The difficulty in changing your eating habits
We are our own worst enemy when it comes to changing our eating habits. Our taste buds crave high-calorie, high-fat foods, but what else is affects us?
The answer may be a little surprising yet simple. We are in fact our own worst enemy to an extent and our eating behaviors can be said to be out of our total control (although you can consciously control it so don't blame your bad habits on this alone). Our taste buds have in fact been genetically predisposed to crave high-calorie, high-fat foods. This is because going back in time many years to our ancestors they needed these foods for energy to perform hunting tasks, food gathering, exploring the continent, etc., and now luckily but unfortunately for our brains and bodies we've created food that taste even better than nature's, which of course makes carrots and cabbage a much harder sell when compared to a succulent pizza! So what else is working against us? Let's explore the main reasons.
A lot of the convenience foods we eat contain a significant amount of added sugar. Even if you pick up a healthy looking pasta sauce or yoghurt you will find that it has at least a few teaspoons of added sugar. Most fizzy drinks are saturated with sugar and if you tried going without sugar for 24 hours you'd be shocked at how it makes you feel. Changing your eating habits when your cravings are leading you to the biscuits, cans of Pepsi and sugary fruits can be tough which is why changing your eating habits can be very challenging to begin with. Small gradual changes and slowly swapping sugary foods for less sweet options is a better way to guarantee success.
Sadly eating out of boredom is one that we are all too guilty of. When we are sat at home watching TV, sat at our desks clock watching it’s all too easy to crave something to satisfy your demanding bored brain. These snacks we usually go for are heavily carb based or sugary treats, which give us that ‘pick me up’ we are looking for from our tiresome situation. It’s incredibly easy to see how this vicious cycle erupts, as once boredom hits, energy levels dip and an immediate pick me up is required to combat mental fatigue – this is where sugar comes into play to deliver that instant hit of “lift”, only to see the person crash very shortly afterwards, and seek more sugar as a result in order to alleviate the situation. Always have healthy snacks on hand to combat this problem!
In many ways, our education system is to blame for the lack of practical knowledge about sensible nutrition. This is in no way to say that there aren’t establishments out there who make this a particularly strong focus, however, they appear to be few and far between when it comes to equipping individuals with the tools they need to form sensible and educated eating habits for a healthy life. It is absolutely vital that the difference between carbohydrates, protein and fat are explained from as early as primary, even nursery level education with a specific focus on the effects these food groups have on the system and how they can be integrated into a daily eating structure if we are ever to alleviate the obesity epidemic we are currently faced with.
This really is perhaps the biggest one of the lot – when you consider all of the elements involved in changing your eating habits and how you can implement safeguards to avoid making bad choices, it all ultimately begins with your weekly shop and what you are faced by when you walk through the doors of your local supermarket. Certain countermeasures have been suggested, including a sugary drink tax, but the greatest concern at present is the way in which sugary drinks, and pretty much anything that’s inherently “bad” for the body in excess are presented in bulk at every given opportunity whilst browsing the aisles. The government ultimately has control over the way in which businesses in this country are allowed to trade, and currently they are incredibly lenient in regards to the mass quantities of sugary food and drink that is pushed towards the general public in enormous quantities – a drive on awareness, the way in which these food types are presented, and a restriction being implemented on them could create an enormous difference. It’s important to form clear and concise shopping lists before venturing out, structured through informed research so that you ONLY purchase what’s truly beneficial for you. Treats are of course fine in moderation, but with the many special offers on the highly processed and calorie-dense options, you need to be incredibly strong-willed when strolling down the aisle.