Why Eating Healthy is Not Working For You and How to Fix It
Eating healthy can be very frustrating and challenging.
If you are wondering why you can’t get the results you want, then this post is for you.
Here are five reasons why you might be struggling and what to do about it.
1. You are not honest with yourself.
If you are struggling to eat healthier, you have to ask yourself,
Why do you turn to foods that you know are not good for your body?
You might be thinking; the answer is something along the lines of:
“Because they taste amazing Nory, Duh!”
But in reality, it is not as simple. We turn to food for many reasons, and believe it or not; most have to do with how food makes us feel. For example, in my case, food made me feel comfortable and in control.
When my life was literally upside down, and I was battling depression, food was my safe space. It was easy to avoid the root of the problem because food made me feel better.
If you are going to take control of your unhealthy eating habits, you have to look at “why” you run to unhealthy foods.
You have to understand that food is not the source of your problems. Unhealthy foods and weight gain are ways your problems manifest themselves.
Eating unhealthy foods is our coping mechanism.
That’s why to turn things around you have to spend time with yourself and figure out what “issues” you are avoiding when you run to unhealthy foods. Once you identify the “why” then you can focus on facing the root of your unhealthy relationship with food.
Only then you can start healing.
2. You are relying on willpower and not “the process.”
We all fall victims to this at some point in our journey.
You think to yourself,
“I need to be stronger.”
“I need to be more disciplined.”
“I need to stop eating *insert unhealthy food here*.”
You have to start working smarter and not harder.
The answer to eating healthier is not starving yourself or depriving your body. You have to give your body time to adjust and get used to the new lifestyle you’ve decided to live.
You need to understand that this won’t happen overnight.
Focus on eating more whole foods, eating less processed foods and make your transition a slow but steady process.
This is a marathon, not a sprint.
You might want to see results fast, but that mindset will only bring you short term results. If you want long lasting results, you need to be patient and move at your own pace. Do not worry about anyone else; you should be your only competition.
With every meal commit to eating a little healthier.
If today you had 2 cans of soda, try to drink 1.5 or 1 can tomorrow. You cannot cheat your body, if you do too much too fast, your journey will be more challenging.
3. You are not eating the right foods.
Your meals should only include items from 6 food groups.
Let’s go over each food group and some of their benefits per the United States Department of Agriculture.
Fruits are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals; they are also linked to reducing the risk of chronic disease like asthma, diabetes (I & II) and heart failure just to name a few. Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories.
You’ve heard that vegetables are good for you, but why? People who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.
Grains are an important source of many nutrients, including dietary fiber, several B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate), and minerals (iron, magnesium, and selenium).
A healthy variety of protein will improve your nutrient intake and your health benefits. Foods in the meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, and seed group provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. However, choosing foods from this group that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol may have health implications. So be careful.
Consuming dairy products provides health benefits – especially improved bone health. Foods in the Dairy Group provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.
Oils are not a food group, but they do provide essential nutrients and are therefore included in USDA recommendations for what to eat. Note that only small amounts of oils are recommended.
Most of the fats you eat should be polyunsaturated (PUFA) or monounsaturated (MUFA) fats. Oils are the major source of MUFAs and PUFAs in the diet. PUFAs contain some fatty acids that are necessary for health – called “essential fatty acids.”
You should know that depending on your diet you may or may not consume one of the food groups mentioned above. If you decide to cut a certain food group of your diet, make sure you research substitutions for the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in that particular food group.
4. You are not eating enough of the right foods.
Now that you know which food groups you need to focus on when putting your meals together, let’s review how much of these foods you should be eating.
You have heard that portion control is crucial if you want to eat healthier. But how do you know what is the right amount of food you need?
We will go over each section.
The amount of fruit you need to eat depends on age, sex, and your level of physical activity.
If you are a woman between 19-30 years old, you should have 2 cups of fruits per day. If you are a woman over 31 should have 1.5 cups of fruits per day.
If you are a woman between 19 – 50 years old your recommended amount is 2.5 cups of vegetables per day, and if you are a woman over 51 years old, you should have 2 cups per day.
*Grains: Most Americans consume enough grains, but few are whole grains. At least half of all the grains you eat should be whole grains.
If you are a woman between 19 – 50 years old your recommended amount is the equivalent to 6 ounces per day. If you are a woman over 51 years old your recommended amount is equal to 5 ounces per day.
*Protein: Most Americans eat enough food from this group, but need to make leaner and more varied selections of these foods.
If you are a woman between 19 – 30 years old your recommended amount is 5.5 ounces per day. If you are a woman older than 31 years old, your recommended daily intake is 5 ounces.
If you are a woman over 19 years old your recommended daily intake is about is 3 cups.
If you are a woman over 19 years old your recommended daily intake is 5-6 teaspoons.
*These amounts are appropriate for individuals who get less than 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity, beyond normal daily activities. Those who are more physically active may be able to consume more while staying within calorie needs.
5. You do not have the right plan in place.
Healthy eating just doesn’t happen to you. It is something you have to plan for, like a vacation. Most of us fail because we do not plan for the health we want.
We leave the majority of our success to chance.
If you want to succeed, you’re going to have to take control of your situation and commit to getting what you want.
If you’re open to it, I’d love to help! Click on the link below.
Let’s figure out if we’re a good fit for each other!
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