The holidays are in full swing, and food is usually an integral part of our yearly celebrations. Unfortunately, some of us may actually feel guilty for eating certain foods around this time of year. Y’all know what we’re talking about - mashed potatoes with pools of gravy, piles of stuffing, grandma’s famous lasagna, and all the pie. And cookies. And cake. And a few libations for good measure.
Of course all these foods are delicious and enjoyable, but do you ever feel guilty for eating these kinds of foods? Do you ever overdo it when eating these special types of meals and dishes? Let’s take a deeper look into this and discuss why you shouldn’t ever feel guilty for eating.
Feeling guilty for eating foods that are high in carbs, sugar, fat, or contain ingredients you tend to avoid is rooted in dieting. At this point most of us have been on a diet - it’s estimated that 36% of Americans identify as following a specific way of eating. And when we follow diets that have strict guidelines, feelings of guilt can arise when we eat things outside the rules of the diet. We feel like we’ve messed up, we’re being “bad.” Essentially we feel like we’re failing.
For some people yummy holiday dishes are no big deal. They have their green bean casserole on Thanksgiving Day, and the next day they’re up at 6 AM on a run followed by a green smoothie. But for others, this guilt may impact their whole day, week, or longer. They feel like they failed because they overdid it, which makes them think “well, I already screwed up, might as well eat these brownies too.” And before you know it, they’re bingeing on foods they’ve restricted in the past, and end up feeling way worse, way more guilty, and in a toxic cycle of binging and dieting.
This is why we should never feel guilty for eating any kinds of food. Beating yourself up over one meal or cookie is not going to do you or your health any favors, it’s just going to make you feel worse.
So, what can you do instead? The holidays will always occur year after year. So will birthdays, weddings, and other events where rich and decadent foods will be served. Of course you can choose to avoid these foods altogether, but where’s the fun in that? If you are going to have that slice of pecan pie, eat it, savor it, enjoy it, stop eating it once you are satisfied, and move on with your life! Don’t overthink it, don’t feel guilty about it. One slice of pie will not make or break your health. You did not do any irreparable damage to yourself. Your running shoes and green smoothie will be right there waiting tomorrow morning.
Another way you can help reduce food guilt is to normalize desserts! And this is how Swerve can help. We know it’s probably not the healthiest thing to eat sugar all the time, but swapping sugar for Swerve in recipes creates a healthier treat without sacrificing the flavor or experience of dessert. The bottom line? Let’s all eat more dessert (preferably made with Swerve) without feeling guilty for it. Happy Holidays!