With the abundance of images of fit and healthy people flooding our social media news feeds every day, it is not a surprise that you have begun partaking in the growing popularity of eating healthily.
Whether you are trying to lose some weight to feel good about yourself during the warmer months, or you want to cut back on sugar to have a healthier eating plan, sometimes it just does not go as expected.
This is because, more often than not, we can fall back into bad eating habits. Whether that is because you are eating on-the-go, or you have experienced an emotional upset, there are many reasons why eating healthy can be so hard.
In this article we shall take a look at some of those reasons, and how you can make eating healthy easier in difficult situations.
Why Might We Find Eating Healthy So Hard?
There is not one reason that makes eating healthy so hard. While you might just struggle with the tastes and textures of healthier food or are craving the ‘bad’ stuff, you might also experience life’s problems that get in the way of a well-balanced diet.
For example, you might become ill, or perhaps somebody you know has. This can cause you to lose sight of the goal you had in the first place as you may not feel like eating the food you set out to consume.
When somebody else becomes ill, you might become their carer, or the stress can change your eating habits, for example, you eat less or only eat when you can.
Emotional stress eating can also play a huge role. For example, you might deal with some upsetting news. The last thing you are likely to reach for is a healthy snack over a sugary one.
An event can also cause you to lose sight of healthier eating. The alcohol might be flowing, and the food available is likely to be on the unhealthier side of things. You will basically eat what is available, rather than staying hungry.
If you have a business lunch with work, then there is a good chance that you will not have the best choice of food, and will have to make do with what is on offer. With all this in mind, let’s take a look at other reasons why eating healthy is so hard.
Perfection Is Our Goal
As humans, we often focus on perfection. This takes up a lot of our time, and healthy eating is no different. We could have spent all week (or a whole month) eating nothing but lean proteins, veggies, whole grains, and different fruits, but as soon as we allowed ourselves to eat that one spoonful of ice cream, we suddenly felt like we failed.
We put so much stress on ourselves by being so strict about eating healthily, that once we lack any kind of willpower over food, we feel terrible about it and ourselves, like we have just committed the worst crime possible.
We could just say we made a different food choice because we felt like we needed more to satisfy those taste buds and that perfection will only set us up to feel like we have failed.
Choosing healthy food the majority of the time is the number one aim, but accept that sometimes you may want to choose the unhealthy option and that is okay too.
We Set Demands That Are Too Unrealistic
We often think that eating healthily is easy to do and that all the meals will be super tasty, but the expectations versus the reality are completely different, after all, all you are hoping for are simple recipe ideas, right?
In all honesty, more often than not, healthy eating is boring. There is this unrealistic expectation that every meal needs to satisfy every single sense of the body.
Once you open your mind to the idea that they might not fulfill this expectation, then you can focus on prepping meals for the week ahead or picking up snacks that are nutritional, rather than tasty.
Losing this unrealistic expectation when it comes to healthy food can remove some of the stress that you may have from trying to make food super tasty every time you eat.
How To Eat Healthy In Difficult Situations?
There are ways to work around difficult situations or times when you are obligated to do something that may cause you to eat unhealthily.
However, if you become sick, go on vacation, or are going through a particularly difficult time, do not be so hard on yourself if you do not stick to your healthy eating plan. Learn to forgive yourself and to move forward from the situation.
Otherwise, here are some simple steps:
- Plan ahead – there are times when you know you will be out of the house, so think about what you can eat on the go or places where you can stop for lunch.
- Prep healthy meals – there will be times when you will not feel like cooking from scratch. Instead, create some delicious meals in advance and freeze them for this very moment.
- Stock up on snacks – either create your own or buy them, just remember to have a good amount of healthy snacks stocked up, either at home or in your office drawer.
- Deal with cravings – if there are slices of cake making the rounds in the office, take a walk and remove yourself from the situation. You could also just eat a healthy snack that you have available.
- Night-out dilemmas – sometimes you do not want to miss out on a party or event. Find out what drinks or food are available, and have some willpower if you need it to stop yourself from going rogue!
Eating healthily can be hard, but once you implement some strategies and focus your attention on dealing with underlying eating habits, you will be able to stay on course without beating yourself up if you lack some willpower occasionally.