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Do you know what potato chips, fries, chocolate cake, burgers, and candy bars have in common? Your first suggestion might be… “They are all delicious to eat!” However, the words you should be reaching for are… “They are all unhealthy.” Check out the most common excuses for not eating healthy. Consider how they relate to you and ways to stop them.

Most excuses for not eating healthy or engaging in unhealthy behaviors are based on cognitive distortions. They are unhelpful thinking patterns that convince you that something is really true when it’s not actually based on factual evidence. They show up automatically as a knee-jerk reaction to justify your behavior. They have a negative impact on your life and are a form of self-sabotage.

“I don’t have the time to eat healthily”

Your schedule might be busy but that doesn’t mean you have don’t have time for healthy eating. We all have the same 24 hours per day. The best way to combat this excuse is by meal prepping and planning.

You could prepare a healthy packed lunch in the morning and take it with you to work. You could eat a healthy breakfast too as it shouldn’t take you too long to blend some organic fruit with protein powder or to scramble some eggs. 

For your evening meal, you could put something in a slow cooker in the morning. This way, you would have something good to eat when you get home, such as this cowboy-baked beans recipe at Yellow Bliss Road. There would then be less need to order from a fast-food restaurant. 

Make a list of everything you do in the day. While there will be times when being busy will be a reasonable excuse, there might also be times when you’re busy with less important things, such as scrolling through Facebook or reading a magazine. It’s at these times that you could focus on healthy meal prep instead.

“Healthy foods are boring”

Another common excuse for not eating healthy is healthy foods are boring. Yes, healthy food can be boring but only if you make it so. A rice cake isn’t particularly appealing, especially when placed against a chocolate bar. And a lettuce sandwich isn’t as attractive as the burger you might order as a takeout meal. 

However, you can still create a healthy and balanced diet and have fun with your foods too. It’s about mixing things up a little with your meal plans, trying foods you have never tasted before, and being creative with your cooking

You can also look for healthy alternatives to the junk food you eat. As you can see from the linked article, you can still eat similar foods to the things you normally enjoy, but in a healthier way.  So, the next time you’re tempted to reach for a bar of chocolate instead of an apple, remember that there are other, more creative, and healthy choices out there. 

“I’m too tired to eat healthy”

After a busy day, you might be tired. This could be why you stick a frozen dinner in the microwave. However, your tiredness might also be attributed to your bad eating habits. If you eat foods that are overloaded with sugar and unhealthy fats, you won’t have very much energy at all. On the contrary, you’ll feel depleted.

However, once you start eating healthier, your energy levels will start to rise. Food that fuels your body will fuel your brain too, and you will naturally start to become more productive. You should then have more motivation to cook healthier meals. 

“I can’t stick to healthy eating all the time”

This is black-or-white thinking, a way of seeing things in extremes as if there is no middle ground. You don’t have to stick to eating healthy every meal of every day. You can have cheat meals and enjoy eating something that’s not on your healthy meal menu. You just have to do it once in a while, not habitually.

For instance, if you met a friend for lunch and eat something that’s not healthy, you can just get back on track at dinner. Or if you eat a donut at work, you can just eat it and enjoy it. But don’t go after the second or third donut.

And so…

Now that the most common excuses for not eating healthy are at the forefront, you should start addressing them. No matter how good your excuses are, you should always make time for healthy eating. You already understand the reasoning why, as you know that the foods you eat contribute to the state of your health. So, kick your excuses into touch and start to eat better. You will feel better if you do, both physically and mentally. Let that be your reason to improve your diet.

To a Better Healthier You,

Adriana Albritton

The Fitness Wellness Mentor

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