It can be challenging to get in the right mindset when making diet, exercise or lifestyle changes. Most of us have likely fallen victim to believing at least one of the 10 beliefs in the article below which has, in turn, prevented the full commitment to a change. Read the list below and the suggestions for changing those beliefs to truly get yourself in the right mindset for making the lifestyle changes you want.
10 Beliefs That Keep You Stuck When You Want To Eat Healthier
By Anne Ricci
Maybe you’ll say these are excuses.
I prefer to call them beliefs. Because excuses can easily become more ingrained beliefs, and a belief can keep you stuck forever.
1. I don’t have time to eat healthy.
Even when you make the decision that eating healthy is your priority, you probably still have a job, kids, household work, social life, and 8 hours of sleep to squeeze into a 24-hour day.
However, the belief itself is what keeps you stuck, not the lack of time. When you switch your belief to “I can perfectly make at least a few hours time to shop for food and prep meals every week”, things can start changing for the better.
2. Nutrition is too complicated.
Lots of people make nutrition a lot more complicated than it really is. While I personally do need a degree and high-level nutrition knowledge to be able to serve my clients and help them solve their health and weight loss puzzle, you don’t.
Trust your common sense: it’s probably telling you to reduce sugar and coffee, drink more water, and eat more fresh produce. Here’s where to start: make your next drink or your next meal a healthier one.
Sure, if you believe that cooking is a chore, it can be hard to stick to a healthy eating lifestyle. Maybe we could turn this belief on its head and think differently.
Cooking healthy meals is an act of care and love; love of yourself and of the people you cook for. It’s a wonderful gift to you and your family. And when you decide that self-care and love are strong values in your life, you’ll start to enjoy cooking and you’ll probably also find more time for it (see #1).
4. I am addicted to sugar.
This belief can keep you stuck forever in unhealthy eating patterns. Many people who eat lots of foods high in sugar believe they are addicted to sugar and they can’t do anything about it. While sugar addiction has been shown by studies to be a reality, it has also been shown that we can train our brain to prefer healthy food.
Start to envision that this sugar addiction can be reversed, and start to add to your diet a fair amount of the vegetables you like, every single day. You will probably gradually become “addicted” to these servings of vegetables, and you’ll have a much easier time getting off sugary foods and drinks.
5. Eating healthy is too expensive.
This is an inherently subjective topic depending on revenue, country, city, and more. Now, if this is one of your beliefs, let’s consider this research from Harvard School of Public Health, which found “the healthiest diets cost about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy diets” (that’s $45 a month for one person).
If your own diet is not the least healthy at all and your aim is not to have the healthiest diet, either, that could mean a difference of much less than that. Maybe eating healthy is not that much more expensive for you, after all.
6. Eating healthy is too hard.
Once you’ve got the habit of eating healthy, it’s easy. What can be hard is to catch the habit, especially when you’ve been eating processed foods for a long time, or you’re used to hitting the drive-through after a long day of work.
To make eating healthy a habit, you need to get started, and to do so, you may need to first eliminate other beliefs that get in your way (#1 above for example).
People around you may love their fast food meals or fizzy drinks, they may have no interest whatsoever in improving their health or their weight, and they may even sabotage you just because you’re triggering their own stuff. But all this is about them, not about you.
You can’t wait for others to be supportive and drive the change that you want to see in yourself. If you’d love some support, try to find a group, a friend, or someone who’s done it already. But don’t let this belief that no one supports you prevent you from eating healthier.
8. I can’t be consistent with a healthy diet.
You may have this belief if you think you won’t have the willpower to stick to a healthy eating plan and you also want to be perfect and eat healthy 100% of the time.
Here’s the truth: even with the strongest willpower in the world, you won’t eat healthy every single time, simply because life happens. But you can perfectly be consistent with a healthy eating plan once you give up the idea of being perfect.
9. I love my high-calorie comfort foods too much.
You may experience this as true; and that’s ok. You can perfectly like comfort foods. This doesn’t have to prevent you from getting started to eat healthier meals. Your attachment to these foods is often synonymous with a need for comfort in your life.
While you keep some of these foods on the menu and start eating healthier at the same time, ask yourself how you could get more of these feelings of comfort in your life. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that you don’t love those foods that much after all.
10. I don’t like to exercise.
Many people don’t eat a healthy diet just because they think this won’t help them if they don’t also go to the gym at the same time. And the fact they don’t like to exercise stops them in their tracks.
I’m here to tell you: even if you don’t like or you don’t have time to exercise, you can perfectly start adopting a healthier diet today.