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6 Ways to Reduce Food Guilt | Food Guilt is a Weight Loss Red Flag

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"If you're experiencing high levels of food guilt when you eat out/eat less-nutrient dense foods, it's a sign that your weight loss journey is moving in an unhealthy direction. Food guilt is not normal."

- Elaine Acheampong of @ilaineyflex

Food guilt is so familiar among us that it's practically accepted as the 'normal standard' - especially since weight loss and 'healthy living' being popular (and controversial) topics for many decades. We receive messages that provoke this from social media "beauty standards'', marketing tactics, our childhood and our perception of food.


Experiencing food guilt when actively working to lose weight or stay 'healthy' is not beneficial or effective in achieving your desired goal. You're essentially blackmailing yourself by giving out a helping of shame when (or after) you consume food to ensure your survival and all for the sake of "looking good for the 'gram" - does that sound fair to you?

This game of going back and forth of restrictive eating & binging with sprinkles of self-induced embarrassment undoubtedly places a strain on your mental and emotional well-being and can invite the onset, or trigger, an eating disorder.

Let's look into why food guilt is a red flag to your overall well-being, as well as 6 ways to break the connection between feeling regretful and consuming food.

When Eating Healthy becomes Unhealthy:

Just because you're reaching your daily macronutrients, on a slight calorie deficit and exercising five days a week doesn't mean that you are living your happiest and healthiest life.

In a society that places so much pressure on how we 'should' look, dress and live, it seems unnatural to 'eat and be merry!' and be genuinely grateful to be alive.

However, it is exciting to live in a time focused on each of us eating well and being holistically balanced but the line between health-conscious and health-obsessed is very slim.

Orthorexia Nervosa, coined in 1998, is described as "an obsession with proper or healthful eating". A person with this eating disorder can reject whole food groups (all carbs, all fats, all meats, etc.) and can lead to the rejection of all meals they do not deem to be "pure".¹

This is only a brief description of the disorder. Orthorexia isn't yet formally recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Please consult a medical professional if your food guilt affects your quality of life.