Why It’s Hard to Eat Healthy In 2019

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We all know we should be eating healthy foods, but making good food choices is only easy in theory—we’re busy, we reach for “convenience” foods, we get caught out at social functions, and we eat for comfort.

Making poor choices with food equals poor health, so here are 3 reasons it’s hard work eating healthily, and 3 solutions anyone can implement right away.

Problem 1: Convenient Food

We live such busy lives and so we end up reaching for the processed, less nutrient-packed food because it’s right there at all times—when we don’t have time. And if you were to honestly ask yourself why you don’t eat better it’s not because you don’t care...it’s because you don’t have time.

Solution 1: Make the Time

It’s true...you don’t have the time. So the choice you must make is: Will you make the time to ensure that what you put into your body doesn’t slowly kill you? And while everyone’s body is different—the main goal is to learn what works best for your body. Here are some quick tips that we’ve lived by:

  • During the morning:

    • If you can’t make time to cook something, set out a cup of fruit, a cup of veggies, a small handful of nuts, and 2-4 ounces of a lean protein.

  • During the day:

    • Snacks: Buy a healthy (non-synthetic) protein shake or protein bar.

    • Choose salads, soups, veggies, and protein. Skip the carbs and heavy lunches.

  • During the evening:

    • Prep a crockpot meal in the morning and make enough for leftovers so you have a leftover (healthy) dinner for another evening or lunch

    • If you end up cooking dinner from scratch that night, chop up extra vegetables and/or cook extra meat so you have leftovers for lunch or to freeze for a dinner later on in the week.

Problem 2: The Social Trap

Have you ever found yourself saying, “Well, I want to eat healthily, but I can’t because I have this family birthday party/work function/friends catch up…

We don’t generally associate poor health with poor eating. Why? Because we associate food with social activities (Friday night dinners and pizza nights are FUN!). And because of the enjoyable social interactions we have around those fried mozzarella sticks and cheesy warm pizzas, we forget that having a good time doesn’t have to happen around spending money for food that tastes good.

Solution 2: Make Better Choices

Please listen to me when I talk to you about the health issues coming up against you when you don’t eat correctly. When you don’t eat right, you put weight on. When you put weight on you increase your chances for diabetes, hypertension, and lots of other un-enjoyable diseases. So I don’t make my challenge light here—there is no easy answer on this point. You simply cannot miss the correlation that choosing bad food consistently will always deliver you back poor health. So do not be surprised that eating crappy, will make your health crappy.

Problem 3: Using Food For All the Wrong Reasons

Too often, we use food as a reward system, rather than a sustainer. We use food for all the wrong reasons–including to comfort us. And while there are times (like rare meals and occasions) that we should be comforted by the best bowl of pasta or the richest mashed potatoes we’ve ever tried, we have to use food differently if we want to feel better about ourselves and live a truly healthy life.

Solution 3: Cut Your Portions by 50% That’s It!

OK, good. So eat everything you would, but cut the portion size by 50%. THAT’S IT! Think ahead and if you know you’re going to three parties this week then anticipate because no matter how hard you try, you’re going to eat whatever you want at those events. But for every other meal you have, make the best choice possible. Simple, right? And for those use food as comfort, I’d ask you to re-evaluate why you are finding comfort in something so meaningless as food, instead of finding comfort in your relationship with God.

So that’s it! While it’s going to be a challenge to eat right in 2019, there are simple ways around it. No shortcuts, no sugar-coating, just taking back control of your food choices and feeling that much better because of it. And don’t get mad at me… Because I’m just the messenger ; )

Dan Madsen

Dr. Madsen is a family doctor in Chillicothe, Ohio.