If clean eating were easy to do, we’d all be doing it! Illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes are still on the rise, despite the knowledge that they’re food related. This means people know that they are harming themselves with food and continue to choose poorly.
In a less extreme example, I’ll turn to myself. I’m a healthy woman with over a decade of knowledge on the topic of clean eating and even I struggle with making the right choices. When I get off track it’s usually because of a few specific reasons.
Take a look at the following list and see if you can identify:
1) You Don’t Know What You’re Doing - There’s enough diet related info out there to make anyone batty. Sometimes finding the right fit for you will take some trial and error. There are some general rules that I follow when tightening up my diet: Less sugar, Little to no refined foods, Less Dairy, Organic as much as possible, and I prepare my own food...period. It’s hard to use trial and error in finding your diet of choice if you don’t choose the ingredients that go into the dishes. Find recipes and follow them. (I’m a fan of Paleo and grain free recipes)
2) You Haven’t Hit Your Stride Yet - Again, it will likely take some trial and error to find what works best for you. A huge part of hitting your stride is confidence, creativity, and time management. Knowing which dishes to prepare at which times, how long they take to make, and the ability to whip something up on the fly comes with practice! Persist until it’s second nature. Pro Tip: When in doubt, keep recipes simple!
3) You Are Under Too Much Stress - When we’re stressed out we want things that are familiar and comfortable. Changing your diet is neither of those things. Your body is going to go through some changes! Be in the right state of mind to handle the shift. Check out How to Give Stress the Boot.
4) It’s in the Company you Keep - If the people you spend the most time with do not eat what you eat, you will likely slip back into old habits. If they are not as passionate as you are about eating well, then staying with it will be harder for you. Eating is a social activity. It just is. If you’re alone in this, you will have a tougher time making any changes stick.
5) You Need Support - It is no secret that there are emotional and psychological factors behind our eating habits. Though managing day to day stress can go a long way towards making lasting changes, sometimes these issues run deep.
If you’ve tried everything, and you still struggle to change your eating, you might need additional help. There are support groups and counselors that aim specifically to provide help with issues around food. This may seem like a huge step, but clean eating habits can save your life. It’s worth it!
Most important is that you can find yourself feeling grateful for your food and proud of yourself for embracing such an important change. Food is powerful. Having command over something that can make or break your well being makes you a rockstar! Stick with it!