From hectic daily schedules to the irresistible allure of an occasional sweet treat, there are many aspects that make healthy eating apparently difficult. And if you set out on a health journey with the notion that it’s going to be hard either way, you might be manifesting bad luck unintentionally. More often than not, the things we do unknowingly are what make balanced eating much harder than it needs to be, but they are all habits that are quite easy to break as well. To that end, here are some reasons why healthy eating is not actually so hard, and tips on how to prioritize it today:
1. It’s not be-all and end-all
When attempting to eat healthily, we often consider it to be an end-all-be-all situation. We focus on making healthy choices all of the time, not allowing ourselves to have a little treat every now and again. But all this does is cause stress, anxiety, and guilt surrounding food, preventing us from sticking to a balanced diet altogether.
The truth is that a bit of ice cream and an occasional pizza won’t damage your health, so stop worrying about it. As long as most of the food you consume is actually healthy, you will be healthy as well. Worrying about the infrequent unhealthy meals you eat will only make balanced eating unnecessarily difficult.
2. It’s not only your responsibility
Although cooking every day and preparing picture-perfect meals might seem ideal, the reality is often very different. Sometimes we’re too busy to prepare elaborate meals, we might not have all the ingredients to follow a recipe, or we simply don’t have the energy to prepare anything more complicated than a three-ingredient dish.
All of that is perfectly fine. Healthy diets are supposed to fit into our individual lifestyles, and it’s only natural to outsource some of that effort or utilize certain support systems set in place solely for this purpose. Between pre-prepared meals, healthy restaurants, delivery services, and even family members, there is no need to rely only on yourself for maintaining good eating habits any longer.
3. Healthy snacks are accessible
It’s not only elaborate dishes that represent a problem when attempting to eat a more balanced diet. Snacks are often thought to be the main culprit, as grabbing a bag of chips or a can of soda is seemingly easier than making a healthier choice. But this isn’t exactly true in many cases.
For instance, you can easily get a delicious protein powder and mix it into a tasty shake or a healthy smoothie as a quick snack or breakfast. Similarly, you can stock up on nuts and seeds, dried fruits, dark chocolate, and other healthy snacks. If you always have a good choice, the bad one might not be so appealing.
4. Food impacts our emotions
One of the most difficult aspects of a healthy diet is the fact that most of us only truly want to eat unhealthy foods. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as fast food and snacks are often much tastier and can provide comfort when we need it. However, they can also make us feel, bloated, sluggish, and irritable, having quite a negative effect on both our physical and mental health.
If we want to feel more vibrant and energized, on the other hand, healthier meals will often be our first choice. Clearly, food has a direct impact on how we feel, and you should keep that in mind when making meal choices in the future.
5. It’s not a trend or fad
It seems like a new diet or ingredient becomes “the healthiest” thing to eat nearly every day, whether it’s a new whole grain or a beneficial vegan diet. We are constantly bombarded with new, contradicting information, and allowing the latest dietary fads to affect us can undeniably make healthy eating much more difficult than it has to be.
But a healthy diet is not a trend; it is a necessary habit that needs to be developed and maintained. If you take all the marketing, conflict, and complexity out of balanced eating, it will be much easier to sustain, even if it only means eating more fruits and vegetables at the beginning of your health journey.
Healthy eating is only difficult because we make it that way. As long as you let go of preconceived notions and focus on building better habits, balanced eating won’t be so hard after all.