Feeling hormonal

by Khushboo on April 2, 2012

Although it’s kinda taboo to admit, I think one feeling which many people suffer is food guilt.  Regardless of how much you enjoyed an indulgent meal, certain thoughts often linger post-meal:

  • Why didn’t I just stop after a few bites
  • I wasn’t even hungry
  • There go all my efforts down the drain
  • I feel so fat and bloated”

In other words you wake up feeling like crap.  If you have never experienced this, consider yourself lucky.  For those of you who have, me too!  During my weight loss, eating out used to stress me out more than I want to admit.  The idea of someone else cooking meant uncontrollable amounts of oil and huge portions…and would inevitably result in me feeling guilty about the meal.  As for working out, you better believe that the next morning would involve me spending extra time at the gym or eating significantly less…or both.  Fortunately that was a long time ago: rather than consider what I should/shouldn’t have done, I now just move on.

Although it might feel like it at the time, one day of overindulgence isn’t going to sabotage your health goals.  Feeling guilty doesn’t change what happened but it may continue to have a detrimental impact to your health.  If anything, guilt over food creates internal havoc: our bodies begin to release the stress hormones cortisol & adrenaline.  These are part of our “fight-or-flight” response and were designed to release glucose (i.e. sugar) into the blood stream to be used as energy.  As it’s not being used up, this excess glucose gradually converts into fat.  More than that, these stress hormones completely throw our insulin levels out of whack.  As a result, we start to crave more energy in the form of sugar and starches.

During dinner out on Friday, any ounce of restraint I had completely vanished once the dessert came out.  Normally a couple of bites are enough for me, but between the banana split & rocky road which we ordered, I just couldn’t stop myself.  As easy as it would have been to eat an egg-white omelet for breakfast on Saturday morning and do a longer-than-planned workout, neither crossed my mind.  Trust me when I say that it’s a lot simpler to accept that I ate a bit more calories than planned and move on.  It’s either that or allowing food guilt to consume me both mentally and turn me into a carb-craving, fat-storing machine…and probably cause me to overeat once again.  While overindulgence might feel like a step backwards, the only way that it is going to make as much a difference is if you let it be an excuse to throw in the towel completely.

Have you ever fallen prey to food guilt?

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexandra April 2, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Sadly, yes, I’ve been a victim of food guilt. But when I realized just how much it was consuming me and how much time I was wasting fretting over something that already happened, I started to ignore the thoughts. They can be so pesky!
“one day of overindulgence isn’t going to sabotage your health goals” you’re so right! I wish more people had your views!!

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Khushboo Thadani April 3, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Thanks for sharing, Alexandra! It’s funny how our own thoughts can cause us so much grief!

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sprint2thetable April 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I think we’ve all fallen victim to food guilt, whether we admit it or not. After going vegan for nearly 2 months I ate eggs and cheese last week. Even though I never said I was committed to being vegan, I felt SO guilty. Then I remembered that black truffles and cheese are worth it every time (IMHO). :)

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Khushboo Thadani April 3, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Cheese anything is so worth it! I am on a truffle oil kick lately: it adds such a great flavour!

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Christina Does It All April 2, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I used to experience a lot of food guilt, but I’ve learned to fix the error of my ways. Good post!

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Khushboo Thadani April 3, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Thanks, Christina!

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lovetotrain April 3, 2012 at 12:43 am

i don’t usually feel guilt… just feel gross! Like when I ate an entire banana bread in over the span of two days. and by that i mean.. the night i made it and the next morning. i wish i was exagerating. But it doesn;t happen often though! life is too short to feel guilty about food!

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Khushboo Thadani April 3, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Gag i know that gross feeling oh too well- no bueno!

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Honey What's Cooking April 3, 2012 at 1:24 am

I do feel guilty at times.. but I have such a weakness for desserts, that I now bake them at home so I can control the fat. Even so, I’m not so strict and I only workout twice a week, but I do walk a lot for my commute which helps.

What I do to keep in check is I eat a pretty healthy lunch – salads, yogurts, dinner is usually some kind of homemade indian food, and I treat myself every ngiht to dessert, dark chocolate or something. I can’t do the excessive diets because they don’t work.. I love food way too much, but I also really like my hard in some – soft in some places body. :-)

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Khushboo Thadani April 3, 2012 at 10:01 pm

I need something sweet every night too, even if it’s a small bit- keeps me sane :)

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Charissa (@ColourfulPalate) April 3, 2012 at 7:23 am

I think we all feel that way sometimes…but I don’t deprive myself from dessert. :) I think the key really is moderation and portion size…

And when I do overdo it…I just try to shake it off and do better tomorrow! :)

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Khushboo Thadani April 3, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Absolutely, quality defintely trumps quantity with food- a little bit of something decadent goes a long way!

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ritika April 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm

have i ever fallen prey to food guilt? OMG all the time, i realise that i absolutely gotta stop my all-or-nothing attitude towards food and workouts..
moving on, i shall.

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Khushboo Thadani April 3, 2012 at 10:04 pm

All or nothing is a recipe for disaster…as cliche as it sounds, sticking with 80/20 or 70/30 works wonders!

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ritika April 4, 2012 at 4:53 pm

on a different note, thought this would interest you, chances are you have already seen it, the truth about sugar
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7403942n&tag=contentMain;contentBody

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Nada April 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Food guilt used to plague me during my calorie counting days – especially when I’d hit my measly target (as I always liked to keep a couple of hundred calories “unspent”), and don’t even get me started on the days where I’d go over it.

Nowadays I’ve adopted a much more reasonable outlook towards food and exercise. No, it’s not the end of the world if I have that extra muffin or if I skip a workout because I’m too tired or busy. And it feels damn good saying it, too!

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Khushboo Thadani April 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Love this as I can so relate! When I was counting points on Weight Watchers, I’d always felt like I had overeaten on the days where I met my daily points amount!

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forgottenbeast April 3, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Great post! I think food guilt is something everyone struggles with–but you have such a good outlook on it! Accept that overindulgence happened and move on, instead of making life negative through regret. Because what will that accomplish? Pfft, nothing.

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Khushboo Thadani April 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Pfft so true :)

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Healthiful Balance April 3, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Great post!
I think we all struggle with guilt sometimes after eating a certain food.

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Errign April 3, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I try to not feel guilty for any of my choices, because at the time, I really did want them.

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Snapshots of Happiness April 3, 2012 at 11:55 pm

I really enjoyed this post…. Thanks for sharing!
–I fall into the food guilt ALL the time… Generally on the weekends… And everytime ice cream comes around.

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Khushboo Thadani April 4, 2012 at 11:21 am

I’m really glad you enjoyed this post- I felt it was something loads of people could resonate with :)

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Brittany April 4, 2012 at 12:13 am

Ugh I hate the food guilt. Hate hate HATE it. It happens to me too often. I avoid eating out because I always want to get more bang for my buck..so I eat to much to ensure I ate the restaurant out of their meal price. I have gotten better with cutting myself off and saving the rest for later, but if I eat something that’s not “healthy” to me I have some anxiety about it the next day and maaaybee fall prey to the lack of breakfast/extraworkout ordeal. It’s a work in progress.

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Khushboo Thadani April 4, 2012 at 11:25 am

I’m glad it’s in progress…as opposed to a loss cause :) ! It’s so easy to justify spending so much on a restaurant meal by finishing the whole plate but perhaps look at other ways you’re getting a bang for your buck? For example, no washing up/thinking about what to make/getting served?

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onehealthymunchkin April 4, 2012 at 3:29 am

Yes I can definitely relate to this!!! I’m fairly good at keeping my portions in check at home, but when I go to restaurants, that all goes out the window. I always keep on eating way after I feel full! I feel a bit guilty after, but I’ve learned that there’s nothing I can really do about it, so I just move on.

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Khushboo Thadani April 4, 2012 at 11:26 am

Great attitude- and even though we do overeat sometimes, I’m sure it balances out with the rest of the meals we eat during the week…or one can hope? ;) !

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JoJo April 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I used to get more stressed out eating out/when people try to feed me too. But now I’m more relaxed about it, it’s exhausting to always be worrying about the calories!!

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Kamalkitchen April 4, 2012 at 2:22 pm

You bet! unfortunately, it’s a habit with me…falling prey and then feeling guilty :)

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coffeehousehopper April 5, 2012 at 7:36 pm

So agree, what is it with that guilt?! I think we deserve some cheating once in a while! I totally can be so good through a day, and then when it comes to “dessert” in the evening cave… I just love desserts! :) And for some reason.. it’s easier to give in, in the evenings after eating amazing all day versus starting off the day cheating. Why is taht?

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Khushboo Thadani April 6, 2012 at 11:21 am

So true about giving in during the evening versus starting the day off! Maybe we feel like we “earned” it after being so healthy the rest of the day?

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Alyse April 11, 2012 at 1:55 am

I’m a big fan of indulging now and then, so I don’t generally suffer any food guilt. The gross feeling, on the other hand, encourages me not to repeat the indulgence too often :)

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Khushboo Thadani April 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Yeah that gross feeling isn’t pleasant at all..and sometimes it doesn’t even have anything to do with the guilt!

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