How to deal with that post-indulgence guilt

So you indulged over Easter? Good on you!! But now you’re experiencing intense feelings of guilt as a result? You’re ruminating and over-analysing all the things you ate over the weekend…

  • “I shouldn’t have eaten that”
  • “I wish I didn’t eat that”
  • “That wasn’t the healthiest choice”
  • “I should have been stricter”
  • Etc. etc. etc.

Trust me, I’ve been there. I use to constantly fall victim to the guilty feelings if I ever so slightly slipped up on my ‘perfectly’ planned meal plan/diet. I’d constantly be punishing myself with restricted intake, skipping of meals and upping my cardio sessions. I just couldn’t forget that one minor ‘slip up’. I viewed myself as a failure because of it and that guilt slowly ate away at me and lead to some very unhealthy behaviours.

And this type of behaviour is not uncommon. Especially with type A perfectionist personalities like myself. We tend to fixate and obsess over small details – not always a bad thing, but in this case it sure is.

‘Perfect’ eating does not exist, so we can’t allow ourselves to fixate and dwell on these small indulgences – they are a part of life! Not being able to let go and move on from the weekend of eating, feeling guilty about what you did eat and punishing yourself as a result is not healthy in the slightest. Luckily I’ve learnt how to let go of the guilt I use to feel after I indulged and I can now indulge freely as part of a balanced diet. So if your feeling that same feeling of guilt after some Easter indulgences, here’s my 5 tips on how to beat the guilt…

  1. Take a deep breath and let go of any feelings of guilt, stress and anxiety your holding onto. Holding onto guilt and stress not only affects you mentally, but affects your physical body in terms of digestion. So let go and free your mind of these negative thoughts. A accept whats done is done, its in the past and dwelling on it and feeling guilty about it now isn’t going to change it. In that moment, that piece of chocolate or Chocolate Easter Bunny was what you wanted.
  2. Acknowledge that ‘perfect’ eating does not exist. It just doesn’t! It’s not reasonable to expect yourself to eat ‘perfectly’ every second of every day. You have to live and enjoy life; and that includes  Easter lunch, Easter eggs, chocolate and whatever other treats you enjoy! Relieve the pressure to always maintain a ‘perfect’ diet and feel the guilt of those indulgences drift away.
  3. Go back to your normal daily eating routine. Don’t give in to the temptation to skip meals or restrict your intake just because you ate a little bit more than usual over the weekend. This will only do more harm than good and is a very unhealthy mentality to adopt. Our bodies respond to what we do MOST of the time; not sometimes. It can handle a couple days of indulgences. So after the festivities are over, don’t continue to dwell on the guilt of what you ate – just return to your usual, healthy balanced eating. Trust your body to metabolise that food into much needed energy.
  4. Go back to your normal exercise routine. Just as in the above point, our bodies respond to what we do most of the time. A few extra treats aren’t going to automatically undo all your hard work in the gym or make you gain fat in a day. So resist the temptation to up your cardio sessions or length of your workouts. Just return to your normal routine and trust your body.
  5. Continue to allow yourself treats. Just because you had an indulgent weekend, doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of treats altogether now. I choose to allow myself 2-3 treats after dinner each week as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Because complete restriction only results in the desire to binge later down the track. By including treats in my weekly diet, I don’t feel guilty at all for indulging because its planned and I enjoy every treat and eat it mindfully.

So those are my 5 tips to beat the post-Easter indulgence guilt. They 100% work for me and I hope they work for you too, but it won’t happen overnight. Beating those awful guilty feelings takes time and effort, but once you free yourself from it altogether, you’ll feel like a new person. And Easter is such a happy time of year, so don’t let guilt of what you ate take that joy away from you and those around you.

Hope you all had a fabulous Easter xxx

Be sure to join me over on Instagram (@eb.fiitness) for daily motivation, recipes and fitness tips! xxx

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