Anyone who is used to big lunches or dinners and tries to cut back to a salad for a meal knows this one well. There is a certain feeling of fullness from proteins and pasta and bread carbs that you might not get from your veggies. Yet, when it came down to it, it received no votes as being anyone’s top two hindrances to healthy eating.
Tied for 6th place. Confused about what is healthy – 4 votes, 4.55%
In our information thick society, we are saturated with health guru’s, books, diets, and various “studies” that tell us what is healthy. And at the top of those food lists you will mostly see (in one order or another) fruits & veggies, lean meats, cutting back on junk food, adding vitamins, counting calories, blah-blah, etc. So whether we agree with the specifics of this one or that one, the amount of basic information available to get started on a “healthier” lifestyle is fairly available. Nevertheless, four voters still find this area quite challenging.
Also tied for 6th. Disliking the taste of “healthy foods” – 4 votes, 4.55%
This option is very interesting because the amount of food considered as healthy, low fat, sugar free, whole grain, etc. is incredible. Most of these foods have been so processed to stay tasty, it probably would have been better to eat them in the original state. Outside of processed foods, there are acquired tastes needed for certain health foods. Quinoa (keeno-wa), spirulina, tofu, and Brussels sprouts, among others, aren’t the easiest to just pick up and enjoy. Yet, in terms of the top challenging aspects to healthy eating, this warranted only four votes.
5th place. Limiting or understanding portion size - 8 votes, 9.09%
This is the day of the buffet. We like to eat all that we can eat. Many grow up thinking that “if I don’t feel full then I’m not satisfied. We can’t blame this on McDonald’s “super-sizing.” We have suppressed our natural instincts to know when we’ve really had enough. Many foods that we commonly eat slow the production of enzymes that are responsible for telling us that we are satisfied. This could lead us to routinely eating 15 to 20 minutes past satisfaction and above what we actually needed from that meal.
Becoming better informed of serving size is a tremendous way to better protect yourself from overeating. It helps you to be more accountable to yourself with your daily intake as a whole. Almost 10% voted for this as a key struggle.
4th place. Financial Limitations – 10 votes, 11.36%
With today’s economy, monetary limitations are not surprising. Plus, when trying to eat healthier, add the “organic” or “All Natural” tag on foods and that adds a couple bucks on top. Yet, more and more, we are waking up to the fact that food is the biggest daily investment that we can make. Better eating up front leads to less sick days lost and lowers our percentage of bigger health issues later in life. Many know the perils of medical bills and investing in a healthy lifestyle can pay off huge.
The other side of this is that we also should be aware of the seeming political backwards-ness, if you will, with the cost of produce comparatively to the cost of most junk food. If you’ve only got a couple dollars for dinner for the whole family, unfortunately may times just “getting full” is priority one. The fight becomes educating people to knowing options (without judging) and raising our voices politically. This one I leave open because the fight for available, affordable, healthy food is still under intense attack nationally.
Tied for 2nd place. Strong cravings for what you already like. 18 votes, 20.45%
Okay, now we are have come to the big three. When we get a “taste” for something, we get driven about it. We envision it and take in the aroma long before sitting to eat. The way that our teeth sink in and the dance of flavors that follow afterwards have become familiar, distinctive, and pleasurable. There is no denying that strong cravings affect us deeply and our body chemistry is not really helping with this. Dopamine is a neurochemical that we produce which is associated with our reward / pleasure circuitry. This is not only for food but all deep desires raise our level of Dopamine. This is why the numbers of addictions continue to rise. So, it’s not just food, drugs, or sex, but gambling, shopping, smoking, playing computer games, and many other activities all raise dopamine levels.
Many have heard of fasting and set it apart as just a spiritual activity and for the most part it is. Yet, to fast from certain foods that seem to weigh heavy on us is empowering. Most of us don’t even know that we have the power to look our “weakness”, eye to food, and say “no.” Times of fasting could help this.
Also, there is the replacement. This is the idea that we replace our craving with a close, healthier option and then, after a time, replace that one and so on. I know that many would just like to pray, “Take it away from me, LORD!” If He does it that way, then praise Him. Yet, for the most part, remember that a cycle of eating got you in – and reverse cycle gets you out (still with His help.)
Also tied for 2nd place. Emotional Eating. 18 votes, 20.45%
If the truth was more openly known about the depth of emotional eating, it probably would not only be number one on this poll, but nationally regarded as one of biggest health issues period. This one is not about cravings and, to a large extent, not even about food. It’s about living stress filled lives that reach out for comfort through food, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. It can cause us to grab and graze whatever is close, regardless of if we wanted it or not, and regardless of if we were actually hungry or not.
Constant stress can produce damaging amounts of adrenaline, which sends the bulk of the energy to the extremities for the purpose of fighting or running from whatever is before us. But when we live like this, we severely reduce the nourishment that should go to our vital organs. So, not only do we continually feel hungry (even after eating) but we can set ourselves up for long term illnesses.
To identify the source of stress is vital. And whether it is job related, family related, or guilt and shame from past issues, dealing with these matters can be painful and possibly an area for professional help. Yet, to love yourself enough to want to be the best you that you can be may motivate the start of the process.
1st place. Lack of time (So you grab what easy). 26 votes, 29.55%
From beginning to end, this was the runaway winner. What can we say, we’re busy. We’re coming and going, ripping and running, texting and tweeting, picking up and putting down, and so forth. It’s like a nation full of energizer bunnies that keep going and going.
Many may think that this is a time management issue. But can we really manage time? No, it is unmanageable, unreasonable, unforgiving and refuses to wait for you to catch up. If we really consider the problem, we will see that this issue is not time management but “decision” management. Every day we decide what to do with the given time and every day is a new opportunity to decide to do something different.
As we grow to better value our health, we get up earlier, or whatever it takes, to prepare ourselves and our food. This is not just about preparing meals, but pre-choosing better snacks so that the snack machine can’t play on us.
Lack of time? No, not really. We all get 24 hours a day to plan and decide. When we don’t, we buy into that “not enough hours in the day” talk. Let’s not make it hard. How about taking the time to decide and prepare one thing today that you usually would let go. Then in a couple days, add another. In a few weeks, without any big pressure change, you could be planning and preparing meals and snacks days in advance.
Thanks again to all participants.
Also, those of faith to see overcoming in these areas may want to view our confessions PDF.
in the Areas of Nutrition and Eating Habits by Yashalife PDF
A More Excellent Way, Henry W. Wright
Anti-Fat Nutrients, Dallas Clouatre