Guilt is something that many of us suffer from and it can impact our lives in many ways. We want to help encourage you to take small steps to a healthier and happier lifestyle by enjoying moments of bitesized positivity. We all feel guilty at some point or another, so helping to control these feelings of stress and anxiety can help improve your overall wellbeing. Earlier this year we conducted a YouGov survey to find out about guilty thoughts associated with snacking, which you can read about here. To understand more broadly what UK women have every day guilt about, we’ve recently conducted a second YouGov survey.
The survey revealed lots of interesting facts about women and guilt including the differences in guilty thoughts between 18-24 years old and mums. We found that over a third (33%) of women suffer from guilty thoughts at least once every day. A staggering three quarters of 18-24 year olds identified diet as the number one source of guilt, followed closely by fitness (71%), finances (65%) and letting down friends (55%). Amongst mums, diet was also the number one source of guilt (50%), followed by fitness (46%), falling behind on the household chores (44%) and spending too much or not saving enough money (36%).
Interestingly, we found that almost a third (29%) of women admit they have no techniques for addressing and dealing with guilty thoughts. We’ve asked our in-house nutritionist Gemma to share with us her top tips for tackling diet associated guilt:
Use the 80/20 rule when it comes to diet. Fill your meals with lots of nutritious foods 80% of the time including fruit, veg, pulses and wholegrains. The rest of the time you can happily indulge in less healthy foods. If you’re eating a balanced diet you shouldn’t feel guilty when you treat yourself.
Are you asking yourself, ‘why did I have that second piece of cake?’, ‘I shouldn’t have eaten it, now I’m going to put on weight’. Negative thoughts such as these are likely to build up inside and cause you to feel guilty and stressed. It’s important to understand your emotions and why you are feeling a certain way. Approach your thoughts and tell yourself that it’s ok to treat yourself on the odd occasion and overindulge in a slice of cake or too. What do you gain out of feeling guilty about it? Accept what you can’t change and focus on how nutritious your next meal is going to be.
- Forget the ‘carbs are bad’ mantra. Sometimes we feel guilty when we eat carbohydrates because we associate them with putting on weight. Carbohydrates come under such a broad category and therefore not all carbohydrates are the same. What’s more important is the type, quantity and quality of the carbohydrates in our diet. Refined and simple carbohydrates such as white bread, white pasta and white rice can cause spikes in our blood sugar and contain very little nutrition. However, complex carbohydrates such as legumes, starchy vegetables and wholegrains (.i.e. rice, oats, barley, wheat and rye) are a good source of fibre and B vitamins, and are absorbed more slowly into our blood.
We hope you find these tips for combatting guilt useful. Here at The Food Doctor we believe in balance and are here to help you tackle those feelings of guilt through bitesized positivity.