Why is Eating Healthy So Hard?
Why is maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle so tricky? What everyday factors are hindering our progress in eating well every day? We will break down the reasons your diet may be failing you and what you can do about it.
We all know the basics of eating healthy. Not overeating, lowering sugar and salt intake, and plenty of fresh, whole foods. Nevertheless, less than 3% of Americans are living a healthy lifestyle.
1. Lifestyle Pressures
It's no secret that Americans work some of the most extended hours in the world. With work weeks that average more than 40 hours, many people spend most of their days at work. If you have all your time focused on work, healthy eating can slip down on your list of priorities.
When you are heading to meetings and checking a long list of work commitments, sourcing healthy snacks is not easy.
Further to this, many office canteens and meetings you attend will not provide the healthiest food options for you to choose from. Food in office canteens tends to be heavily processed and high in added sugar and salt.
How can you ensure you combat the less healthy options presented to you daily?
Try to make sure you always carry some healthy snacks with you. Whether it's a bag of nuts or an apple, if you have healthy options on hand, you won't become super hungry and be tempted by unhealthy foods.
Grabbing food to go when you have a busy lifestyle is the most convenient way to eat. This, sadly, is not the most effective way to nourish yourself.
It's no coincidence we are all hooked on fast food. It's scientifically proven that the ingredients in fast food release dopamine and oxytocin. These feel-good chemicals in our brains make us feel relaxed and happy.
Unfortunately, these fast foods lack nutritional value and have excessive amounts of calories and trans fats. Eating fast food regularly can be detrimental to our attempts to eat healthy.
If you can limit eating out at restaurants to only once or twice a week, you will already make significant steps to improving your diet. Restaurants want us to keep coming back, thus fill their foods with ingredients detrimental to our health.
The best way to eat a nutritious diet is to make your own food. Even frozen and convenience meals you can pick up from the store are often heavily processed and filled with ingredients that won't keep you healthy.
3. Budget for Eating Healthy
It is a common consensus that healthy eating is an expensive way to eat. Fast food is cheap and presents a convenient alternative to planning and making your own meals.
However, fruits and vegetables, grains and pulses (the bulk of which make up a healthy diet) are all cheap foods. In order to make your diet healthier, it's best to add these nutritious foods to your weekly grocery shopping.
Many markets sell cheap fruits and vegetables that are overstock from the restaurant industry. To keep your food bills low, try to find out where these markets are in your town or city.
Celebrations. They call for cakes, chips, maybe a glass or two of wine. Going to a birthday party or wedding, or work event can play havoc with your attempts to maintain your healthy diet.
Often social pressure at these events can make you overeat or eat foods you usually wouldn't touch.
Try not to let these types of events stress you out. They don't happen every week. When they do, enjoy them for what they are. Don't worry too much about eating a few 'bad' foods from time to time.
Your health is all about what you do most of the time, not some of the time. If you eat enough nutrients throughout the weeks and months, one event will not throw you off track.
Eat before going to big occasions where you know there will be unhealthy food. If you turn up hungry, you are much more likely to overeat and eat foods you don't want to eat!
5. Lack of Time
Planning, shopping, and cooking healthy meals are all time-consuming tasks. Ensuring you have the right foods in the house for maintaining your nutritious diet daily can be a big challenge.
Work, family, and social commitments can all take up so much of your time to prioritize preparing meals and healthy eating.
One of the best ways to combat this lack of time is to batch cook. If you cook large amounts of healthy foods, you can keep them in the fridge or freezer to eat when you are short on time.
6. Lack of Cooking Skills
Knowing how to cook nutritious meals is another factor that holds us back in the quest to eat a good diet. Learning about which ingredients go well together and how to prepare them is another time-consuming task.
Making healthy food taste good can be another challenge people face when making dietary changes. If you don't know how to cook a vegetable well, it is hard to get excited about eating vegetables!
Fortunately, you can easily use a healthy foods cookbook to make it easier to prepare healthy meals. You won't have to worry about the inspiration for recipes or knowing how to create meals that are nutritionally balanced and delicious.
Start Your Journey to Health
Now you know some of the barriers to eating healthy and how you can overcome them. Maintaining a healthy diet is a lifelong process; nobody said it was easy.
Even with the knowledge of the best dietary principles, we can slip up and make choices that aren't so healthy. The best advice is not to get discouraged if you happen to eat something that isn't nutritious. After all, life is about balance, and you should always treat yourself from time to time.
If you need some support along your journey to lifelong health, checkout the other wellness content on our site and take look at NuMedica. Theses supplements help you maximize your nutritional intake.
Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune diseases, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.
Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.
We encourage you to take advantage of these FREE Wellness Resources on our website.
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The information, knowledge, and experience shared on this website is the opinion of SupplementRelief.com. This site and its content is intended to enhance your knowledge base as YOU MAKE YOUR OWN HEALTHCARE DECISIONS in partnership with your qualified health professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products referred to are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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