We all know how horrible it can feel. Especially, if you've been suffering for days before it happened to you.
You've been exercising your ass off. You've been really careful about your diet. Hell, you can't even remember the last time you've had a decent meal!
It was tough, but at least it worked. The results were already showing on the scale, and you could even start seeing them in the mirror.
But now, you've ruined it all!
You couldn't resist the temptation, so you went for the forbidden stuff (and you didn't hold back at all). You wish you could call it a “cheat meal”, but it was more like a “cheat feast”.
Now, you don't even dare stepping on the scale, because deep down you already know it. All that denial and suffering was for nothing! You've destroyed days of hard work in less than half an hour of mindless eating!
And now you're at the point where you're wondering...
Is this guy seriously telling me I should NOT feel guilty about what I just did to myself?!?
Yes, that's exactly what I'm telling you, and it's not just my opinion (I've got science to prove it). We'll get to that in a minute, but first you need to understand why humans “love” to feel guilty so much.
People can find it incredibly hard to let go of their guilt, because these emotions feel so natural to them. When you suddenly break all those promises you made to yourself, you can't really help feeling guilty about it.
These guilt-trips can be so overwhelming, that most people feel like there is no way they could avoid feeling this way. They feel like their guilt is simply happening to them.
When you're going through these intense emotions, it really is no surprise that you never even realize how much damage you're doing to yourself. In such a state of mind, it's only natural for you to completely overlook the fact that far less painful (and way more effective) options even exist.
But the problem runs even deeper.
Why can't even the strongest feelings of guilt stop you from making the same mistake over and over again?
Yes, some people (including the experts) think that this intensively negative emotion can be a good thing for us. They believe that guilt can actually help us stop shoving junk down our throats (over time).
I don't really blame them for making this mistake.
After all, when we feel really guilty, most of us honestly believe that we will never eat a single bite of junk food ever again. We feel so bad, that we honestly feel like we could never go down the same road again.
But don't you think that if guilt worked, it would have worked by now?
You see, the main problem with guilt is that the timing is completely screwed up (it is actually the exact opposite of what it should be).
You tend to experience the most intense guilt on a full stomach. Usually, right after you have yet again fallen off the wagon. From that point on, your guilt always starts fading away (slowly, but surely).
Days (maybe just hours) later, after those intense emotions are long gone, you are no longer protected by them. You have arrived at a point, where you again feel relaxed and careless enough, to commit another dietary crime against yourself.
In other words, guilt is the strongest as soon as it's already too late, yet it is the weakest right when you need it the most.
Even if guilt could actually protect you from falling off the wagon, is this really how you want to live your life?
I mean, seriously, just think about it.
If guilt is supposed to make you stay away from the forbidden stuff, then you better count on bringing a hell of a lot of it into your life.
If you wanted to rely on guilt to stop you from eating junk in the long run (ideally, for the rest of your life), then you'd have to feel guilty pretty much all of the time.
And you know that we're not talking some half-intensity, back-of-the-mind feeling of guilt. We're talking about an omnipresent, full-strength emotion. One, that would constantly be strong enough to overpower even the strongest of cravings (and you know how incredibly tempting those can be).
You know this would never work, even if you actually were crazy enough to insist on going down that road. That would be even crazier, because now you know that a much easier (and much more effective) way exists.
Absolute proof that your guilt-trips are causing you more harm than good (ignore this at your own risk)
This study has compared two completely different kinds of people.
The first group of people felt guilty after eating the forbidden stuff (chocolate cake), and the second group felt guilt-free pleasure and enjoyment (after eating the exact same thing).
What the researches find out will probably surprise you (even though it does make perfect sense).
The people, who enjoyed the unhealthy stuff without guilt, were able to control themselves around food much better, than people who felt guilty about doing the same. The people, who carelessly enjoyed the fattening stuff, were MORE SUCCESSFUL at reaching their weight loss goals, than people who constantly worried about what they were eating.
Yes, this proves that guilt is actually holding you back, but…
How the hell are you supposed to just stop feeling guilty (especially, if you just did the crime)?
I know that trying not to feel bad about the bad things you do to yourself, goes against your natural instincts. But clearing your head IN SPITE of what you just did to yourself, still needs to be one of your top priorities.
I know this is easier said than done, but in the end, none of that negative (guilt-driven) crap really matters. It doesn't matter how real it feels, I have given you scientific proof that it's doing you more harm than good.
In the end, we are all going to eat what we're going to eat. We're going to make the mistakes that we're going to make (whether we feel bad about them or not).
If I know one thing, then I know that controlling yourself around food is a skill. And just like with any other skill, you will never become good at it, if you are constantly overwhelmed by the feelings of guilt, sadness, and desperation.
Especially, if this keeps happening in those critical moments, when you could learn the most about yourself (if only you would remain calm and focused).
So this is what you need to do.
The next time you start feeling guilty about something you've just eaten, I want you to try to remember how pointless (and harmful) your reaction really is.
You have probably been programming yourself to feel guilty for years, so you can't expect to get rid of your reaction overnight. But this is definitely something you want to start working on TODAY!
Getting rid of guilt is definitely a step in the right direction, but on its own, this is still only a minor piece of the whole weight loss puzzle.
If you want to learn how to use the power of psychology to get better at controlling yourself around food, make sure you hop on my newsletter. Just drop your email in the box below, and you'll see that I can teach you quite a few tricks (that will make this whole weight loss thing much, much easier).