Guilt: While reading @IamwhatIam517 's... - Weight Loss Support

Weight Loss Support

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While reading @IamwhatIam517 's post about bingeing (and the great responses to it) I remembered posting this (below) in the Healthy Eating forum. I think perhaps it's more relevant over here.

I'll also add that the phrase "I binged" is far too often used where people just mean "I had a normal adult-sized meal with some actual nutrition in it".


While searching for some food images today, I came across a recipe entitled "Guilt-free chicken korma".

It's pretty common, I've noticed, to attach that "guilt-free" tag to various foods. Usually what it means is that the food has had all the fat artificially removed; in this particular case, the curry had had the cream, butter and cooking oil removed, and replaced with quark. This supposedly makes it less fattening (it doesn't, of course; it just tastes a lot less like chicken korma).

So: if we eat fat, we're supposed to feel guilty, although it isn't clear who might absolve us of our dietary transgressions. Our GP, perhaps? Pfizer forgive us for we have sinned.

Now, us Brits have a long and sordid history involving guilt. We love feeling guilty about stuff, especially things that are fun. But it's fairly recently we've been told to feel guilty about eating (or eating fat), and it's one of those things that really bothers me.

Apart from the simple fact that dietary fat has nothing to do with obesity, associating guilt-feelings with one of mankind's most universal and harmless pleasures seems almost sacrilegious. Life is supposed to be enjoyable, and taking away one large source of enjoyment inevitably means people are going to seek it elsewhere. I can't help wondering if this explains why Brits are far more likely to spend an evening out with friends getting blotto, instead of (as our Continental cousins might do) sitting in a restaurant enjoying great food and conversation.

Certainly some foods are more healthful than others. Some sorts of food, eaten for many years in excessive quantities, can make you fat and/or ill. But I'm not sure that feeling guilty about what you're eating is more helpful than merely understanding why these things are so, and making choices accordingly.

So here's my diet-related tip. If anyone ever tells you to feel guilty about what's on your plate, even if it's a mystery-meat hotdog smothered in cheap ketchup and fake mustard: ignore them, keep calm, and carry on.

2 Replies
BettyBadger2020 July

Sometimes I think you should be TheWiseToad rather than the AwfulToad. I think your posts are very helpful, thought provoking, and funny.

But I have to disagree with your logic in this post. You ponder whether food guilt leads Brits to spend evenings getting blotto instead of enjoying good food and conversation. Perhaps you haven’t got blotto much …….. but guilt can be just one of the feelings that follow!

TheAwfulToadMaintainer in reply to BettyBadger

But doesn't that depend on whether you remember what happened? :)

Frankly, I prefer being sober when doing anything I know I'll regret ...

I'm one of those people at low risk of developing alcoholism because I hate the feeling of being drunk. One part of my brain seems to remain stone-cold sober and sits there reminding me : you're acting like a total [ ... ], aren't you?

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