Americans are always commenting about how they want to change their dietary habits, but are constantly giving excuses in why it would be too hard to live a healthier life style. According to eatright.org, these are some of the main reasons why Americans resist eating healthier:
1.) 82% of Americans don’t want to give up foods they like in order to eat healthier.
· The predisposition that you have to give up all “junk food” in order to live a healthy lifestyle is not completely true. A couple of cookies or a slice of pizza eaten every once in a while is not going to disturb someone’s healthy lifestyle. Everyone has cravings for junk food! The key to a healthy lifestyle is to not be consumed by these cravings. Always remember, eat in moderation!
2.) 62% of Americans claim they do not have time to track their diets in order to eat healthier.
· This statistic is a reminder of how lazy Americans have become. We love everything to be quick and easy, and we greatly value our leisure time. So, I can understand why 62% of Americans would not be able to find an extra minute or two for writing down what their meals consisted of that day. I have a couple of suggestions for those who register under this category.
o Keep your food journal with you at all times. For women this is a little easier to do because most women carry purses with them. For men, I suggest a small pocket sized journal they can put in their pants alongside their wallets. By having the food journal with you at all times, it makes it easier to quickly jot down what you eat while you’re eating it.
o If you think a notebook is unconventional, there are numerous apps that you can download on your smartphone to help you keep track of your diet. Examples of such apps include MyFittnessPal and MyNetDiary. Both apps help you track calories and physical activity. MyNetDiary also helps you plan healthy meals, which often times is the most challenging part for people.
3.) 60% of Americans juggle both work and a family and only claim to only have time to prep meals in 15 min.
· It’s true, Americans today live in a fast pace society and are constantly running from event to event. This was true in my household growing up. It was extremely hard for my parents to feed my sisters and themselves when they had to constantly drive us to and from all of our events. Not to mention, they did housework in between working themselves. Something that my mom began to do was pre-make meals on Sunday for the upcoming week. She would label them with the day it was to be cooked and instructions on how to cook it. This saved her a lot of time and energy in the end, and I highly suggest it for families that are constantly on the go.
4.) 36% of Americans claim to have no leisure time for physical activity.
· Even if you do not have time to workout every day, there are numerous ways to increase your physical activity without going to the gym. For instance, if your job is within walking distance or biking distance, you should take advantage of that. Both methods of transportation are great ways to get some exercise in, and they are eco-friendly, as well. Another popular trend people are taking advantage of is the Fitbit. The Fitbit is a watch-like device that tracks all-day activity like steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes. It is a great and fashionable way to keep track of how active you’ve been and to keep track of personal goals.
In reality, it is not so difficult after all in making changes and modifying your diet and/or lifestyle. Start by making a few changes at a time, and trust me, the shift from an unhealthy to a healthy lifestyle will be a lot smoother!