Have you ever just not been in the mood to eat right? Maybe it started out slowly and crept in and before you knew it you just weren’t eating healthy and couldn’t seem to find the initiative to improve your eating habits. Or perhaps, for you, eating healthy is a new thing and you just can’t imagine a life where it’s easier and, may I even suggest, satisfying?
Guess what? I’ve been there too. And I want to encourage you today that sometime choosing healthy isn’t easy, but with a few strategies I hope you can find it to be a choice you do want to make more often.
So, for today, here are a few truths that you can remember when you are struggling to find the courage to choose healthy.
1. Know that it does get easier.
Whether you are trying to adapt a healthy lifestyle altogether or even trying to make one seemingly simple change, know that it will get easier. Eating healthy is a habit, and any good habit takes practice. Lots and lots of practice. Over time, not only will your tastes adjust, but your mindset will shift, too. A few examples:
- The more sugar we eat the more we can tend to crave it! Sometimes, cutting back in those first few days or even meals can seem so rough. Sweets are addicting and most people notice that the more they eat them…the more they want them! Once you take the first step to cut back, the second and third will be easier. You’ll be surprised that eventually “No thank you” will become so much easier!
- Lacing up your athletic shoes can often seem like the most challenging part of your workout. It’s making the decision, “I can and will do this.” In fact, even if I tell myself I only have to put my shoes on, I always go ahead and complete my workout. However, once you start finding ways that work to motivate you to workout it gets easier. (And if you need help getting started check out my favorite tips for workout motivation now.)
- Planning healthy meals might initially seem foreign and difficult. Perhaps finding recipes and menus that work for family is a huge burden. But once again, when you find what works you can reuse it. Over time you will find more recipes your family loves and probably even start to develop some new tastes!
2. Focus on foods that you find to be both delicious AND nourishing.
Perhaps you have been convincing yourself you need to eat fish, broccoli, and rice every meal, and you don’t even like fish! I don’t think I would want to eat healthy either if this were the case for me. But the truth in this is, there are TONS of nourishing foods. Think of a few favorite dishes, vegetables, or other healthy foods you DO truly enjoy and eat these. This often can give you the push you need to get back on track and find joy in healthy eating. Because truly, eating healthy can still be very enjoyable. Once you get over your initial “I don’t want to eat healthy” mindset you may find that you feel more adventurous and ready to add new foods.
3. Consider the “Whys”.
Like any situation, figuring out the root cause helps to determine a new plan or mindset. Is there a reason you are not in the mood to eat healthy? Are you tired of your usual healthy dinners? Maybe you have a mindset that eating healthy has to be boring and can’t involve any fun foods.
On the other side of “Whys” consider WHY you should eat healthy? Obviously, you wish you WANTED to eat healthy or I’m guessing you wouldn’t be reading this article. 😉That said, you are already further ahead than you thought. Now figure out why your health is important to you.
4. Health is a continuum.
So you don’t want the kale salad, but that doesn’t mean you have to go straight for the brownie. Or perhaps, you don’t have time to cook the 3 course dinner all from scratch, but that doesn’t mean fast food is the right choice. I recently read this article Healthy is Always Changing by Robyn, a Registered Dietitian known as The Real Life RD. I’ve been reflecting ever since about how different health can look at different times. Make sure your goals and expectations match your reality.
5. You are not alone. That chocolate cake/doughnut/brownie/(whatever tempts you) looks good to all of us.
Occasionally, I have had people make comments that imply it must be “easier” for some people to follow healthy habits than others. However, I want to caution you to be careful of thinking this way as it can develop into a limiting belief that some people always find it easy, but you just don’t.
However, today I want to encourage you that at one point or another probably every single one of us has struggled to find the motivation to continue practicing healthy habits. Whether it’s eating healthy, exercising, or even getting the sleep you need.
When You Don’t Want to Eat Healthy
Making the best choice in anything isn’t always easy. However, knowing our long term goals, plans, and motivation behind a decision can always help direct our focus to WHY we are doing what we are doing. Finding balance with food is about choosing health sometimes even when we don’t “feel” like it. So next time you, don’t want to eat healthy; take a deep breath and redirect your thoughts.