July 28, 2014
A common challenge with making the switch to a lasting, healthier diet that provides the physical results you crave – like upper body muscle definition, a toned torso and lovely legs, is the potential boredom that can come with eating healthy.
Even though I love to cook, and creating healthy recipes is now part of my job description, I still believe that one of my biggest barriers to eating lean is that I crave variety. Eating the same foods over and over does not satisfy me. Of course I do not tell myself this is a barrier anymore, I have learned that I need variation and I get busy doing something about it.
Before you think I am about to dole out some tough love like ‘Suck it up buttercup! Get your food prep done!’ guess again. Food preparation and eating the same foods week in and week out does work for select individuals. For others, it is a recipe for falling off the wagon again and again.
When it comes to your eating habits, you likely fall into one of two camps. The ‘Routine Eating Camp’ or the ‘Switch It Up Eating Camp’. It actually does not matter which side you are on, overcoming boredom with eating healthy is vital to your success long term. The tricks to preventing healthy eating boredom are different for those in either camp, read on to find out!
Routine eaters are characterized by choosing the same foods each and every day. They crave little variety and are satisfied by eating similar meals each day or for a few days in a row. While being a routine eater may seem ideal, boredom can still set in and we can fall back on easy to make, more processed snacks like crackers and cheese, or peanut butter on toast.
This population does best when they find their favourite go-to healthy meals, prepare them in larger amounts and have them ready to go in the fridge. Choices like unsweetened greek yogurt and fruit, large quinoa salads with veggies and even an apple with cheese rather than cheese and crackers can be helpful alternatives.
Preventing boredom for routine eaters must be simple, easy to create and mimic the foods they already enjoy. Adding different herbs like mint or basil to salads, putting extra leafy greens into a sandwich or wrap and having fresh fruit and veggies you enjoy readily available can keep you on track.
Switch It Up Eating
Switch it up eaters are characterized by never finishing a pot of leftovers because they get bored of it first! Food choices are constantly varied and healthy eating can seem boring and restrictive to this population.
Learning how to order healthily at restaurants is a huge win for those craving variety from their diet. Prioritizing protein, seeking menu options with tons of veggies and limiting processed, deep fried carbohydrates is ideal for the switch it up eaters.
When eating at home, making the same types of recipes with different ingredients can create variety without a huge amount of preparation. A stirfry is one of the easiest meals to vary, whether veggies, protein source or sauce is changed each time.
Above all, switch it up eaters do need to be proactive with searching for new healthy recipes. They must realize that eating healthy is not boring (eating the same foods over and over is for this population), and that the amount of variety present in the produce section alone is staggering!
When it all fails and you find yourself bored again..
Are you trying to be something you are not! – Assess which camp you fall into and learn how to master what you need. I am a switch it up eater, and fell off the healthy eating wagon over and over again when I tried to stick to a meal plan of the same foods each day. In order to stay on track, I do have to search for healthy options, but that is far better than feeling like crap for telling myself I didn't have the willpower to follow a plan that wasn't varied enough for me.
Pick 3-5 go-to food items that are high in fibre and/or protein to have in your fridge and pantry at all times. Mine are eggs, apples, oats, frozen berries and spinach. I can make a few different recipes out of these ingredients and they are always in our fridge.
Recognize that you can eat healthily almost anywhere. Practice going out to eat and ordering a satisfying meal with tons of veggies and protein!
Which camp do you fall into? I would love to hear your insights and how you beat healthy eating boredom. See you on the Blast Fitness Facebook Page!