Regret or Guilt?
If I asked you what was ‘wrong’ with overeating or overindulging, you would probably focus on your weight first, then perhaps mention your health.
Obesity and overweight are indeed more likely where regular overeating occurs, but there are other aspects – emotional consequences to consider.
When overeating is accompanied by guilt – the niggling inner voice that constantly pulls you down with feelings of failure and ‘not good enough’, then a whole host of unhealthy consequences occur:
First, you might decide that since you over ate —- (fill in the blanks with your favourite food), you might as well go the whole way and you’ll get back on track tomorrow (or next week or next month).
Then, you might feel so guilty that you decide to starve yourself and go against the urge to eat anything – for lengthy amounts of time.
Guilt is obviously counter-productive in many ways, particularly on your self-esteem and confidence levels.
But what I want to highlight here as many of my clients suffer from guilt over indulgence – is how it negatively impacts your gut.
This happens in two ways: the overeating and subsequent likely second ’round’ of overeating (“I might as well, since I failed…”), will overload your gut with high volumes of food, likely eaten fast and with little chewing too. This will cause pressure on your stomach, which in turn is likely to cause nausea, bloating, gas and acid reflux.
This will often be followed by starvation, which will also put a lot of pressure on your digestion and immunity, due to malnutrition and nutrient depletion.
Both actions will cause undue amounts of stress and increase your cortisol levels, which in turn will slow down your natural production of enzymes and gastric acids necessary to break down the food you’ve just ingested.
So how do you respond to overeating in a healthy way?
This is where regret comes in.
Regret does not dwell or feel too low about overindulging – regret knows that this is a one-off and learns lessons from it.
Regret does not stress over past actions, it laughs it off and makes plans to avoid overeating in future.
Being kind to yourself when things don’t go according to plan – and an attitude of “we’re all perfectly human”, and self-forgiveness will go a long way towards great digestion and better health.
Just pausing and checking in with yourself – before you eat something you know you might regret eating – and getting really good at slow, mindful eating will give you a boost of self-confidence and energy that no amount of food will ever equal.
Do you want help to transform your gut or any other health issue?
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