Dieting remorse can hit suddenly and painfully. You’ve been doing great with your eating strategy and then you ate a huge piece of cake…okay half a cake, let’s be real here. Now, you feel awful. It’s not just all that cake swirling around in your digestive system making you feel bad. There’s an emotional component, too, and it’s a powerful one.
The Feeling of Dieting Remorse
Dieting remorse is caused by a number of different types of behavior. On the whole, it is usually the result of having done well for a while in committing to your eating strategy, only to go entirely off-plan and have something that is essentially the opposite of what your eating strategy indicated you should.
You ate a bag of chips, a massive piece of cake, or all the ice cream in the freezer, for instance. Or perhaps you went out with friends with the intention of having a white wine spritzer and ended up plowing through a plate of cheesy nachos to go with your three beers.
Suddenly, you’re disgusted with yourself. You feel a world of regret for your actions, guilty for having abandoned your strategy so quickly, and even a bit fearful that you’ve lost all control. After all, what if this is a sign of things to come? What if you’ll never control your eating habits? What do you do now?
It’s a Terrible Feeling, So Here’s How to Cope
Dieting remorse can feel far more upsetting than the physical impact of your binge. That said, it isn’t necessarily inevitable. It’s important to start building a healthier and more respectful relationship with your food. That will help you to be able to overcome the feelings more quickly and prevent them from happening in the first place.
After all, when dieting remorse happens, giving in to it will only be damaging to your motivation and your sense of being able to successfully move forward. Coping with it and building yourself back up again will help you to learn from what happened.
Why did you leap so far off your strategy? Was the eating strategy too strict, or was something else going on? Will you want to be able to let loose like that on rare occasions in the future? If so, what can you do to prepare for those days to be sure they don’t negatively impact your overall nutrition effort?
Moving Forward Without Dieting Remorse
The past happened. There’s nothing you can do with it. Dieting remorse won’t help you. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use this time to our advantage. Learn from what happened without judging yourself for it. Care about the instance and for yourself.
If you absolutely love to go out with your friends and have fatty appetizers and beer, accept that this is a part of your life. The key is to make sure that you’re not doing it regularly (yes, once per week is too much, you’ll never be able to make up for the calories during the rest of the week). Then, ensure that you’re focusing your attention on keeping up great eating habits the rest of the time so that once every month or so, going a bit over the top won’t cause irreparable damage to reaching your goal. Remember, the diet that will be successful for you is the one you’ll stick to. Leave dieting remorse behind, honor yourself and work with what you want to sustain over time.