12-week wellness program

How to Ditch Your Healthy-Eating Excuses for Good

Strategies to get a healthy meal on the table—no matter what.


Yes, you know you should eat better. But it’s hard. And you’re busy. It’s easy to get caught up in excuses because, after all, life is too short—but it’s also too short not to take care of your health. Ditch your healthy-eating excuses. We’ll help you.

Healthy-eating excuse #1: I have a life.

When you’re just starting a new eating plan, often it’s fun. There’s the promise of feeling great and the reward of good health to come. There’s the fun challenge of trying new things. Then, the novelty wears off. Between taking care of yourself and maybe your family too, how are you supposed to find time to shop and cook and exercise? You must put yourself first. That’s the common trait among The Biggest Loser contestants who’ve been most successful, according to the show’s original nutritionist, Cheryl Forberg, R.D. Yes, your family needs you—so you need to keep yourself healthy so you can take care of them. Yes, you have a lot going on—but maybe you’ll be more productive if you’re treating your body right.

Healthy-eating excuse #2: I don’t feel any different, so why bother?

There’s nothing worse than working hard at something and seeing no progress. When that happens, though, you don’t work harder: you work smarter. If your goal is to eat healthier and even lose a little weight, then take an honest look at your diet. A couple of jelly beans from the office candy jar and a soda that “didn’t count because it’s just a drink” add up quickly. Write every bite—or sip—down in a food diary to keep yourself honest. And try eating more veggies, whole grains, fruits and legumes. All contain fiber, which may keep you feeling fuller longer.

Healthy-eating excuse #3: I don’t know what to cook.

Planning ahead is critical to healthy-eating success. When you haven’t planned a healthy dinner it’s easy to order a cheesy, greasy pizza or pick up Chinese takeout on your drive home. Or maybe you decide to make something—but it’s late and you’re starving, so you snack on cheese and crackers and nuts the entire time you’re chopping and stirring. And then you still eat the dinner you’ve made. Taking a few minutes with a notepad and your favorite recipe book to make a plan for the week ahead will save you time and stress. Or better yet, browse the healthy recipes on this site.

Healthy-eating excuse #4: I’m sick of eating the same salad every day.

One way to know how many calories you’re eating is to eat the same meals every day. English muffin with peanut butter for breakfast. Salad with grilled chicken for lunch. Baked fish, brown rice, steamed broccoli. Effective, yes. But so boring that eventually you’re going to revolt and go nuts on foods that actually get you excited. So why not just skip to that part? There are plenty of ways to make a salad. So many delicious, healthy recipes for chicken. Mix it up! Vow to cook at least one new-to-you dish a week. Look for recipes that include nutrition information so you can keep track of exactly what you’re putting in your body—again, you’ll find plenty right on this site!

By EatingWell.com. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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