“It’s too hard to eat healthy?”
“My family is full of picky eaters.”
“I don’t have time to cook.”
“Eating healthy is time consuming.”
“I don’t want to cook two different meals.”
Do any of those resonate with you? If so, you are not alone! These are very common statements I hear on a consistent basis when talking with athletes.
Can it be difficult? Yes. Does it have to be difficult? No. It is actually easier than you think. With that said, like anything, there is a “learning curve.” Anything that is new takes time to learn, takes time to get a system in place, takes time to settle in to a new normal. Just because it is different, does not mean it is difficult.
Let me make this as easy as possible for you with some simple tips!
First off, you are more accountable and aware to what you eat when you record it. Even if you aren’t wanting to necessarily track your numbers, having a food log helps you to see what you are consuming. It can help you to recognize where you may be falling short. If you use a tracker, such as MyFitnessPal, you also begin to gain an understanding on what nutrients the different foods consist of.
Awareness is the first step to learning and understanding!
If you have thought about focusing on your nutrition, but concerned about how difficult it is to figure out food amounts, a food scale will be your best friend.
No, it will not show you the actual grams of carbohydrates, fats, or proteins in your food choices, but you can get an overall weight of your food. From there, you can use your food tracker to automatically tell you the nutrients in the food item once you enter it in. (This is why the food log was mentioned first.)
Containers With Known Measurements
Ideally, in order to track your food properly, you need to know how much you are consuming. Using plastic or glass containers with known measurements can make this simpler for you.
For example, I know that certain plastic containers of mine are 2 cups and others are 4 cups. By knowing this, I can put my vegetables that I snack on in those and automatically know how much I am consuming without having to measure each and every time. I also know my glass containers are 3 cups and 4 cups, so once again, when I am meal prepping I can easily fill them and know how much is in them.
Creating Recipes in MyFitnessPal
I frequently get asked the “What if” questions that causes people to think food tracking is difficult – that is with recipes, such as skillet meals, soups, casseroles, etc. That is why I love what MyFitnessPal can do. (Other platforms may do this as well, but I have not tested others out yet.)
You are able to create a recipe, put in the number of servings, and it will create the nutritional information for you. From there you can add that item to your food log for the day and it will automatically put in the correct nutritional information. Once the recipe is added to your profile, it stays there. This means you enter it once and never again! Time saver down the road!
How to eat healthy with picky eaters/unhealthy eaters
This is the other huge excuse I get – yes, I view it as an excuse. There is always a way around this issue without making it too difficult on you.
Many times you can sneak in substitutions without people noticing. For example, you can use a milk substitute in recipes without most people noticing rather than regular milk if you are wanting to keep dairy out of your system. Or using ground turkey breast or extra lean ground pork instead of ground beef. Lots of great options if you just start to be creative.
Another easy answer is cooking one more vegetable for the picky eater. If you are grilling or roasting vegetables, make one vegetable that everyone will eat, a second for your picky eater, and a third option for yourself. That way, each person can get two vegetables in the meal. It really doesn’t take long to cut up one more vegetable choice while you are cutting up everything else.
Nutrition really isn’t as difficult as many people tend to make it. I hope these simple tips help you to incorporate healthy habits into your life.
Have more questions about this? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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