Can I tell you a secret? This is coming from someone who’s worked in the fitness and wellness industry for years: Healthy eating is difficult and horrible. For EVERYONE, even if it’s your job. There, I said it.
There is no secret to enjoying healthy eating. Except maybe this one: you won’t enjoy it. At least not in the beginning.
So how do you make healthy, clean eating a part of your lifestyle? Simple: as inconvenient and unpleasurable clean eating might seem (at least when you start), you have to come to decide for yourself that the alternative – not being optimally healthy – is even more inconvenient and unpleasurable.
Yes, you can actually cultivate a taste for kale (if only because it has none), Revita crackers (tastes like chipboard, but in the good way!), and apple cider vinegar water (just grin and bear it). But the fact is, if you have a sugar addiction like me, your tastebuds and brain are used to the feel-good chemicals in processed foods.
If you’re a busy mom/entrepreneur/human, you have to be realistic! Here’s what I recommend: Don’t worry about eliminating anything from your diet. Seriously. We suffer from enough guilt and “food shame” as it is. If eating brings you pleasure, then take it while it comes!
So what do you do instead? ADD IN healthy food. Find creative ways to sneak more veggies, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and clean protein to your diet. No meal is too crappy for a side of leafy greens. Insist on a couple Timbits? Fine, but can you also have an apple or a banana with that?
Here’s what’s gonna happen: first, you’re going to start to get used to eating healthy food. Second, and most importantly, your healthy food choices will start to CROWD OUT your unhealthy food choices. Adding in healthy food is a kinder, gentler, more gradual, yet ultimately MORE EFFECTIVE way of cleaning up your diet.
Don’t believe me? Just try it! Trust me. After a few weeks, you’re going to opt for the healthier option first, and then eventually you will find that you prefer the healthier food. It WILL happen, you CAN do this.
If you choose to go “cold turkey” and eliminating all of the bad foods (tell me, what exactly will you be left with?) all at once, you run the risk of overwhelming yourself and giving up. Again. This “add not subtract” theory may sound counterintuitive, but it works! What have you got to lose, except your desire for junk food and excess weight?
This tactic definitely works for me. Filling up on healthy stuff helps to keep me full and makes me that much more able to resist mindless snacking on sugary junk later on! What about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂