How to Avoid Food Guilt Over the Holidays

by Diane Horn on December 19, 2013

Why Is It Always About Food ?                                                                                      dreamstime_xs_792839

I’m going to address the issue that gets many of us down this time of year and that I call the food roller coaster.

Why do we allow ourselves to feel guilty about our food habits during the holiday season?

Is it because of the abundance of food and opportunities to eat it?  Do family gatherings bring on feelings of excited anticipation or just plain anxiety?

Either way, there are bound to be times you reach for food you really aren’t hungry for but is sitting right under your nose…plus one of your dear relatives made it just for you and you can’t hurt her feelings.

The problem with food guilt is that it tends to build upon itself and triggers all kinds of negative self talk.

And we know that isn’t good!

How To Avoid Food Guilt                                                                                         joyful woman

If you read my book “7 Simple Ways to Rediscover Your Wow Factor

you know that I am a believer in the 80/20 Rule.

That means that 20% of your efforts influence 80% of your results.

For example we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time.

When it comes to eating I also apply this rule…..80% of the time try to eat in a really healthy way and allow yourself to indulge 20% of the time.

Does that mean it’s ok to pig out?

Absolutely NOT!

Pigging out leads to binging and binging is almost always a precursor to guilt.

Food guilt can lead to feelings of negative self worth which then ignites the whole

yo-yo dieting cycle many of us have been on.

So what’s a better way?    

In my book I also mention the 3 P’s……Passion, Purpose and Play.  I have found that our greatest happiness comes when at least 80% of our actions connect with our 3P’s.

So how does this relate to food guilt?

If 80% of the time you make choices that connect to your passion for good health so that you can live a long happy life (your purpose) and do all the fun things you enjoy (play) then the rest of the time you’ll eat whatever you want to but do it in a way that supports your 3P’s.  You can still eat what you want in an intentional way.

Still not sure you can face the holiday season?            dreamstime_xs_18112321

Here are some action steps to try

  • Sample foods instead of taking a full sized portion.
  • Only eat what you truly love.
  • For rich desserts try the 3 bite rule
  • Make sure you truly enjoy the whole experience of the meal
  • If there are huge platters and bowls of snacks. Put the food on a small plate and don’t reach for more until you give yourself a chance to see if you feel satisfied.


Remember you might not be able to control the situation BUT

you are always in control of how you respond to it!!!





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