Expert Tips on Dealing With Guilt After A Bad Food Day

And How To Get Back On Track

Shame, guilt, disgust… What else do you feel towards yourself after giving in to the temptation and stuffing the belly with the ‘not so good’ food?

We tend to be pretty mean towards ourselves. If we spoke to our friends the way we talk to our bodies, we would not have any friends. No one in their right mind would put up with such a mean, angry and demanding friend!

Negative emotions have a horrible effect on your bodies. They hinder digestion, create acidity, adversely effect self-confidence and body image. They might be worse than the fact of overeating or eating something bad on it’s own. Nevertheless, it is difficult to overcome negative feeling of failure and guilt after binging or slipping off the preferred menu prescription.

So what do you do with guilt and other negative feelings that can overwhelm you? I thought it would be useful to ask a few experts. I emailed questions to well-known yoga instructors, fitness specialists, ayurveda practitioners and wellness gurus. They shared their answers and tips! Yesterday we talked about preventing overeating. Today we will talk about ways to get back on track.

Experts answer: How do you deal with an overwhelming feeling of guilt after a bad food day?

Tara Stiles  – don’t think of “good food” or “bad food” day. . I eat what I feel is good for me and then every day I feel good. Check out Tara’s new book Yoga Cures that has some cravings busting yoga tips. More from Tara at




Lisa Wilson – If I’m faced with only choices I would not normally make, I bless the food, and then let it go. Harboring negative feelings toward yourself about bad choices, can be worse than consuming the inferior food in the first place. More from Lisa at




Rebekah Borucki – Guilt is an emotion that I just can’t let myself associate with food. If I approach eating and calories intellectually, it actually helps. One pound equals 3500 calories. Even on a terrible day, it’s hard to overeat by more than 3500 calories. Even if I have, what’s a pound anyway? I take a step back, look at myself through the lens of logic, and make plans to treat my body better the next day. More from Bex at and



Ashley Pitman – So many of us, especially women, struggle with guilt when we have a day where we don’t eat ideal. Over time I’ve realized that, for me, the feeling of guilt is like double cursing the situation because the guilt is an emotional response that causes stress in the body, which leads to stuff like poor digestion or indigestion. To stop guilt in it’s tracks I’ll zero in on all the “OMG I can’t believe I just ate that”, “geez you have no self-control” and “ugh you are such a pig” thoughts and focus on  transforming that pattern by acknowledging what there is to be grateful for. For example, I’ll give thanks for being able to have a second glass of wine or say a prayer for all the people, plants and animals that contributed to my piece of cheesecake. There’s no need to feel guilty. Just savor it and then get back on track! More from Ashley at and check out her donation-based Gratitude cleanse


Lisa Munger – It’s important to distinguish that Ayurveda is a practice, rather than a diet. For our Western minds, we’re often so hooked into the idea of seeking perfection, sometimes via diets, that if we do take in foods we later wish we hadn’t we can feel guilty. Instead, remind yourself that Ayurveda is here to help us find balance; and that balance itself is a moving target. We never jump on the finish line and say, “That’s it! I’m here!” Know that you can always balance a “bad food day” with a more cleansing diet the next day. Involve yourself and your consciousness in the process, the practice, rather than fixating on an idea of perfection. You’ll never achieve perfection, and further, you’ll likely only notice when you don’t meet your expectations. It’s not a good foundation for a stable mind or body. More from Lisa at and

Kristin McGee– Movement is super helpful for me. I think getting the blood flowing and shaking off bad thoughts releases feel good endorphins. Get moving and stop over thinking. It’s really not as bad as you think it is and if you let your thoughts spiral out of control you will make matters worse. I know the last thing you may feel like doing after a bad food day is going for a walk or rolling out your yoga mat;  but if you can stop yourself in your vicious cycle of negative thoughts and go do something positive instead you will feel a million times better. Tunes are also very helpful. Music helps us relax and can brighten our moods. Journaling and calling a friend helps too. More from Kristin at

Gillian B – I remind myself that the overwhelming feeling of guilt, like all emotions, is impermanent and it will go away as quickly as it came. Once I have acknowledged this feeling, I thank it for coming and reach for a better feeling thought. I take my focus off guilt and shift it to the next day, as it is a fresh new start. This motivates me, giving me the energy to be super active the next day and put this bad food day and guilty thoughts behind me. More from Gillian at



Linda Wagner Remember, progress, not perfection can sometimes be the key to surviving the holidays or a slip up. Having a few more servings of veggies and steering clear of the candy or cookie jar can be a huge step!  The biggest trap is when we fall into the all or nothing category. As in “Oh, the office brought in doughnuts for breakfast this morning and I already had one so now I may as well just give up for today and try again tomorrow.” As we all know, tomorrow never comes and the vicious cycle continues… To get back on track I always start that first morning with my special hot water + lemon recipe this helps to cleanse the system and detoxify the liver and kidneys! Making sure that you are properly hydrated is HUGE. Make sure you have one green juice or green smoothie each day to get added minerals and fiber.  Then focus on eating a clean vegetable centered diet throughout the rest of the day. More from Linda at and

What do you do to overcome guilt and shame and come back to feeling positive? Please share your tips!

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