Feeling guilty after eating

Danielle has been battling with feeling guilty after eating, and critical of her body, which is something many women do.

Hi Sandy,

I’ve been battling with a negative body image for years.

Can you explain to me why is it when we eat a large portion of food (even healthy food) do we body bash?

I make myself feel like the biggest, fattest, ugliest human who has failed at life for letting myself enjoy food.

It’s only when I portion control that I feel better and reward myself with positive self talk. Please help. I love reading your website, Hopefully you can assist. ~Danielle

I Hope I Can Too….

Hi Danielle,

It’s a big question isn’t it, why we start feeling guilty after eating, and critical of our bodies?

And I think you answered it when you said “I make myself feel like the…”.

We do what we know, what we’ve been taught, what we’ve been shown, what we think is normal.

feeling guilty after eating cupcakes?

It’s like when you click the email icon on your computer and your computer opens your email program. It happens every time you click the email icon.

So the real question then becomes: “Who taught you that body bashing after eating is normal?”

Once you know the answer to that, you go into other questions like, were they right?

  • If they were right at that time, are they still right now?
  • Did they know exactly how much food MY body needs?
  • Why didn’t they trust their own body?
  • Why did they think that you can’t trust your own body to regulate its own appetite? (We have profoundly powerful appetite control mechanisms which react to truly tiny changes in our blood, based on the food we eat).

Who taught that feeling guilty after eating is normal?

Danielle, I might be right off track here with this questioning line because it might not have been another person who taught you that feeling guilty after eating is normal; you might have learned it from one of those powerfully life-influencing books we all read at crucial formative times in our lives, or a movie or TV show where women alllllways worry about food and weight – then the questions would be slightly different.

Since I’m a holistic counsellor, I’d then go asking questions about the feelings I had when I learned that behaviour, the feelings I have now, and I’d be doing EFT tapping to remove the charge from those feelings. Next I’d be exploring any other incidents that hang off this learning, questioning and tapping for those feelings. And when it all seemed clear I’d start looking at the feelings you’d rather have, and start installing those.

Danielle, I suspect the reason you go to portion control is to manage the feelings that come up with the self-judgement program you seem to be running. Portion control helps you feel like you have some control and to calm down the anxiety that comes along when you think about food at all. It’s a really tough one to live with, lucky it’s an easy one to fix, honest!

So start to have a think about when and where this all started and question if the reasons it started are even valid!

Feel free to ask any questions to clarify this.

Warm wishes,


And dear reader, would you like to say anything else to Danielle about this? Please comment below.

Do you have a body image question you’d like to Ask Sandy to answer? Contact me.

Tell us what you think - you know you want to ;)