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Stop Sneaking Snacks! How to Overcome Food Shame and Truly Enjoy Eating Again

Jun 17, 2024

Do you ever feel so overcome with guilt or shame about eating certain foods that you sneak and eat them in secret? Maybe you throw away the evidence so no one sees the wrappers. Or you wait until everyone is asleep before indulging. If so, you're not alone - many people struggle with feeling ashamed around eating "unhealthy" foods.

The Struggle of Sneaking Food

Sneaking food often stems from judging certain foods as "bad" or "forbidden." The shame becomes so intense that hiding your eating habits feels like the only solution. Perhaps you put soda in a coffee cup at work to avoid others seeing you drink it. Or when out with friends, you order a salad because that's what's expected, even though you really want a burger.

These feelings of having to make the "right" food choices can drive you to sneak foods you deem "unhealthy" or "indulgent." The guilt and embarrassment feel so overwhelming that eating in secret becomes the norm. You might even go to great lengths to dispose of any evidence, like throwing away fast food wrappers in a gas station trash can on your way home. The thought of others knowing you indulged in a "bad" food feels mortifying.

The Vicious Cycle of Shame

However, sneaking and eating foods laden with guilt actually robs you of satisfaction and joy. When rushed through and consumed shamefully, you can't fully savor and be present with the food. This leads to a lack of satisfaction, which then triggers further cravings for the very foods you were trying to avoid.

When we're eating in secret or with shame, we rush through it instead of being present. It takes all the joy out of eating.

This unsatisfying experience creates a vicious cycle - you shamefully sneak food, feel unsatisfied, crave that food again...and repeat. Have you ever scarfed down a candy bar or dessert extremely quickly, only to be left wanting more shortly after? The lack of satisfaction from not savoring the treat leaves you craving another one. But it doesn't have to be this way.

Breaking Free from Food Shame

The first step is awareness. Notice when you're sneaking food and examine the thoughts driving that behavior. What goes through your mind as you throw away the evidence? How would you feel if someone caught you eating that food? Would you feel embarrassed, need to make excuses, or want to hide it? Bringing awareness to the habits and shame surrounding your eating is crucial.

If you're sneaking food, know you're not alone. Having awareness of when and why it happens is the first step.

Once you're aware of the issue, give yourself unconditional permission to fully enjoy foods without guilt. When you decide to have a treat, set aside time to savor each bite mindfully instead of rushing through it. Create an environment conducive to a pleasant eating experience - sit down at a table, remove distractions, and pay attention to the flavors and textures. This allows you to feel satisfied and break the shame cycle.

If you're having dessert, you should truly enjoy it - savor every bite. Eating should be an enjoyable experience.

If you want to reach your postpartum health goals while feeling IN CONTROL around all foods, join us inside The Postpartum Shift program.

Over time, as you practice being present and free of guilt when eating, the joy will return. You'll relearn how to listen to your body's cues of hunger, satisfaction, and appetite. Those once-forbidden foods will no longer hold such power because you've granted yourself full permission to partake without judgment or shame.

This empowering mindset shift takes practice. This week, simply bring awareness to when you sneak food out of embarrassment. Notice your thoughts in those moments - the urge to hide, the fear someone will catch you, the guilt driving you to rush. Over time, as you meet those feelings with compassion instead of criticism, you can cultivate a kinder, more mindful approach to eating. You deserve to eat any food without shame - and truly savor each bite.

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Hey mama,

I'm Brooke Miller,

Before becoming a mom, I chronically dieted & thought "eat less, move more" was the healthiest option. I dealt with exhaustion, mood swings, hormone imbalances (not getting a regular cycle), high cholesterol and weight cycling. I felt like something was wrong with me.

Before I got pregnant with my first son, I discovered the balanced nutrition approach I teach inside The Postpartum Shift. Once I implemented the framework, I was energized, gained strength, got my period back, lowered my cholesterol & maintained my healthiest weight. I continued this during my pregnancies & postpartum periods and recovered quickly after birth, made more than enough milk for my babies, had energy (even with the sleep deprivation) & stable mood. Postpartum was really enjoyable.

With a decade of experience as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Lactation Counselor, I created The Postpartum Shift to help moms boost energy, mood, metabolism & milk supply to have a stress-free & enjoyable postpartum experience.

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