Eater’s Remorse

We’ve all heard about buyer’s remorse, but what about eater’s remorse?

Maar's Pizza San Antonio

Because you can’t return what you’ve eaten, how does one deal with the regret of eating something they didn’t plan on eating?

Ben's Chili Bowl Cheese Fries

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying by Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”, but what if you can’t seem to stick to your plan?

Georgetown Cupcake holiday cupcakes

I’ve gone into one too many parties with the plan of..

  • Starting with vegetables
  • Only drinking water
  • Using a dessert plate
  • Leaving the food area after getting my first plate

And I leave the party…

  • Stuffed
  • With a doggie bag

Ok, maybe not that extreme but I do leave the party thinking to myself, “ASHLEY, why didn’t you just enjoy those carrots, few appetizers, and a glass of wine and just call it a night?  Why’d you have to dive face first into that 7-layer dip 7 times?”.

Cottage Cheese Dip

If you’re thinking you’re going to reach the end of this post and find a profound epiphany, you should probably stop readying now, because guess what… I haven’t figured it out yet.  Call it what you may, I still struggle with sticking to my plan.

I like to think that I’m like Frank from Old School, blacking out while I’m eating, only to wake up with queso on my face wondering what the heck happened to me, but the reality is, sometimes I lose my willpower when I’m around food.

As I’ve shared before, I think what it boils down to is wanting to be healthy more than you want to eat that food.  I often forget about that when I’m out with friends, celebrating, or even just bored, but I’ve got to remain connected with my long term goals.

As much as I want to eat the scone at Starbucks, indulge in the chocolate in the office kitchen, drink 3 pints of “but it’s not going to be around much longer” pumpkin ale, or eat my weight in tortilla chips, I need to remember that I never like how I feel, both mentally and physically, afterwards.

At some point you just have to realize that the eater’s remorse just isn’t worth it.


  1. says

    No epiphany here either, but I think that trying to be too restrictive when you go to a party can set you up for failure. If you allow yourself to enjoy some of the “fun” less healthy food, you might be less likely to “dive into the queso.”

  2. says

    It really isn’t worth it. I don’t eat unhealthy foods, but my problem is eating too much healthy foods. Eating too much of ANYTHING will either make you feel crummy with yourself or give you a stomach ache (the latter for me)… I am even telling myself right now NOT to go to the fridge to get the spaghetti squash, LOL! Regardless as to how much I WANT IT… I just can’t because once it’s open, I WONT STOP until it’s done and there is like 10 pounds in there BAHHH HA HA H! ;)

    Think about how GREAT you will feel tomorrow morning after NOT eating that pumpkin shaped donut from the bakery. lol

  3. says

    I wish that I had an answer here but I definitely have eater’s remorse. And yes I get it about moderation and not being too restrictive but I think for me, eating the stuff that I didn’t intend on eating or eating too much is tied to stress and emotional eating. I’m trying to work on figuring out the triggers and at least being conscious of it the next time it happens and hopefully finding a substitute. And yes – remembering how I really don’t like how I feel afterwards or how my body feels. Definitely a work in progress.

  4. Mya says

    Hi I enjoy reading your blog everyday it’s one of my favs. I just wanted to say we all have moments like that and having lost now 75 kilos /165 pounds there’s one thing I learned through the whole process that I never got before. Life is about everything in moderation including food. I’ve just learned not to beat myself up when I overindulge cause it’s going to happen. To deal with it is to make sure not to continue indulging and returning back to eating /exercising sensibly. I use I be an all or nothing girl but now I do have my cake on occasion and I enjoy it too!

  5. says

    I’m right there with you. It’s a struggle. Having tempting foods (hello Halloween) is tough. I often behave as you do at parties. Many times the food wasn’t even delicious enough to be ‘worth’ it. I had a very good day yesterday and am hoping to continue that momentum. Hang in there!

  6. says

    true story, girl. i’m fine in my own home… itz when i’m out and about where other “good” food is offered… i usually eat it without truly listening to my hunger cues! argh!

  7. says

    and I think—at the old age of 44 :-)–this is something we all have to go through to come out the other side?
    or at least I know I did.


  8. says

    I have eaters remorse much more often than buyers remorse. It’s hard to stay in control when there are so many delicious things around! You make a great point about remembering how you feel afterwards. That definitely helps me slow down crazy eating when I’m feeling out of control.

  9. says

    ohhh heck yes I’ve had this reaction!! What finally broke it for me was when I took the boundaries off food…it’s a lot like saying don’t think about white elephants…then that’s all you can think about. After saying to myself it’s just food and ok if I eat, I found I was far less likely to go crazy with it. I could have a bit or just 1 piece and be totally happy.

  10. says

    Oh I’ve been there with all of you!! Living with someone who always eats cookies and cakes has makes it an even more difficult feeling to overcome. I haven’t quite figured out how to make it all or nothing but my plan is to work on that balance during this holiday!!

  11. says

    This post rings so true. It’s really, really hard. If I’m getting together with friends, I offer to bring something healthy and eat that, or I take a couple Quest bars in my purse (they taste like a treat to me!). I try to eat a meal right before I walk out the door and drink a big bottle of water or a coffee/latte on my way there (coffee kills my appetite usually).

    Unfortunately, as soon as I take even one bite of something not particularly healthy, my willpower goes out the window, so I have to do as much as I possibly can to avoid that one bite.

    If you have a particularly rough lifting workout earlier in the day, at least those extra calories will help a bit with recovery… at least that’s what I tell myself ;) I would always plan to squat or deadlift on mornings of days that I knew I was going to cheat because at least I got the benefit of a shorter recovery time out of it.

  12. casey says

    I was just there this past weekend. I threw a party for a friend and just kept stuffing my face. My stomach woke me up at 4am and said I can’t keep anything else in here and I got sick. But it was damn good when it went down. I have my son’s birthday party sometime this weekend and then mine is Monday. I don’t even want to go somewhere special because i know i dont want to eat crap. Oh well…life happens and we have to just go with the flow. even it means skipping the cake :(

  13. says

    I think I tend to overdo it in a situation with foods that I would NEVER have at home because I feel like I won’t ever have them again- so I have to eat EVERYTHING. At home I’m never surrounded by cookies and chips and all of that, so it’s easy to completely stay away from it.
    I definitely don’t have the answer- but if I ever do I will be happy to share!

  14. says

    I have definitely been there, it’s hard. I try to make sure I work out in the morning and eat real healthy for the rest of the day until I go out or the party happens. I know that I will eat a treat, and I am okay with it, but sometimes I give myself license to eat all the things and that is where I struggle…thank you for coming out about this.

  15. says

    remembering how i will feel if i drink or eat too much is definitely key to me when i go into an event with unlimited food/drink or one of those parties with ALL THE SNACKS. but i still sometimes get too caught up in the moment to think about the future, and in a way that’s a good thing because i used to be completely paralyzed by fear of overeating/drinking and unable to even enjoy myself. but then there are those times i’m on the other extreme and i don’t keep track of my drinks or how many dip trips i take, and i end up hating myself the next morning when i wake up hungover or bloated. it takes trial and error to master anything and to find that happy medium. i’m still trying to settle there but at least i’m not dealing with extremes anymore (most of the time at least). make sure you give yourself credit for the times you don’t overeat, the times you make healthy choices. sometimes when you do that it gives you the confidence boost you need to say, “hey, i can do this! the dip at this party does not have to dictate the fun i have there!”

    • says

      “hey, i can do this! the dip at this party does not have to dictate the fun i have there!”

      Yes! When I’m feeling like I’m going to make bad food choices, I try to think back to other get togethers with friends and remember what I ate. Most of the time I can’t. I remember the conversations and the laughing with them, and I remind myself that in awhile, I won’t even remember what I ate, which makes it totally not worth eating it! It’s something small but it really does help a lot.

  16. says

    I struggle with this too, all too frequently.

    My own personal victory came when I went to a bar last night, and even though they had my all time favorite drink on tap (apple pie mead) and everyone was drinking it around me, I was able to resist.

    I love those little victories.

  17. Tara says

    There may be times that I over indulge, however, I have learned to know WHEN to allow it. If I go in with a plan to eat light, I will. When I go to something special, say, like last weekend I went to the Patriots game with my husband and friends, I allow myself to have chips, burgers, chicken wings.

    Just like planning my weekly menu out, I try to plan when its worth it to splurge. Becuase, I want to ENJOY life and not always regret a good time just becuase I ate stuff I didnt plan to eat.

    Becuase even worse that feeling icky from eating to much indulgant food, feeling guilty on top of that makes it alot harder to get over.

    I am not sure if you are a gum chewer, but I find if I pop a peice of minty gum when I am a party with lots of food/beer, I eat less.

  18. says

    I definitely share in the eater’s remorse experience, however we can all make progress. Forgiveness. You cannot change the past, even the very recent past while your fingers still have nacho cheese on them. Forgive yourself and look forward. You’re still an amazing person, you’re not a failure. Take ownership of your reaction.

    During my run the next day, I’ll visualize that brownie I regretted for a moment, and see it burning up as fuel. At my weigh-in later that week, if I am up, I know why, its not a surprise. The next week(s) I can tighten things up and bring it back under control.

  19. says

    It’s interesting to look back on my “bad” days … sometimes I can top 3000 calories for the day and not feel too bad about it. There are times I splurge and indulge consciously and I don’t really regret it. Other times I am shaking my head with a “what was I thinking” (or NOT thinking obviously) type of thing.

  20. says

    I think the more you beat yourself up for your choices and the more you tell yourself that there are “good” foods and “bad” foods and that you were “bad” for choosing the latter, then the worse you’re going to feel. The holidays are special because of all the people and parties, and yes, they just happen to come with a LOT of over-indulging. I think a safer strategy for your happiness is to tell yourself that you are allowed to taste whatever you want. But you REALLY have to taste it. No hovering and dipping in, you have to sit down and slowly try everything off your plate. Sit there and think about what you’d really love to have one more bite of, and let yourself do it. Then, you can feel like you truly had all the foods you wanted and there’s no reason to feel guilty. You are a strong, beautiful woman and you don’t deserve to feel so down about your choices. You can do this! :)

  21. says

    I definitely have had eater’s remorse and am currently going through a week where I just want to eat everything comforting (I blame it on the snow falling from the sky) but I keep reminding myself that the food will always be there and I will feel worse if I cave because it means I didn’t successfully finish the 28-day program I am currently on.

  22. says

    I’ve made progress on remembering that I will regret it “in the morning” but I’ve slipped backing into ignoring that little voice that says “you don’t really want that.”

  23. says

    I struggle with this too, and with my much anticipated date night with the hubs tomorrow I am “planning” to keep the intake low and the fun high…we will see Sunday morning how I fare. Sometimes I have to take it as, we don’t do this very often so it’s okay…but really it ladens me with guilt generally. I will start the day with a good workout to try and offset SOME of it. Darn those desserts and libations! :)

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