fitness journey lasts a lifetime. Overcome your food guilt and start eating intuitively. It takes time for your body to adapt to changes. Changing your mindset will make things easier, and you will feel amazing when you start to see progress.
This is a post by PumpUp member Sara A. (@bunnies), PumpUp blog contributor. Follow her Tumblr @gurdiel