It is really easy to fall into the trap of making excuses for putting off a change to a healthier lifestyle. The following responses can help you or others get and stay motivated to make these important changes.
“Diet food just does not taste good.”
Just use “regular” food on your diet, not “diet food.” It is not necessary to purchase special food items, if you practice moderation and proper portion control.
“I just don’t have the willpower.”
“Diets never work for me.”
You can not look at it as a “diet.” It really is a change in lifestyle. If you slip up on one particular day, you have not fallen off the wagon. You are just living your life with some good nutritional days and some days that could used some improvement. All that you can do is simply reassert your desire to live a healthful life every day. Your tastes will literally change as you embrace a different kind of diet. You will not crave the same foods as strongly or as often any longer. You will find yourself unconsciously reaching for healthier choices with time.
“Diet food is expensive.”
Numerous studies on this claim have shown various outcomes. The key to eating healthfully on a budget is creativity. Try stretching food, so that the same ingredients are used for multiple meals. Plan your menus before going to the grocery store, and look at serving sizes before choosing what to purchase. For instance, maybe fresh pineapple is expensive, but you could mix it into yogurt or oatmeal, use it in stir-fry, or pair it with cheaper fruits for a fruit medley. Even though a food may seem expensive, it could serve as an ingredient for many dishes.
“I am not a good enough cook.”
Cooking is an art, and baking is a science. This means you do not need to follow most recipes for main dishes, salads, etc concisely in order to get good results. If you know what you like, you purchase a basic low-fat cookbook and experiment. You will get the hang of putting together quick, basic meals. However, you do not even necessarily need to cook to follow a healthy eating plan. Plenty of products are available that take away the burden of food preparation, and they can still fit into your new eating plan.
“The (holiday, special event, etc) is coming up. I will start dieting once it’s over.”
If you are waiting for the perfect time to make any major lifestyle change, it is not going to happen. The perfect time will never occur, because a special event or a stressful situation always will appear just around the corner. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to just start and deal with the tough situations as they arise. Fear of the future is what stops most people from making positive changes in their lives.
“I will need to prepare separate food for my family.”
This rarely is the case. You should not need to cook two completely separate meals, because what you will eat is usually not that different from what everyone else will eat. If for a special occasion your family would want something that you are abstaining from, such as fried chicken, you could either have a small portion or bake yourself a chicken breast at the same time.
“I get so confused. Much of the information about dieting is contradictory.”
It is true that nutrition is a science and that new information becomes available regularly. However, the basic keys of a good diet remain the same—variety, moderation, and balance. No one is going to have a perfect diet every day. Trying to do so will drive you nuts. Instead, do the best that you can with the information that is available to you at any given time.