3 Roadblocks Keeping You From Eating Better
In my last post, I talked about how information is not knowledge, and in fact, can have the opposite effect when it comes to eating better. Instead of feeling empowered to move forward, we feel paralyzed by the tidal wave of information that seems to come crashing down on us every day.
Shutting out all that nutrition noise and forging your own path to wellness is easier said than done. Just recently, one of my clients struggling with digestive issues received conflicting advice from her personal trainer, family doctor and specialist – Yikes! No wonder it feels like it’s so hard to eat right.
Perhaps you have a similar story, or may be running into one of these other roadblocks in your journey to eating well.
3 Reasons Why You Struggle to Eat Better
1. You’re Trying to Keep Up with the Joneses. (Or the Paltrows, or the Brady’s)
When you’re passionate about something, it’s natural to want the latest and greatest. This is true for tech, cars, software updates… but not nutrition. Good nutrition is not about trying the newest product or cleanse, or even following the advice of the latest study. Otherwise, you’d be jumping on something new (and probably contradicting) every minute! A single study cannot turn around an entire body of evidence, and it doesn’t help that most of these studies are reported poorly either.Good nutrition is about looking at the entire body of evidence, not chasing the latest research. Click To Tweet
If you haven’t seen it yet, John Oliver did an awesome segment on this last weekend.
Nutrition is a relatively young science, so there is still a lot of uncharted territory, and we have more questions than answers. It may seem tired, boring and obvious, but what we know for now is that choosing whole or minimally processed foods that are plant-based most of the time can lower your risk of chronic disease and mortality. Everything else is just nitty-gritty stuff that probably won’t move the needle too much one way or another in the long run.
2. You’re Looking… Looking… Looking… but not Leaping
Changing your eating habits takes work, so it makes sense that before sinking your time, energy and money into something new, you want to make sure you do your research, especially if you’ve been burned in the past by a bogus detox or supplement, or an expensive program that simply didn’t work.
If you’re waiting for the perfect time to start, so that you can have the perfect diet, here’s the truth: there will always be a holiday, someone’s birthday, an unexpected lunch invitation, or heck, the weekend (!) coming up, and there’s no such thing as a perfect diet anyway. I hate to break it to you, but you’re waiting for something that doesn’t even exist.There is no such thing as a perfect diet. Stop searching for something that doesn't exist. Click To Tweet
Instead of holding off until the “right” opportunity comes along, or jumping back to square one every time something doesn’t go your way, challenge yourself to start now. Sure, it might not be pretty, but what is one thing that you can do now that’s better? To even move just one step forward?There will never be a 'perfect' time to change your eating habits. The best time to start is NOW. Click To Tweet
3. You’re Missing the Big Picture.
There’s no question that food is not just for fuel. We eat certain foods to mark certain occasions, we do business over lunch or coffee, heck, we eat just because something tastes good, or simply because it’s there!
Knowing this, why is it then that we beat ourselves up when we eat for reasons other than nutrition? Why do we blame “lack of willpower” when it’s completely normal for health to take a backseat to taste, cost and convenience
sometimes most of the time when we’re deciding what to eat?
I know, I know. You’re thinking, “How the heck could this help me eat better? If I allowed myself to choose what to eat because of taste, I’d just be eating fried chicken and ice cream all the time!”
The point of acknowledging and accepting the multiple roles of food is about changing your relationship with food. Food is not about being “good for you” or “bad for you”. Sure, a food may be super-saturated with sugar, or so processed that it never rots, but you’re not a bad person for eating it. Maybe you’re eating it because it gives you a sense of nostalgia or comfort, maybe you were in a rush and it was the only thing you could find, maybe you’re eating it just for the sake of trying something new.
Here’s the real trick – now that you can see all of food’s different roles, you can step back and ask yourself, “Is food the best thing for the job?” Is it the best thing for celebrating? Bringing people together? Providing comfort? Killing boredom? Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. The answer is up to you.Food can satisfy much more than physical hunger, but is it worth using it to satisfy other hungers? Click To Tweet