GIVING UP A FOOD FOR LENT THIS YEAR? TRY THIS INSTEAD

Skip the deprivation-binge-guilt cycle this year when making your Lent promise.

Skip the deprivation-binge-guilt cycle this year when making your Lent promise. Instead, make your sacrifice something more meaningful towards your happiness.


BY: MEME INGE, MS, RDN

For those who celebrate Lent, many people come up with things they are “giving up”.  In theory, Lent is a really important time to prepare your heart for Easter. However, if you’re using Lent as an excuse to diet or “get skinny for spring break”, you’ll likely do more damage than good.

One of the most common items given up for Lent is some type of food.

Often times, the intent behind this is because of weight loss or guilt about overindulging over the holiday months. They are cutting out something because they think this food is the reason for them being “fat”, “unhealthy”, or similar sentiments.

They remove the food from their daily life, and instead of replacing it with something meaningful, they replace it with something that leaves them feeling empty and still unsatisfied. Typically, they either quit before the time period is up, or they finish and add the removed offender back into their lives with reckless abandon.

Now, this food has an unhealthy power over them.

They consider it to be “bad” for them, but they feel as if they can’t control themselves around it after they’ve been deprived for so long. They end up binging, and feel even more guilty, leading to another deprivation-binge-guilt cycle that goes on repeat.

All that being said, it’s the process of sacrificing during Lent without purpose that leads to this miserable cycle. It’s important to not just consider what you are giving up, but also why you are giving it up.  Deprivation just isn’t worth the repercussions unless it is for something meaningful and more heartfelt.  

So instead, consider giving up the need to put a “good” or “bad” label around food this year.

Remove your perceived morality around food, and be less preoccupied with your thoughts and guilt around it. Instead, be more present and focus on doing the activities that you love, rather than filling your head with negative thoughts about what you eat and how it may impact your body or weight.  Take back this time to be more productive in surrounding yourself with more self-care activities and doing the things that bring you joy in life. Whether that be connecting with others, reading a new book, exercising, or spending time outside with your kids,

Take back your time and give up on what doesn’t serve you and your happiness.

Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: JENIA NEBOLSINA

Meme Inge, MS, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in San Diego. She shares approachable, nourishing recipes to prove that living a healthy lifestyle can be budget-friendly, delicious and fun. Get to know more about Meme at Living Well Kitchen.

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