In this age and day, it doesn’t take much education for someone to know that they should make healthy food choices for their overall health and wellness. Dieticians and nutritional scientists often tell us to stay away from processed foods, watch the number of calories we take, eat more fruits and veggies, and so on and so forth. The truth is, we are what we eat and when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, you have to carefully watch what you send down your food pipe, how much of it, and how often you do so. But the thing is, many people tend to overly feel guilty when they go off the track and eat foods they’re not supposed to eat when on a diet. Why is it important to fight or give up on guilty pleasures of food? The following are some pointers to help you understand how exactly holding on to guilty pleasures can impact your health, especially when on a diet.
What Are Guilty Pleasures?
As the name clearly suggests, guilty pleasures are simply things that you secretly love but they make you feel guilty about them. This could be food, movies, or even certain habits. In the case of food, guilty pleasures could be things such as high sugar and calorie meals such as burgers, pizzas, and fries, just to name a few examples. Some people tend to feel really guilty after breaking the norm and indulging into “bad foods” or junk food… and what many people do not know, this guilt can affect them in a number of ways.
How Guilt Affects You
While guilt as a feeling comes naturally, it can have a huge impact on your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. You know that feeling that you’ve done something terribly wrong and you don’t know how to make up for it? Well, to some people, it can possibly bring so many different kinds of thoughts that may occupy the mental space, possibly leading to poor judgment and decision-making. This is why some people end up punishing themselves through things such as starvation or over-exercising in the gym.
Guilty pleasures could also impact your physical health and well-being in that the mind, body, and spirit are always interconnected and harming one of them can easily result in harm to the other. As a matter of fact, tons of research has established that guilt and self-blame can literally make you physically sick. Moreover, it could also cause weight gain since you’re more likely to get stress if the feelings of guilt do not go away sooner.
Stress is associated with increasing the body levels of the hormone cortisol, which has been associated with decreasing fat metabolism in the body. And even if you’re burning the same number of calories you’ve been burning to lose weight, you can easily experience when it is termed as a weight loss plateau, which can be really demotivating both for your diet routine and workout plan. In this case, Carrie Heater from HCGDiet.com says that one way to overcome a weight loss plateau is to eat nothing but six apples over a twenty-four-hour period, which will cause weight loss and be a great motivation to continue on the diet. This motivation can also help you fight off the guilt and concentrate on your healthy weight goals. Needless to mention, it is also so ironic how exercise can help kill stress, which means a reduction in cortisol hormone levels, an increase of metabolism, and a boost of energy. And this, unfortunately, takes us back to the importance of watching what you eat!!
Perhaps the only good thing about not dropping your guilty pleasures when dieting is the fact that it has the ability to keep you disciplined… but still in a weird way. When you experience the feelings of guilt or even the consequences, you don’t want to go back there. You don’t want to punish yourself or have to hit the gym twice as much for the next whole week to burn those extra calories you added after you went off-track. That small amount of guilt can weirdly help you stay on track with your diet routine.
But now that you know the impact that self-blame can have on your healthy diet regimen, it is obvious that it is not a good thing to hold on to. After all, grubbing a burger, some cheese or some ol’ macDonald offerings every once in a while won’t be a bad thing as long as you’re active enough to get those calories shed off and that you do not make it your new routine. As a matter of fact, even bodybuilders and international athletes have what we call cheat diets, cheat meals, and cheat days.
How to Give Up On Guilty Pleasures
Cheat days and cheat meals can actually be a great way to get rid of food-related guilty pleasures. This is because it involves planning your diet in such a way that you allow yourself the permission to break the norm and the strict diet rules to enjoy those foods you crave for or used to like. This way, you will have nothing to feel guilty about. Also, it is important to understand that just a single meal or two do not change exactly who you are and what you believe in. Changing your perspective and having positive attitude toward those bad and junk foods could also be helpful. All in all, it’s best to focus on your health and wellness, rather than the scale and how many times you’ve broken your diet rules.
In conclusion, feeling guilty about food can affect your health and wellness, probably more than overeating or food addiction would. Holding on to the thoughts of guilty pleasures can hinder you from achieving your weight loss goals by weighing you down, causing stress, self-blame, and self-punishment, all of which have a negative impact on your body and metabolism. Luckily, you can use the above tips to overcome the feelings of guilt and know how to be better disciplined in your diet routine.