Healthy Food Story  >  Feeling Guilty After You Eat? Try This.

Feeling Guilty After You Eat? Try This.

Feeling Guilty After You EatWhy do food and guilt go hand in hand?

Does this sound familiar...

I feel GUILTY when:

  • Indulging in unhealthy foods
  • Eating when I’m not really hungry
  • Making poor food choices
  • Indulging in comfort foods
  • Munching on sweets
  • Looking in the mirror

And that guilt you feel?

It puts your entire life on hold.  Not to mention that it serves no useful or forward moving purpose.

Guilt saps every ounce of energy you have. It drops you into an endless array of stress and pressure. It forces you into a constant battle between your body and your mind.

The minute you introduce guilt into your world, your inner critic becomes the loudest voice in the room. Suddenly, your mind turns into an evil villain – spouting harsh judgments that you instantly start to believe.

Here’s what I know:

  • Paying attention to your inner critic won’t help you lose weight.
  • Hating your body isn’t going to get you any closer to looking like a million bucks.
  • Always thinking “I should” do something will lead to nothing but stress and disappointment.

Are you ready to take the power away from the voices in your head and put it back in your body?

Here’s how: you need to show your body some respect by learning to listen to it.

Your body is smart. It has a lot to tell you … if you really tune in.

But going through life at warp speed and focusing on your never-ending to-do list, pushing and pushing to get everything done … will never rid you of guilt. Why? Because you’re too busy being a human doing rather than a human being, which prevents you from tuning in…and keeps you from making choices that are in alignment with what your body really needs.

Think about it. If you're in go-go-go mode:

How can you really know if you're hungry? How do you notice the signals that you're full or satiated? How do you understand what your cravings really mean? How do you experience a pleasurable meal and savor all the goodness? How do you take in all the sensations when you barely have time to chew?

What's the result of not listening to your body? Oftentimes, a big old serving of guilt.

Your ultimate goal is to find ways to slow down so that you can be more intentional and mindful to create the space to listen to your body.

Instead of eating your meal mindlessly while standing up, try sitting down and noticing the smells, the flavors, the tastes and textures. Instead of beating yourself up for wanting the chocolate chip cookie, try paying attention to why you might be having cravings. Instead of assuming that you need to finish your plate and then feeling uncomfortably full, try putting down your fork and checking in with yourself mid-meal.

When you tune into the wisdom of your body and allow your actions to follow suit, you're much more likely to make guilt-free choices with food... and beyond.

Your Turn! In the comments below, share ONE way that you can start listening to your body so that you can stop feeling guilty after you eat.


  • Silvia says:

    My friend…you are onto something big when you talk about guilt and food…in fact guilt and anything is so big that we could spend lifetimes getting rid of the darn thing. You’re so right…guilt has no place messing with our food! As a chef most of the times I get so full from tasting, it’s hard to eat a full meal. After many years of this however, I’ve learned that I just don’t like the feeling of being full…so I stop. But I do love to linger at the table with family and friends…I just don’t have to be eating while I do it.

    • Silvia, you always have the wisest nuggets to share. I love how you said that “guilt has no place messing with our food”. Another quotable comment. You are a chef who is truly in tune with what your body needs:).

  • Mamaste says:

    Elise, This couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Just this past Monday I lost my beloved pet. She was with us for 18 years and was such a big part of the family.
    I had over whelming sadness and yes some guilt. The old patterns came into play. I was craving one of those mega chocolate chip cookies, you know the ones you get at the gourmet grocery store. But your wise words came into my head.
    I went straight to the produce section and picked up a container of raspberries. When I got home I indulged in a bowl of those berries drenched in home-made whipped cream. Decadent, yes, but a wise choice.
    I felt satiated and complete. This was a nourishing splurge that healed my craving and my heart.
    Thank you Elise, for helping me make better choices.

    • Mamaste, I am so very sorry to hear about your cat. These furry family members leave way too soon. I am sure that she lived a life filled with love.
      I am impressed that you were able to tune in and make nourishing choices during a time of overwhelming sadness. The bowl of berries and homemade whipped cream sounds divine!

  • Stacey says:

    This is such a nice post and a topic that deserves a lot of attention in my opinion…back in the days of being heavily into a phase of very disordered eating, there wasn’t anything that I could put in my mouth that wouldn’t make me feel guilty. The truth is, for me, when I stopped putting labels on food (i.e. that has too many carbs or it actually has a little added sugar), one bite or maybe even two, can become plenty to savor. I can enjoy a small serving of something yummy instead of feeling guilty and then wanting to binge or compensate through exercise.

    • Stacey, wow! Thank you for sharing how you were able to change your mindset and start to enjoy your food instead of being ridden with guilt. I can really relate to all the stress associated with labeling your food. I have been there, too….and it’s not fun!

  • holy food says:

    Great article with excellent idea! I appreciate your post. Thanks so much and let keep on sharing your stuffs keep it up.
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  • H. Wolf says:

    Hi Elise, came across your blog via Instagram and so thankful I found this! I’ve been reading about mindful eating and body acceptance and awareness on Summer Tomato and Laura Houssain and still couldn’t understand why I couldn’t apply the principles a lot of times. But this article has made something click: there is just no way I can listen to my body and stop eating at lunch when satisfied if I am still feeling guilt from a banana as a mid-morning snack. The guilt just disconnects the mind and body and constantly leads me into an endless cycle of overeating and guilt.

    • Hi Henriette,
      Thank you so much for joining the conversation here. The whole guilt cycle can get out of control and create a disconnect. This is the number one issue/concern I hear from this community, so we are all in this together. There is a better way, and just creating the awareness of it is a huge start!

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