I've heard it a hundred times, I've said it a hundred times. Eating healthy is hard. But why? There are scientific explanations for it. Most of the foods comprised of the average American diet consist of processed foods, we have bad habits, we have a lack of nutritional knowledge, we are busy, and we are biologically programmed to crave high fat, high calorie foods (thank you hunters and gatherers). No wonder it's so hard. It seems as though every force in the world is working against you. Here are some tools to help you on the path to eating better.
Know and understand your food. What are the pros and cons of consuming a particular item? Will it help you reach your goals? Is it beneficial nutritionally? Is there a healthier alternative?
Most of the quick grab, ready-to-go foods we have at our fingertips are highly processed foods. What that means is there are usually high amounts of added fats and sugars, which are highly addictive. Back in the hunter-gatherer days, humans were rarely able to feast on high fat, high sugar, high calorie foods; enabling the brain and body to feel extreme satisfaction when one was able to partake of such a pleasure. That internal chemistry remains in humanity still. We are biologically programmed to want more and more fats, sugars, and calories. Thus, creating this issue we have when it comes to making healthy lifestyle choices. It may quite literally feel like you're going against every instinct you have to choose to eat broccoli over a bowl of ice cream.
The more you know about your food, your body, and your goals, the more you should be able to make better choices, even when it goes against everything you feel your body wants.
- Recognize Emotional Attachments
Do you go to your favorite burger joint because you like the food and it makes you feel better after you eat it or do you go because your grandmother took you there often in your younger years and you have an emotional attachment to the nostalgia of it? Many eating disorders stem from connecting certain emotions with consumption or abstaining of food. It is important to recognize the relationships you have with food and make sure they’re healthy and sustainable.
Chances are you eat the way you do because of habits created in your youth. Many of us continue in the pattern and eating habits our parents have taught us. You might have always been eating a certain way, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the right way for you.
Sometimes we fall into the trap of ease. When you get the cue you're hungry but you don't have time to make anything, you're more than likely to make a quick swing into a fast food line. Over time, you slowly create a habit of connecting that particular food or restaurant with being hungry.
Habits play a huge role in living a healthy lifestyle. Being able to recognize what you eat out of habit is a powerful way to change your mindset and make healthier choices. Over time, you'll be able to break old habits and create new habits that are more sustainable to your wallet and waistline. The more regularly you eat something, the more your mind and body enjoy it.
Hopefully, with these tools, you’ll be able to revaluate your habits and be better equip to handle any food choices that come your way. It may be hard to make the healthy decision, but overtime you’ll find it easier and easier with each healthy choice you make. The more you know, the more power you have over the things you once thought were hard.
For more ideas on how to make healthier food choices, check out these posts
Love you all!
Brooker A King