Despite the fact that half of Americans desire to lose weight, just 26 percent are actively trying to accomplish that goal, according to a recent Gallup Health and Healthcare Survey.
"It's an unfortunate lack of self-awareness," says Dr. Wayne Briner, a psychology professor at Ashford University. Briner explains that outside influences can motivate unhealthy eating choices. Put simply, all diets work, barring these psychological and sociological factors.
Healthy eating isn't a priority.
Healthy eating controls weight, improves mood, boosts energy, and supports wellness. While we all know healthy food choices are in our best interest, convenience frequently trumps good judgment. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, make healthy eating a priority day in and day out. Eventually, good nutrition will become a habit.
Healthy eating takes more time.
We live in a culture where speed is essential and faster is better. Many people eat on the run, sandwiching fast food into their busy lifestyles. But health food takes time to prepare, to chop, to broil, to toss and mix and bake. We have to take time to be healthy, to slow down and arrange time for proper meals and exercise.
People underestimate their food consumption.
For a clear picture of food consumption, keep a food diary of what you eat – everything consumed in one week, including portions and number of servings. A cafe latte on the way to the office? Write it down. Fifteen Chili Cheese Fritos? That's three servings, 480 calories. Write it down. The results may astound you.
People overestimate their physical activity.
According to the Mayo Clinic, "As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Want to aim even higher? You can achieve more health benefits, including increased weight loss, if you ramp up your exercise to 300 minutes a week."
People confuse living to eat and eating to live.
Eating, drinking, and being merry doesn't always lend itself to healthy food choices. Most beers, for instance, average 150 calories, with some craft beers topping 200. We're all human and we're all likely to indulge on occasion. Before you reward yourself with indulgences, balance it out with healthy eating habits.
Source: Ashford University
Published with permission from RISMedia.