Why is it so hard to change your eating habits?
So many people reach out to us about tips on how to be their most healthy self. We usually recommend a few herbs in various form depending on what that persons health goals are. During a consultation we ask tons of questions about daily habits. Most people are honest when asked about exercising, and the meds they take. Where the consult starts to get tricky is when we ask about those eating habits. That's when we see that nervous smile and those eyes start to look away from us. Even our clients with serious illnesses are ready to jump on board and start their journey with holistic healing until we get to food restrictions.
Why though? It's not because we love food more than we love feeling good. I think its because food feels good! I know I love food, but with love, like any type of love without healing and accountability love can be toxic. I've been able to examine my peers, associates and clients relationship with food. Even though all these people eat differently and have their own definition of healthy eating, there are a few things they all have common when it comes to actually making changes. And most importantly staying consistent!
Its important to point out some of the struggles we share. How else do we overcome together?!
1. You haven't been checking in with yourself mentally and spiritually!!
I know I'm jumping right in with this one! I did because the rest of these tips must come second to this major tip. Its hard to make any substantial change when you aren't mentally "there" Make sure you are giving yourself time to reflect in silence daily. We have to make so many decisions on a regular basis, its easy to do what's easy at any given moment. That means when your mind is clustered with thoughts upon thoughts about immediate needs and decisions, you lose the capacity to start to actively decide to make a healthier choice. Speak kindly to yourself. If your goal is to eat less fast food, or make the transition to no meat and you fall off the wagon; own the decision and move on. We don't have time to be punishing ourselves. Those thoughts and feelings toward ourselves only perpetuate more poor choices.
2. We eat the way we have been taught!
So no, you may or may not put salt pork in your collards. A step up from where you were is definitely a positive step. The thing about steps and the journey to a healthier relationship with food is that it doesn't stop until you reach your goal. If you haven't reached your health and diet goals yet, there is still more work to do. What work? Research, find out ways to make your favorite meals even healthier. Be open to learning new recipes.
3. You don't know what to make!
I see so many people get on a health kick, so they run out and grab all the fruits and veggies in the market. They post these beautiful pictures of their refrigerator filled to the top with color and vegetation. I love it! Then after about a week or so of salads and smoothies my people get bored. You've run out of ideas. Then you think to yourself "Some baked chicken isn't so bad" just for tonight. Or I really don't feel like chopping veggies for a salad. Next thing you know, you're back where you started. The key to overcoming this struggle is by becoming more open and brave enough to try new things! Get on Pinterest and find new recipes. Watch cook with me YouTube videos. Learn about veggies. Its time to think outside of the box. Cooking and eating is supposed to be fun. Its feels good to try new things that feel like on your palate. Do something that you've never seen done in the kitchen. You never know what you truly love until you try it all!
4. Life is hectic!
I will be the first to tell you that life can get crazy! Especially when you are hardworking or goal oriented. We go to work, school, run businesses, parent of children and then some. This is the reason factory farmers have become such a lucrative business. The goal of fast food restaurants are to provide convenience to the world. Same with the pizza industry, as well as many dine in places. In order to keep a constant product these places have to buy from suppliers. Most of these supply companies work with multiple restaurants, which range from fast food to some white linen fine dining. Americans love convenience! We will order out multiple times a week for the convenience. This not only works against you financially but its a direct factor in detouring you from your health goals. Plan! Plan! Plan! Pack your lunch, keep healthy snacks in the car, learn how to cook your favorite dishes! Narrow ordering out down to once a month at most. Understand that it doesn't matter if you're pulling up at Mickey D's or Ruth Chris, ordering out is not the healthy option.
5. You're addicted to the foods you eat!
I made this one last just so I can say; last but definitely not least. This tip is just as important to be aware of as the first tip I gave you. Before I really get into this one lets talk about the connection between obesity and malnutrition. Many don't know that these topics go hand and hand. There is this crazy cycle of eating foods with little to no actual nourishment and wanting more. These foods full of sugar, MSG, gluten, and dyes have addictive chemicals and no nutrients. They act like drugs in our bodies. Meaning the more you eat the more you crave. These cravings are chemically similar to cravings of drug addiction. Once you realize how much salt and sugar our food contains you can begin to see why you just can't kick those eating habits. How do we solve this? Well, we solve it as we would any other drug. We go through detox. Yes, I'm so serious. It is your responsibility to retrain your palate. Its going to be hard to adjust to sugar free options when we've been eating pounds since we were kids. Its hard to ride pass Popeyes when those chicken sandwiches release an unhealthy portion of dopamine into our bloodstream.
Bottom line is that with any goal, it takes work and dedication. Health goals aren't easy but its good to be aware of why its so hard. Now at least we know what we're up against. Now that we know better we can do better!