Ahhhh, the excuses we make! We all do it and it’s what keeps us stagnant, unable to move forward and make the necessary changes that allow us to lead healthier, more fulfilled lives. I’ve collected some of my favorite health related excuses that I hear repeatedly along with real solutions to make those excuses a thing of the past!
#1 “Everyone in my family is overweight. We’re just big people and have slow metabolisms.”
While genetics can play a role in your specific body type and structure, this doesn’t mean that you’re destined to living a life of being overweight. Many times, families tend to pass on food patterns and eating habits from generation to generation and those habits may very well be unhealthy and not ideal for your body type. Many people believe they have a slow or sluggish metabolism when in fact they are eating foods that don’t digest well within their body type and the excess is then stored as fat. This can all be changed. Exploring the H Lyfe Method’s evaluation system and eating foods that are right for your body type can combat this belief and allow you to achieve a lean physique regardless of your genetics.
#2 “My husband doesn’t like healthy food and is a meat and potatoes kind of guy.”
Oh I love this one! So just because your spouse isn’t concerned about their health, you shouldn’t be concerned about yours? Not so. Create meals that have a common element that you will both enjoy and then build out from there. Maybe a sweet potato is the common food. You might have to opt for two separate proteins but then offer a vegetable or nutrient rich salad and your spouse can choose to eat it or not. Eventually a few new foods might make their way onto his or her plate. I like to use the “crowding out” technique where you slowly introduce new food options and then slowly crowd out the unhealthy ones.
#3 “I have PMS.”
Yes, it’s true that the bloating and cramping during your period can likely cause you to seek comfort. Use a hot water bottle, essential oils, yoga, meditation or other exercise to relieve the symptoms of discomfort. Eating starchy, sodium rich and sugary foods create more inflammation in your body and can cause your symptoms to worsen. Although the “comfort food” might create instant euphoric recall, it’s highly unlikely to make you feel any better moments later. Try eating cruciferous greens and blueberries instead. I have also found cobra pose works well to stretch out the lower organs and reduces cramping.
#4 “My best friend eats Snickers Bars for lunch and dinner and is thin.”
First of all, thin doesn’t equal healthy and eating junk food for every meal contributes to all sorts of health problems, especially later. A diet high in sugar also shows up in your skin, particularly in your face. In Ayurveda, there are three main body types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha . Each body type is structurally different and accepts and processes food differently. Never compare yourself or your body to anyone else. You are uniquely you and eating healthy, whole foods is always the best solution.
#5 “I eat when I get stressed.”
Emotional eating can run deep, especially because endorphins, serotonin and dopamine can be key contributors to this cyclical issue. Try identifying your triggers so that you can link the trigger with the binge. Before you take the first bite of food in the stressful moment, ask yourself if you’re really hungry or if you’re simply filling an emotional distress or void. Stop for a moment, drink a glass of water and eat something nutrient rich first. You’ll be better equipped to re-assess your hunger.
#6 “I just don’t have time to plan healthy meals.”
Instead of saying “I don’t have time,” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. If the phrase doesn’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing your language when you make an excuse reminds us that every decision we make and every bit of time we carve out is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose different. (Taken from the Wall Street Journal)
#7 “I burned 900 calories at the gym so now I can eat whatever I want”
When it comes to keeping a lean physique, food really is 80 -90% of the battle. That’s awesome that your app or contraption said you burned 900 calories. You may have. Or you may not. Throw that thing away. The fact of the matter is that by telling yourself you burned 900 calories so now I can go eat 900 calories of something that isn’t ideal for your body is sabotage. Burning any number of calories through exercise should be icing on the cake to your nutrient rich, whole foods based diet where you never have to think about calories. All calories are not created equal and when you’re eating foods from nature there is no need to count calories. An apple reacts completely different in your body than a 100-calorie bag of pretzels. The old theory of calories in, calories out is exactly that….an old theory that doesn’t work.
#8 “I can’t stop eating late at night.”
Yes, you can. Ensure you are eating enough nutrient dense food at dinner and go to bed a little earlier. You can’t eat if you’re asleep. Thirst, boredom and emotions, are all things that can creep in at night, and are key triggers for eating. Cooked foods can dehydrate you so after dinner or one to two hours before bed, be sure to drink a full glass of water. (I would caution doing this just before bed as a full bladder can interrupt sleep)
Before late night indulging ask yourself: Am I just thirsty? Am I eating to soothe an emotional distress? Am I hungry because I’m just under stimulated and need something to do? If you can avoid eating late night for five nights in a row, the habit can be broken forever.
#9 “I like to entertain and go to social functions. It’s impossible to have a social life and eat healthy.”
Solution 1: Don’t arrive at any social function ravenous. Eat a small, healthy snack before you go. This will help you to make wiser choices at the party and avoid grazing.
Solution 2: Bring your own healthy dish and make it one that has some real substance just in case it’s the majority of what you’ll need to eat. The prettier the presentation, the more people will want to dig in and it becomes a conversation piece.
Seeing people enjoy your healthy dish will be rewarding, inspiring and will keep you motivated to make the right choices in food at the event. The same can be said for hosting a gathering. Make all your food with healthy alternatives and don’t even tell your guests until they comment on how good it tastes. You’ll inspire them to make changes while keeping yourself on track.
#10 “We eat out a lot and I hate cooking.”
I originally lost those 40 pounds eating out every day for lunch and eating dinner out four to five nights per week. It can be done! You just have to make wise choices. Most restaurants will accommodate slight changes if you’re not rude about it. We cook at home five to six nights per week now because our lives aren’t as hectic as they once were and my husband and I enjoy cooking much more than we did in previous years. Cooking can be therapeutic and enjoyable in the right environment.
#11 “I have to keep snacks around for my kids and then I end up eating them.” Kids don’t have to eat “kid food.” Kid food was created by corporate marketers. Gold fish, gushers, frozen waffles……not good for adults, not good for kids. Consider eliminating these types of foods and feeding them whole foods from nature. Remember, you’re in control! The kind of food children are given is what they will have to eat. (They may throw a fit for a couple days but they won’t let themselves starve and they’ll eventually eat what is prepared for them.) There is a wide gamut of flavors and textures in natural food. Setting your child’s pallet at an early age for sugary and processed empty foods that turn to sugar in their body can set them up for health and weight issues later in life. Eating these kinds of foods can also create inability to focus and hyperactivity. There are plenty of awesome foods for kids to eat that do not come in a box.
#12 “I’ll start Monday. I’ll start when my kids are in school. I’ll start when……”
I was your typical dieter for years, always telling myself, “I’ll start on Monday” or “I’ll start next month after the family that’s in town leaves.” This mindset delays achieving goals. If you want to make a change, make a plan but don’t wait to start. Start now in the moment when you’re feeling that kick in the gut. When I finally lost the weight for good, I started on a Tuesday. I woke up sick and tired and in that moment, I began.
#13 “I love food too much.”
Keep loving food! I do! There is a tasty alternative to nearly every unhealthy choice out there. I promise. Eating foods that are right for your body will keep you loving food and those same foods will work wonders for your energy, mood and outer shell.
#14 “I have zero willpower and there’s always unhealthy food at work.”
Ask yourself why you have zero willpower.
-Is it because you’re trying to lose weight for the wrong reason?
-Is it because you’re emotionally deprived?
-Is it because you’re not eating enough nutrient rich food to sustain you through the temptations?
-Are you a perfectionist that has created a standard for weight loss that would be difficult for anyone to live up to?
If you have trouble passing up Sara’s chocolate birthday cake at the office, don’t throw in the towel after and don’t label yourself a failure. Savor every bite of that cake and vow to skip Robert’s office birthday cake tomorrow. Realize that in most weight loss journey’s it’s three steps forward, two steps back. Embrace the journey and know slow and steady is the better way to achieve your goals.
#15 “I’m motivated at first but then I always gain the weight back.”
I find this happens over and over because most of us self-sabotage after a splurge or a mess up day. When you change your mind set about eating and make it a life-long practice versus a quick, “I need to lose 30 pounds” by August,” approach, you’ll be much more forgiving of yourself and be able to get back on the bandwagon the day after a splurge. Remembering that letting it go and starting fresh the next day is way less detrimental in your journey versus striving for perfectionism in eating and never being able to live up to your own expectations.
#16 “Eating healthy is too expensive.”
A common misconception is healthy food is expensive. Although it can be, there are surely ways to get around paying top dollar. In fact, swapping your pre-packaged chips and snacks for whole food alternatives can save you money.
-Visit your local farmers market or farm stand. Prices here are typically less than big box supermarkets.
-Join a local CSA. CSA Stands for Community Supported Agriculture..CSAs allow city residents to have direct access to high quality, fresh produce grown locally by regional farmers. When you become a member of a CSA, you’re purchasing a “share” of vegetables from a regional farmer. Nearly all communities have these. Just search online to find one in your area.
-Amazon offers free shipping with Prime and I’ve found healthy and organic items to be considerably less expensive here.
-Examine your lifestyle and your budget and take a good hard look at where you’re spending your money. Diet isn’t separate from lifestyle. They are completely interconnected.
#17 “Healthy food doesn’t taste good.”
The truth to this statement is that most people who say this have not had healthy food prepared well. Many people think healthy food is an ice berg lettuce salad with a couple tomatoes rolling around on the plate and a tasteless dressing. Not True! When you learn to eat a variety of nutrient rich food with lots of zesty, natural seasoning, you don’t miss the junk! All it takes is a little knowledge and effort and you can easily prepare amazing, healthy recipes.
Holly Harding, AADP, INHC has studied over 100 dietary theories with the country’s top experts in holistic health and nutrition. A highly sought out holistic health and nutrition coach and food for beauty expert, she is well known for her mind/body transformation program, The H Lyfe Method® as well as her integrative line of skincare, O’o Hawaii®Based on her belief that beauty starts from within with a diet of nutrient rich, unprocessed and unrefined foods from nature, Holly created O’o Hawaii as a way to accomplish beautiful, glowing, ageless skin through a combination of diet, supplementation and highly functional skincare. Visit oohawaii.com and hlyfemethod.com to learn more.