A very interesting article published in The Huffington Post this week explained that many people struggle to eat healthily because they do not like healthy foods. Although this is not a big revelation, it does explain why it can be difficult for people to stick to a healthy diet. Although we know that certain foods are really good for us, it can be really difficult to eat them all of the time. If we like them but like other foods more, that can be hard enough but if we really do not like them at all, that can make it almost impossible. You may feel you would rather starve than eat these foods that are supposed to be so healthy for you. So what can you do?
If there are only specific foods that you do not like, then do not eat them. Do not worry that if you ditch the flax seeds all sorts of bad things will happen, just replace them with something that you do like. You can always replace all sorts of foods with similar ones, ones that are similar in taste and texture or nutritionally similar. Just go online and search for foods high in a specific nutrient and you should be able to find something to replace that hated food with. Always just buy small amounts of new foods to see if you like them rather than buying them in bulk and then regretting the decision.
It may be that you are finding the foods really bland. However, there are lots of recipes online where you can transform healthy foods into really delicious meals. You do not have to go without flavour so use plenty of herbs and spices to make everything taste better. You can experiment yourself if you have the confidence or choose recipes online to try. Think about what flavours you like and dislike when you are choosing the recipes and try to imagine what they might taste like.
A lot of people try to make healthy versions of foods they love and this can be very disappointing. Imagine your favourite burger but without the sauce, in a wholemeal bun, grilled instead of fried and with sweet potato chips instead of fries on the same. Imagine you thinking it will just like the original thing and how you will feel when you tuck in to the healthier version. You will feel a lot of disappointment and want the one that you are trying to avoid even more than you did before you tried to replace it. It could be much better to have a small amount of the food that you are missing on the rare occasion rather than trying to replicate it unsuccessfully.
Another thing that you need to consider is how drastic your dietary changes are. You may decide that you will cut out all of the bad things at once, but this can be really difficult. It might be better to cut things down one at a time. It could be much better to change one thing and get used to that change, perhaps for a month before changing something else. So cut out alcohol, then sweets and chocolate and then biscuits so that you can get used to the changes and find alternatives before having to move onto something else.
Cravings can be a problem when you cut out foods, particularly if you cut them out completely. If you are really craving something then ignoring it could be a disaster as eventually you may find that you give in and really over indulge so try to address it. If you crave something sweet then try having some fruit and see if that helps. If you are craving something savoury then consider having some nuts, cheese or olives. A small amount of something with a string taste can work really well. It is not completely known why we crave things, some say it is because we are not feeding that specific gut bacteria so they force us to want certain foods and others put it down to a nutrient deficiency with some saying it is an addiction. Whatever it is we do need to find a way of dealing with it. Giving into a craving by bingeing is not a sensible way but to just have a small amount of food could be the solution. It is worth trying it to see whether it works for you. Also many people see healthy eating as depriving themselves and if they have cravings this cements this thought. If they can address the craving then this can stop them feeling this way and so it is wise for you to try to do the same thing as well.
Healthy eating can be easier for some people than others. Those that have been brought up with a varied and healthy diet containing lots of fruit and vegetables, a big variety of food and lots of wholegrains are already used to these foods and probably enjoy them. If you are not used to them, then it can take a lot of getting used to and you may not enjoy them. So taking a step by step approach, finding healthy foods that you do enjoy and ways to cook food so that you enjoy the taste can make it a lot easier.
It is important to be open minded about health foods. Some people do have the association of it being ‘rabbit food’ or ‘bird seed’ but there are all sorts of foods that are healthy which are not like this. You can make wholesome soups rather than having to eat salads, tasty granola rather than plain porridge and mixed fruit salads rather than a plain apple. It is so worthwhile taking a look at recipes to see just how you can make healthy food exciting and trying to introduce new healthier foods into your diet to see how you find them. You could find that you will get some new regular favourites to cook which are healthy and tasty.