You know what you should do and you’re sick of being told what to do. Yet, you want positive change more than ever. You want to be the best. So you call on Google and search and search for something to give you the edge.
Yet, you are smart and capable of finding nearly any article you could ever imagine on the internet. It will tell you exactly what you need and what to do.
So why does nobody do it?
Overwhelmed by the noise out there, no action is an inevitable when you search for the things that confirm what you think you already know. Our minds will look for ways to confirm and reject things we read to keep us in our comfort zones.
However, if you are struggling with making a change, then it’s time to change your perspective. There are hard truths and there are soft truths. Whichever you buy into, the answer to making a change lies within.
Living healthier does not require a fancy website or meal plan
You keep everything else simple, why would your diet be any different?
Too often people seek a crazy solution with false promises and one size fits all solutions toward magically becoming healthier without even knowing it. Usually is some weird meal plan that has you eating like a bird because YOU NEED EXACTLY 1,000 CALORIES or some ridiculous juicing experiment.
When did we become so disconnected from reality? Ask yourself, does that diet sound like anything you will enjoy? Will you be able to sustain it for the rest of your life? If the answer is no, then ditch it.
The wrong diet explains to you what you need. The right diet empowers you to make your own decisions and learn through the process.
Screw those ridiculous fancy recipes. Being healthier does not mean finding some new recipe that has more steps than you are willing to take?
It’s not practical and it has no long-term sustainability. You are busy, remember?
The soft truth
Understanding what foods in your diet are unhealthy and finding ways to upgrade your existing foods is a great starting point. Something you need no money and little effort. Begin by asking yourself:
What am I already making, healthy or not? How can I build a system that enables me to reduce the bad decisions I have made previously?
Regardless of the answer, you increase the value of your health by replacing and choosing foods from a list of “whole foods”. For me, this was designed a preset list of foods that I choose from. Then, finding a way to make them taste better.
If you make chicken and white rice, replace the rice with vegetables. For white pasta, use whole wheat pasta instead. If you cook with margarine or some other cheap oil, try coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.
Simplify the approach by choosing foods that you know are generally healthier and worry less about getting it 100% perfect. Or preparing it exactly as the recipe calls for.
Remember, you are in control. Not the food.
You have to eat to lose weight
Another one that really gets me is when people sit back and believe that by eating less they are somehow inducing their bodies into fat burning mode. Sure, starving yourself is a great way to lose weight quickly, but it is not a healthy solution for keeping the fat off… or at all.
Remind me again what happens to 90% of the contestants on The Biggest Loser? Eating less than 1300 calories a day is not good for anyone.
Being forced to view caloric needs through a binary thought process doesn’t factor in what those calories are. Taking the approach of not understanding or caring how you meet these bullshit calorie requirements is a misguided route that leads to failure.
We’ve been told over and over again, just eat less but it’s not that simple. When we eat less, people focus more on the simple fact that a calorie is a calorie. Instead of cutting food sources out completely, your brain and body need nutrient dense foods in order to function properly.
The soft truth
Calories are misunderstood. Understanding why we need a balance of essential vitamins, nutrients, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates instead of strict caloric requirements can be a simpler approach.
Don’t get me wrong, calories are important. If weight loss is the goal, then you must begin to understand the caloric energy balance.
Even if you are not hungry, your brain and bodily functions require quality nutrients in order to perform at their best. Feeding these vital organs and bodily processes the foods they need is the only way to give your body a chance to flourish.
There are right ways and wrong ways to do so. But it’s more about keeping your hunger, energy, and cravings in check rather than just simply meeting a caloric requirement.
Healthy food does not have to taste bad – you’re making excuses
If I had an almond for all of the times I heard, “You know it’s healthy if it has no taste.” Well then, you know that you need it so why not instead of complaining you make it have taste?
I would argue quite the opposite. The reason these foods have no taste is because your body has developed its own set of taste buds and cravings based on the surplus of overly sweetened, processed foods you might consistently be eating.
After eating more whole foods on a consistent basis, you’ll see exactly how de-sensitizing some foods can be.
If you don’t like or are not eating vegetables then grow up. What are you 5? Being an adult means you have to eat vegetables. So instead of boycotting them, find ones that you like. Then add some olive oil and butter to make them better if you wish.
I don’t expect a gourmet meal every time I sit down. And I know that eating green stuff is essential for a healthy mind and body.
The soft truth
Throw some grass fed butter in with your vegetables, add some olive oil to what you’re cooking.
How about spices? You have seen the infographics that show the majority of spices out there (Cinnamon, oregano, basil, ginger, cumin, paprika, black pepper, rosemary) that give our foods better are anti-inflammatory with many antioxidant properties.
Use them. And on everything.
Hell, when I first started cooking healthier I just randomly experimented with these. Some combinations worked well together and they were good enough to get me by. Soon enough, I found my go-to set of spices for most of my meals.
There are “unhealthy” ways to make your food taste better. But these are less concerning if the majority of the meal is healthy. All it takes is a more systematic approach to making bland food taste better. Think 80/20.
Your fat burning, waist slimming, green juicing and magic pills probably aren’t doing you much good
Gotta’ love how many ridiculous health products there are in the market today. Each has their own claims of scientific evidence backing why you need a specific supplement in your diet. Yet most of the “research” these companies cite is largely controversial and inconsistent across different studies.
To prove their relevance, people are treated under unrealistic controlled environments that do not simulate a day in the life of the average person they are marketing to. The truth is that companies offer a misguided “generalized” public claim to get that money. But you know that….right?
Too often people get taken advantage of with both good and bad supplements because they are convinced they need to add something rather than coming to the realization that they have a poor diet.
Stop trying to hack your way through your diet.
Despite that fact that there are high quality and highly effective supplements out there, they are still supplements.
The soft truth
Supplements can be beneficial if they are in fact, supplemental to an already healthy diet.
Your mindset should never be to replace whole foods with supplements believing that one piece will bring the entire puzzle together. Assuming that you can continue bad habits by adding fruit and vegetable powders, multivitamins, or any other pill/powder form to make up for horrible eating practices is the wrong approach.
For most people, if supplements are relied upon for meal replacement or in place of the necessary vitamins and nutrients in their diet, it may be time to reconsider.
You’re damn right it can be exhausting. Eating healthy is not always easy as many make it out to be. But only at first.
And once you start eating these foods, I promise you that you will start craving them. You will crave broccoli. You will crave Brussels sprouts. It’s the weirdest thing.
Between work life balance, children (yours, not mine), exercise, commutes, and commitments, it’s easy to throw in the towel and go for something quicker. I get it. Like many new habits, it’s hard to build momentum.
So what? That’s it? There is no sense in trying?
Some of the top performers in the world have busier schedules than you. They made time. People all over the world likely have more reasons than you to take the easy way out. I believe that what is holding you back is the lack of consistency and mindfulness of how your current time is spent.
Change your perspective on what being healthy actually means and seek the right information that you can consistently implement over the long term.
What hard and soft truths do you want the world to know? Share this if you thought it was helpful!