Most of us know what foods to eat to yield optimum physical health and energy, but we have thoughts swirling around in our mind like, “healthy food tastes bad.” Consequently, when it comes to making a choice, we go for what tastes good. First, I have to ask, why does the healthier option have to taste bad? Second, what can you do to find healthier options that taste good to you?
We seem to think that the two have to be mutually exclusive (health and taste) but that is simply not true. Are you basing your healthy food choices on what you think will help you lose the most weight? If so, that could be the bitter taste in your mouth as you force yourself to eat what you don’t love.
Consider asking yourself, what do I really enjoy? Where can I find foods that fuel my body AND taste good? When I asked myself the question an interesting response came back to me…Whole Foods. I sought out the prepared foods section of organic grocery stores and vegetarian restaurants in my area to sample new ways to prepare healthy fair and eventually I started to experiment on my own. These are great options for those of us who don’t know what we like, don’t know how to cook (or prepare food in a way that serves us) or are stuck eating plain steamed veggies, grilled chicken and fish and want to excite the taste buds with something new. Oh, it’s also great for those of us who have more to do then spend hours in the kitchen every week.
Control versus Choice
Trying to control everything that crosses our lips by limiting foods, weighing and measuring everything and reserving “treats” for certain days of the week, is causing us to be preoccupied with food and crazy around it. One of the best things you can do for yourself during this journey is to own your choices….without judgment. It may sound like this, “Yes, I recognize that baby carrots might be healthier that the chips with my sandwich, but I am choosing to eat them.” When you do this, you’re in the driver’s seat, you get to take your power back and you can enjoy what you’re eating without guilt and shame and go right back to eating “normally” the next meal versus. “I messed up at lunch today, so I might as well get it in while I can because tomorrow I’m going to start over.” Start what over? If you are not on a diet, there is nothing to start over. You just fall back into your natural way of eating.
One the flip side, the inner dialogue can sound like, “I am choosing to eat a salad over a burger because I want to feel energetic and not lethargic all afternoon.” This is way different than trying to control what you eat. “I HAVE to eat the salad for lunch because I’m trying to lose weight. 9 times out of 10 the burger will win because “there’s always tomorrow…” By the way, you don’t HAVE to do anything, in case you didn’t know 🙂
Case in point
I remember when I was frustrated about not being able to work on my business because I HAVE to go to work. My coach said, “no, you don’t have to go to work.” I was like, “yes I do. I have to go to work so I don’t have time to work on my business.” Long story short is, what I realized is that I didn’t have to go to work, but I wanted to. I wanted to go to work because I had a certain lifestyle I was used to and wanted to maintain. When I realized that, my energy completely shifted and I actually looked forward to going to work AND building my coaching business, giving me the time and energy to do both.
Continue listening to your self-talk as you make choices around food. Are you using words like good and bad? Are you telling yourself that you HAVE to eat something? What if you didn’t HAVE to eat it and you were still going to be okay?
Create a list of foods you’d like to try that are considered healthy for no other reason than you want to see if you like them.